The Kitchen Timer

Those of us with kids with ADHD know what a chore it is to keep them on task. These kids need constant reminding and motivation to get them to do what they are supposed to be doing.

At my house we use the kitchen timer for just about everything. The timer goes on after I wake my sons up. They have 1 minute to get out of bed or they lose fifty cents of their allowance. The timer goes back on after they are served breakfast. They have 5 minutes to take their vitamins and eat their breakfast or they lose money. They have 5 minutes to gather up their belongings and get out the door for school. You get the picture.

This may sound like my home is some kind of a boot camp. It is not. They have down time in between the timer minutes and the timer assures them, and me, that we will get done what is absolutely necessary in the morning in order that we get to school on time.

My hyperactive son is always out of bed and ready without much prompting. The primarily inattentive son really needs the timer to keep him moving. The hyperactive son updates the inattentive son on the time that is elapsing, "Dude, you better eat faster, you only got 90 seconds left."

They rarely lose money anymore and we are never late to school. More importantly, my life is a picnic since I started the timer routine. Sometimes money will not motivate your child. When money did not motivate mine they lost play dates or screen time. They really hate losing screen time so this is a very powerful motivator at my house.

Get to know your kitchen timer. It will save your life!!!


  1. Thanks Tess. Your description of how it works, in just making sure the essentials get done, is quite enlightening. For me that is the missing link in understanding. This is the first time this kind of approach has made sense to me. NOW I get it. {smile}

  2. It was refreshing to fing your 20 year old is ad/hd and Just to hear of your success in mastering the skill sets needed to still handloe life is inspiring. I wish I could get her to accept the condition and take whatever measures can make life easier.....Not that its easy for anyone(ad/hd or not!)


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