I am a big fan of the Countdown Warning, which has been extremely successful for me. Let’s say your kids are playing in their rooms while you are getting dressed in the morning, and you have told them that in 10 minutes, they need to have shoes on and head to the car for school. You would then make announcements every few minutes so that they stay on task and know what is to come. The one minute warning is then spoken which tells kids to start finishing up whatever they are playing with and start cleaning up. When you make your last announcement and time is up, re-iterate what you expect from your kids. For example, “Okay guys, time’s up. Shoes on and out the door-we don’t want to be late for school.” This method avoids surprises, whining and tears. Not only is this a great way to steer clear of a meltdown, but you will not have to listen to the always pleasant, “can we have 5 more minutes, 1 more minute…..PLEASE Mommy!!!!” This technique can be used in any situation and as many times a day as needed. The more you practice and utilize the countdown, the better your results.
We moms can get a lot accomplished in just a few minutes and that is why every minute is so important. Did you ever wish you could just find some extra time, even that minute or two? Another great tip is to set your watch ahead 5 minutes. If you are running a few minutes late, which occurs pretty much every morning in my house, you are actually on time. This method can be helpful with your countdown too since if allows for last minute needs, like having to run back in the house to grab your child’s project you left on the kitchen table, or to feed the dog who is giving you a dirty look.
Try these tips and watch your routine change from stressful to successful.
Thanks for reading!