Teach your kids to manage time without nagging

children parenting Sep 08, 2022

There are some unavoidable tasks of childhood that require us to keep a timer.

In fact, helping children learn how to manage or steward time is a life skill.

Because children rely on adults for many things, it's great to find ways to help foster a healthy sense of independence.

One of my favorite items in my play therapy room was a visual timer or clock. It helped the children I worked with to visually see how much time we had together. They would feel empowered to know for themselves, as opposed to having to rely solely on me to let them know how much time we had left in the session together.

At the beginning of the session, I would set the timer (without the alarm) and explain, "This is how much time we have together today. Once the red goes away, our time is up and it will be time to get ready to leave."

This timer is not only useful in play therapy rooms, but it's a wonderful tool for parents who want to teach their children to self-monitor their time without the feeling that they are nagging their children through a chronic countdown where they dread the pending transition of one activity to the next.

I'll link my favorite brand in both the bigger version that I kept on my wall and one that I have also used on my desk or as a portable timer when I offered therapy at different remote locations.

A visual tool for kids learning to manage time:

Large wall timer:

Small desk-top timer: