“It’s normally one of the last things we ask when we are packing to go away. But really it should be one of the first.”

Today, I wanted to introduce you to a fantastic tool that has been a game-changer for our family, and it might just revolutionise yours too. It’s a simple yet incredibly effective item – the timer.

We have two timers, one that shows the amount of time left to tick down in red and one that shows the minutes and seconds remaining.

“We use them to help manage Lucas’s expectations and we use them every single day.”

Let me share some instances where timers have become our trusty sidekicks:

  • Before dinner time

Lucas, after a tiring day at school, enjoys some screen time while I prepare dinner. A timer set five minutes before it’s served lets him know it’s almost time to gather around the table. Trust me, this makes transitions much smoother!

  • At dinner time

To encourage quality family time, we set a 30-minute timer, signalling Lucas to join us. The visual timer, with its bold red block ticking down, is a clear visual cue.

  • Leaving the house

Before heading out, a timer ensures Lucas is prepared, preventing any unexpected surprises. A simple, “5 minutes, then shoes on!” is all it takes.

  • Bathtime

If Lucas could, he’d probably bounce in and out of the bath straight away. For a more structured bath routine, a 5-minute timer keeps things on track. No more bouncing in-and-out and a cleaner boy.

  • Homework and easy readers

Reading longer books can be challenging, but with timed breaks, Lucas stays engaged and focused. A 5-minute break is all it takes to recharge for the next reading session.

As you can see, timers have become an invaluable tool for our family. It’s not just for Lucas, but for all of us. They help set clear expectations and promote a smoother, more manageable daily routine.

What about your family? Do you use a timer at home? How do you make it work for you? We’re always learning from each other so please share your strategies in the comments below. Happy timing!

You can find other blog posts for Families on the Spectrum here.