Many of the difficulties we have as children will stick with us for life – we just learn strategies to overcome. As parents we need to give our children these strategies, these tools, to help them now and for the rest of their life. If our children are easily distracted, what external structure will help?

A routine – having set times (roughly speaking) where certain activities are expected helps a child to grow in self governance. Whether you are directed by a clock or by a sequence of events if the child knows this sequence they can use it to help them stay on track, they know what is happening in their day. They know when food is expected, they know when they are to study, to play, and to relax.

A timer – I love timers! Each of my children has a timer and they are expected to use it as they learn self discipline in any new area. They are allowed 1/2 hour on the computer a day (free and fun time), they use the timer so they don’t abuse this privilege. They use a timer to pace themselves through their day; their piano practice, their reading time, to remind them to do a chore, etc. Another reason I like timers is that they make a noise that penetrates my world and I can use their timer to help me check in on them and encourage them to stay on track.

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