Ever try to get your children to get going on their homework or straighten up their rooms when they’d rather be doing something else?
Fun, right? More like pulling teeth. Every mom knows the frustration, not to mention the typical strategies. Coaxing – usually leads to whining. Yelling – automatic tuneout. Threats and punishment – fights and/or sulking. Cheerleading – occasionally successful, but not a guarantee. Giving up – resentment for Mom, and the rooms remain a mess.
But Michelle Duggar has found a strategy that works for her, and for a mother of 19 children, that’s saying something.
In her weekly blog on the family’s website, Michelle reveals her key to motivational success: using a stopwatch or timer to help the kids get their work done in small increments of time.
We’ll set a kitchen timer or use a stop watch when the kids need some motivation to start a project, practice an instrument or focus on schoolwork. They may think, “I might not be able to do this for three hours, but I can do this for 15 minutes.” That’s what’s so great about using a timer — it helps us to start on the task, which is usually the hardest part.
Michelle notes that the timer is a real help when it comes to the kids’ homeschooling. Encouraging them to beat their own individual times in a spelling drill keeps them focused on their own progress rather than on worrying about how they match up against their siblings. She sets the clock for household chores as well: “We’ll have a basket of socks, and I’ll set the timer….We’ll put the time on a chart so they can see how fast they matched the socks, and it’s a chart just for them that they don’t share with anyone else.”
But the Duggar matriarch does have limits when it comes to her personal timepiece. “If Jim Bob and I are out on a very special date and we’re all dressed up in our fancies, I’ll take my wristwatch off because it is so ugly,” she confesses.
Do we hear a Mother’s Day gift hint here?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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