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Is this U?

(58 Posts)
TowerRavenSeven Sun 01-Jan-17 21:29:07

I got called on this out of the blue from an old 'friend/enemy'.

From the time ds was old enough to understand until maybe the age of 5 when he needed to do something (go to bed, leave the house) or stop something (come in from playing) we sometimes used a timer.

I'd give ample warning (10 mins) or so and tell him when the timer rings it's time to do whatever we wanted him to do. We definitely did not use it every day, more like a few times a week. MIL had green pepper shaped kitchen timer, and we had an apple shaped one so it made it kind of fun plus more importantly he could see how much time he had left because the dial moved, it wasn't digital.

It was kind of fun to say 'apple rang, time to get your shoes on', etc. it worked fantastic. Ds never questioned it and it didn't make us the bad guy, if pepper/apple said it was time to go it was.

However above said old friend/enemy once told me it was bonkers and an utterly stupid thing to do, treating ds like a dog (?!) I myself use a timer even now a lot, like I'll clean for such and such time, then take a break, so I never thought this was odd at all especially it's not like we used it for everything we asked ds to do. But it always bothered me that she thought it was demeaning to ds and bonkers. Do you think it was?

Viviene12 Sun 01-Jan-17 21:31:17

Nope. I love the idea - thanks for sharing. I'm going to use it too! :-)

Oysterbabe Sun 01-Jan-17 21:32:20

I think it's a good idea.

DonkeyOaty Sun 01-Jan-17 21:34:07

No of course not! Pay no further mind to your frenemy.

We used to say 10 mins (both hands up with digits aloft) then 5 mins (one hand) then 2 mins (rabbit ear fingers) and off. How is your timer any different? If it was bonkers and stupid then I'll wear that t shirt proudly hahaha.

SquinkiesRule Sun 01-Jan-17 21:34:33

Great idea, she's jealous she didn't think of it first.

PurpleMinionMummy Sun 01-Jan-17 21:34:56

No. I count down all the time. I don't actually use a timer but for kids who do bettter with visual cues it's probably better to have one.

Kittyp75 Sun 01-Jan-17 21:35:48

Nope I think this is genius and will be trying it out on my dc when he's old enough to understand. Thanks for the tip

PorkyScratchings Sun 01-Jan-17 21:36:23

My youngest has ADHD and Aspergers and when he was younger the timer was an absolute godsend. If we told him it was time to stop/start etc he would have a melt-down but if the timer 'said' it then for some reason he was fine with it. I too still use one for boring housework when I'm struggling to get motivated.
You are totally not unreasonable and your friend sounds really unpleasant.

ginfan Sun 01-Jan-17 21:37:28

It's something you're encouraged to do as a teacher. Not necessarily use a timer, but to give a clear idea about how long is left on an activity so there isn't a shock when time is up.
I give regular verbal reminders to my toddler about what's going to happen next, that he's going to be putting toys away to go out soon etc., and find it helps. I'd imagine having a timer is a nice way to prompt / manage expectations.
Some people will find a negative in whatever you do.

ILoveAGoodBrusselSprout Sun 01-Jan-17 21:37:36

I'm a mum of 5 and I've never thought of this. I wish I had! It sounds a great idea and you're right, it means you're not the 'bad guy' which I hate to be.

Well done! She's a cow

Bubbinsmakesthree Sun 01-Jan-17 21:37:39

Totally good idea! Small children often struggle with transitions and giving them a time warning often helps with this. Some people just give verbal countdowns, some people use music - nothing at all wrong with a timer.

(And I honestly sound like a dog trainer with my toddler DS sometimes! grin )

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sun 01-Jan-17 21:37:57

I love a timer , when my ds's were little and as an aid in the classroom I work in.

She's best ignored.

user1477282676 Sun 01-Jan-17 21:38:50

No weird at all. I was advised by my DDs teacher to use one when she was taking hours over a ten minute homework. It's a way of letting them "see" time.

teacher54321 Sun 01-Jan-17 21:40:41

I use the timer on my phone all the time for activities for Ds who is 4. He knows then that it's time to stop on the iPad or whatever and then moves on without much fuss at all. He also likes racing the stopwatch for things like getting dressed etc.

Raheesmyboy Sun 01-Jan-17 21:40:51

I do that with brushing my 3 years old teeth, have done since his first tooth came out. Since hes been 2, i put the timer on my phone for 3 minutes, and brush his teeth until timer beeps, then he turns it off himself

I find nothing wrong with a timer no matter what its used for

Mumzypopz Sun 01-Jan-17 21:45:12

I used to use a similar system, no timer as such, but would say"You have 10 more minutes playing etc....Worked much better than going out and saying "I want you in now". It gave him time to get used to the idea and reduced tantrums and refusals.

seastargirl Sun 01-Jan-17 21:45:42

We have a 5/10 and 15 minute sand/egg timer, first of all we used it for my little boy who couldn't play independently at all, we now use it when the kids are going through a fighting stage, we want them to play together nicely until the sands cleared, it makes a massive difference to them.

I've also used it for sleeping when they were still needing but not really wanting naps. If they were awake by the time the sands went through then they could come down, they always fell asleep watching it.

So, no I don't think you're made for doing it, anything that makes your life easier is sensible in my opinion!

TowerRavenSeven Sun 01-Jan-17 21:46:17

Thank you all so much for your replies. I used to think we lived in a parallel universe, (as in our immediate neighbors) and dh and me. That's only a sample of things she told us (we didn't have any friends because she never saw any cars in our drive) but it wasn't limited to her it was our other neighbors as well!

After awhile you start wondering if you are the ones missing something, you know? So thank you.

Masketti Sun 01-Jan-17 21:48:17

My DD 3.5 needs a timer in the sense I give her a 10/5/2/1 minute warning before something. A fun timer makes it even more like fun I would say. Not weird at all! Kids like knowing what's going to happen next.

Grilledaubergines Sun 01-Jan-17 21:50:26

What a good idea. Quite pissed off that mine are too old for timers now!

Jayfee Sun 01-Jan-17 21:51:44

I love the idea.

SuperFlyHigh Sun 01-Jan-17 22:02:20

No it's a great fun idea. I'd use it if I had kids.

HardcoreLadyType Sun 01-Jan-17 22:20:08

When my DC were in reception, the teacher had a big egg timer that was used to time them getting changed in and out of gym kit.

I never used one, but I have often given my DC a warning that they have 5 minutes left, or that dinner will be in 10 minutes, or whatever.

A timer is a good idea, as it is visual. They can see how much of the time is left, very clearly.

Does your frenemy have children? I'm guessing not.

debbs77 Sun 01-Jan-17 22:30:12

Well that's a genius idea! I have six children and my youngest two can be difficult in the mornings. Brilliant solution!

MotherFuckingChainsaw Sun 01-Jan-17 22:33:53

I use my phone/ iPad all the time for this.

They are both set to quack like a duck on 'time' I just say to DS ' duck timer, 5 minutes' and he knows how long he has to brush teeth etc.

As a party recently 3 kids including my own were squabbling taking turns on a toy. I just said to mine, right ' duck timer then off and let Harry play' and he kindly explained to the others how it works. WW3 averted and the other mums asking me how I'd done it. They were all furtling about with their phones setting up for later !

I think I got the idea on here tbh

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