How do your kids handle it when you say that screen time is over? Our 6 year old son does not handle it well. We are met with much resistance and there is usually screaming, kicking, and throwing things. After this, it becomes challenging to engage with him in any other activity. This event seems to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be like that? Enter the Time Timer to our lives. Once we started using the Time Timer, transitions became much easier and fun. Our son is given the expectation for the allotted time in the activity he is engaging in. He is able to visualize the time changing prior to the transition, and then he receives the audio of the beep to alert 🚨 him when time is up. Much better than mom and dad yelling out to him!
Setting Expectations To Be On The Same Page
When we offer screen time or any other preferred activity to our children without openly communicating when that time will end, are we honestly surprised that they are upset when that moment comes for them to abruptly end their show or put down their favorite toy? As an adult with ADHD, I can relate to this when I am watching a movie with my wife and she wants to stop it mid way to go to bed… I am met with this strong desire to finish the movie! I can’t be left hanging! My ADHD hyperfocus gets locked in and wants to know the end results of the movie or show!
Visualize the Time Changing
Children can have a hard time grasping the concept of time. When parents say “20 more minutes”, the child might be left to wonder, OK- but how long is 20 minutes? It can still feel surprising whenever that time is up. The nice part about the Time Timer is it is a red block of time, and then the red sliver decreases as the time gets shorter. Our son is able to look at the Time Timer and see that his time is decreasing, which leads to less surprises or unpredictable expectations. As an adult with ADHD, a Time Timer has also helped me with my time blindness. It can be challenging to know how much time is left when I’m working on a project or if I have a call coming up. Setting the Time Timer dial to a specific amount of time helps me to have a constant grasp and visual representation on where I am with time for that particular task. I have encouraged my ADHD coaching clients to use it as well, and I have seen great results!
Hear the beep to stop!
Why should I be the bearer of bad news that TV time has ended when Time Timer can do it for me? Instead of mom or dad going down to tell our son TV time is up, when he hears the beep, he knows that time has come. How many times have I told myself I’m going to stop at this time to leave for an appointment or do another task and then get caught up in trying to finish for another hour? It’s not easy! For those of us with ADHD, if we are really grooving in our current task, it is so hard to stop it. The Time Timer audio helps to let me know when that time has come. Another trick I will do is set the bedroom alarm in another room on for a particular time that I want to be done working. The beeping annoys me so badly that I have no other choice than to end my task to go turn it off.
We are so glad the Time Timer has come into our lives to help ease the transition for both the children and the adults in our house. It has helped ease the transition of ending screen time for our kids and also it has helped my ADHD clients and myself to better manage their time throughout the day!
Don’t just take my word for it, try Time Timer yourself!
About Ryan Mayer
Ryan Mayer, a certified ADHD coach through ADDCA, ICF, and PAAC, is on a mission to empower others with ADHD toward their greatness.
His Performance and Mindset coaching system, Conquer Your ADHD™️ helps individuals navigate through the storms in their lives caused by ADHD.
Having ADHD himself, Ryan calls on personal experience to equip his clients - who may feel like they are constantly falling short at work and at home - with the strategies to work with their unique brains to step into the happier life that they deserve. Learn more at: https://ryanmayercoaching.com