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5 Innovative Ways Parents Can Use a Kitchen Timer to Restore Order

Parenting is a challenging job any day…but when your kids are fighting with each other and can’t seem to get along, here’s a quick fix solution that can restore balance and harmony to their day and yours..

stop sibling rivalry

All you need is an old-fashioned kitchen timer. In each instance, add one minute to the age of the youngest child involved and set the timer. For example, your son is eight and your daughter is six. They have been arguing about who will get to go first in the game they want to play…and even though you have admonished them, they are starting to push each other. You will be setting the timer for seven minutes…six plus one equals seven

  1. Back to back
  2. They sit on chairs, back to back, in silence.

    Set the timer.

  3. Facing each other
  4. They sit on chairs, facing each other, and make faces at each other, in silence.

    Set the timer.

  5. Taking turns
  6. If you have a pet, they take turns petting the dog or cat, in silence.

    Set the timer.

  7. Silence
  8. They each jump rope, in silence.

    Set the timer.

  9. Exercise
  10. They hop up and down, in silence.

    Set the timer.
    When the timer goes off, tempers will have cooled off and you can encourage them to find a better way to pick who goes first…rock, paper, scissors anyone?

    kids fight

Vivian Kirkfield

I'm a mom ­of three, ­educator, ­parenting ­speaker an­d author o­f Show Me ­How! Build­ Your Chil­d's Self-E­steem Thro­ugh Readin­g, Craftin­g and Cook­ing. I lo­ve sharing­ my passio­n for util­izing pict­ure books ­and positi­ve parenta­l particip­ation to b­uild self-­esteem, de­velop pre-­literacy s­kills and ­strengthen­ the paren­t-child co­nnection. ­ I enjoy h­iking and ­fly-fishin­g in the C­olorado Ro­ckies when­ I'm not r­eading, cr­afting and­ cooking w­ith kids. ­ My next w­riting pro­ject is a ­picture bo­ok/board b­ook for to­ddlers and­ I just re­turned fro­m taking t­he Show-Me­-How Story­-time with­ Miss Vivi­an program­ "on ­the road&q­uot; to Ch­icago.
Connect with me on:
Twitter | Google +

18 comments

  • Haha this brings back memories. My dad would make my twin sister and sit next to each other in silence. He usually did this when we were unreasonably loud/argued. I wish he did the timer though because sometimes we would end up falling asleep on the couch out of boredom lol.

  • Great idea. I thought about this but never put it to work. I’m gonna start using the kitchen timer coz my two girls are fighting all the time. I just hope they don’t fight again coz’ I’m sure they want to each touch the kitchen timer. LOL.

  • Great ideas! We used a timer when our kids were little to give a 15 minute warning for bedtime. When they were older we used it to monitor video game time. Funny, I never used it in the kitchen.

  • So I lucky as a Mom because I have an only child and I don’t have to worry about this but when he was little I did use the microwave timer for him. Using his age and he set on the steps. Uncomfy and he learned quickly not to behave. Great tips for sibling rivalry!

  • Using a kitchen timer is a really smart idea! My son is an only child, so I don’t have to deal with sibling rivalry on a daily basis, only when he gets together with my cousin (also an only). I do use timers for a ton of other things though, including in his cyber schooling.

  • What great ideas. I especially love the ones where they have to be active. Face to face would turn into silly faces and uncontrollable laughter in my home… but that would probably be a good way to restore order for sure!

  • I use my phone timer for many things around the house. I need to get a traditional timer, though, so that the kids can see it while it is ticking. It has helped with the sibling bickering!

  • These are great ideas! We always use the kitchen timer to set how long one child’s turn is to make sure they get equal time, but never tried any of the ideas you’ve listed.

  • I homeschooled my kids for ten years and used the kitchen timer for everything. My oldest uses it still to make sure he spends enough time practicing piano. My second uses the timer for everything — how long to study AND how long to take a break! The youngest still occasionally needs a nap (she’s a high energy 8) and always falls asleep if I set the timer and assure her she can get up if she’s still awake when it goes off. If I don’t set the timer, she worries that we’ll leave her in bed and won’t fall asleep.

    I use it now to keep myself on track with work!

    Excellent tool!!!

  • About Author

    Vivian Kirkfield

    I'm a mom ­of three, ­educator, ­parenting ­speaker an­d author o­f Show Me ­How! Build­ Your Chil­d's Self-E­steem Thro­ugh Readin­g, Craftin­g and Cook­ing. I lo­ve sharing­ my passio­n for util­izing pict­ure books ­and positi­ve parenta­l particip­ation to b­uild self-­esteem, de­velop pre-­literacy s­kills and ­strengthen­ the paren­t-child co­nnection. ­ I enjoy h­iking and ­fly-fishin­g in the C­olorado Ro­ckies when­ I'm not r­eading, cr­afting and­ cooking w­ith kids. ­ My next w­riting pro­ject is a ­picture bo­ok/board b­ook for to­ddlers and­ I just re­turned fro­m taking t­he Show-Me­-How Story­-time with­ Miss Vivi­an program­ "on ­the road&q­uot; to Ch­icago.
    Connect with me on:
    Twitter | Google +

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