Our oldest two children requested watches out of the blue one year for their fifth birthdays. Their grandparents (because we don’t give our kids gifts) were happy to oblige, and the kids were obsessed.
With a little tutoring, they figured out how to tell time fairly quickly, and have been watching the clock ever since. Their younger brother joined the club a few years later and now we have three kids, each with their own watch. And it’s amazing for so many reasons — some for them, and some for me!
- A Watch Helps With Anxiety. One of my kiddos battles with some anxiety issues and having a watch has helped. He uses knowing what time it is to center himself and track the schedule at school, without asking his teacher what comes next a million times a day. We also use it as a timing device when he is overwhelmed with tasks. We’ll say, “Work as hard as you can until your watch says 4:35 p.m. and then you can stop.” It really helps, and it’s so simple!
- A Watch Keeps Me On Track. As most kids do, mine want to talk to me “rightnow”basically all the time. WhileI listen when I can, sometimes I need to finish a task or focus on something else. Now I can say “Ask me again in five minutes,” and they will. While this does ruin the mom game of five minutes lasting two hours, it’s proved worth it because they know that I will stop and listen the next time they remind me and are pretty respectful of giving me the time I need.
- A Watch Lights Up In the Dark. Literally. While our watches don’t have too many bells and whistles, a small button does light it up at nighttime (or nap time). For kids who can be a bit scared of the dark, even this little light can be soothing and give them a touchstone when they need it. It’s like a little friend on your wrist!
- A Watch Teaches Responsibility. I love being able to tell my kids when they can come out of their rooms, eat breakfast, turn on the television, etc. and hold them accountable for managing their time. We talk about what they should be doing every 10 minutes or so as they get ready in the morning, and they check their watches constantly to make sure they’re on track. We also use this trick when they’re given a specific area to roam. At the park (because Dream Park is gigantic people) I tell them to check in with me every 15 minutes. When they’re playing at the neighbors’ house, they have to come home at a certain time. The watch gives them autonomy, and it’s fantastic.
- A Watch Will Reduce Questions. The age may differ, but most children go through a time-obsessed at one point or another. You will hear, “What time is it?” “How much longer?” “When are five minutes up?” over and over and over again. Personally, I would do a lot to reduce the number of times my kids say “mommy” during the day, so this reason might just be the only one you need.
So, what are you waiting for? Go buy your kid a watch!