How I get my kids out of the house on time without being the bad guy

How I get my kids out of the house on time without being the bad guy

Last fall, we were having a terrible time getting ready for school on time in the early mornings. The kids and I were always having to rush to get out the door and it was not a pretty sight.

So I decided to go high tech. I set some timers.

I recorded a quick video to tell you how we use timers to stay on track and be on time in the mornings.

Now I don’t have to be the bad guy and nag my kids and we get out of the house on time!

What I love about this system.

My kids are much more independent!

My kids don’t need me to tell them when they have to get moving. They have taken ownership of their needs in the morning. They make sure to grab their lunches (and they pack them, too) and take responsibility for most of their things.

This is so helpful for me.

I can enjoy spending a few minutes with the kids in the morning while they eat and pack lunches without stressing that they aren’t moving fast enough.

The timer does all the reminding!

I don’t need to watch the clock and I don’t need to nag or remind kids to get moving. It has really changed our morning dynamic. No one gets mad at a ringing alarm (we use a pleasant bell sound) so it helps keep the mood more positive.

All the timers have a little cushion of time built in so we have a couple extra minutes if a shoe is missing or something. This is part of my strategy for getting out of the house with kids in tow.

You can change the alarm sound.

If you need obnoxious and un-ignorable, you can find the right sound. Or maybe you want a more gentle reminder. Pick a more pleasant sound. You can even customize each timer with a different sound.

I’m using the timer app that’s built into my Android phone, but you’ll find plenty of other choices if you ask Google.

Other timers I’ve set on my phone:

  • An alert to remember to bring out the trash. Eww – don’t want to forget this one!
  • Bill due dates. Just in case I haven’t already paid a bill, this will make sure I don’t miss a due date.

We’ve also been using a fun timer app for kids so my youngest can get a visual idea of how long he has to wait for something (time until a playdate, time until quiet time is over, etc.)

Do you use timers with your family?

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6 thoughts on “How I get my kids out of the house on time without being the bad guy”

  1. What a great idea! So far we have only used timers for timed tests and music lessons. I have been trying to foster more independence in my children and this sounds like a great solution. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Sarah, I just shared this on my facebook page-https://www.facebook.com/pages/Understanding-Dyslexia/738455196165454 as this is a great idea for students who have executive function challenges.

  3. We were horrible at this when my son was younger. We were 5 minutes from school and had a doughnut shop on the way. It was so easy to go slow in the morning and then take him to school. Especially when you can stop for doughnuts on the way. Now that school is 15 minutes away we are both better about getting him to the bus. 🙂


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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