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Coach Mom Newsletter - DEC 2011

Time Management Tool Talk:
The Timer

“Teach us to number our days aright, O Lord, that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

If you have read Coach Mom or have been in any of my classes, you know I have a thing about timers. I guess it has a lot to do with trying to making every minute count.  Below are a few of my favorite ways a timer can help the home run a little smoother.

What can a timer do?

  • Motivates me to get the dishwasher unloaded (what’s three minutes?)

  • Motivates me to begin an overwhelming job (I can stop for today after my thirty minutes is up).

  • Measures practice time (I know it seems like thirty minutes, but you’ve actually only practiced fifteen.)

  • Keeps the peace for children sharing turns on an iPad.

  • Signals bath time or bedtime.

  • Gives a young student an alarm when he has completed his required daily reading time.

  • Alerts potty trainers that it’s time to go again.

  • Counts down five minutes when I’m trying to see if the baby who awakened cranky (halfway into her nap) will go back to sleep.

  • Reminds me to take a child to a soccer practice or a birthday party.

  • Monitors Facebook time (having decided on the minute limit ahead of time).

  • Monitors Pinterest time (yes, that one, too!)

  • Gives me five minutes to cool down before addressing a disobedient child, in order to deal with him in love.

  • Gives children a goal time to have a conflict resolved (with consequences for not meeting that goal).

  • Monitors children’s screen time.

  • Alerts me to when my 20-minute “retreat” in the middle of a demanding day is over (time to put down that great book or stop playing the piano and get some work done).

  • Counts down 10 minutes for us as the children and I tidy the house, seeing how much progress we can make.

  • Tells me when I can stop my 20-minute drawer organizing that day (now that wasn’t so bad…and look at the progress I made.)

  • Gives me a signal 15 minutes before we need to load the car for church.

  • Tells me when my 30-minute workout is over.

  • Helps a child who has a hard time focusing on homework (“Now see how much you can get done in the next 10 minutes….”)

  • Signals an elementary child playing at a neighbor’s house when it is time for him to return home for dinner.

And, oh, now I hear it…

  • Signals when it is time to finish this article and leave for the grocery store in order to be back by the time kids get home from school. (Gotta go!)

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Introducing the Time Tracker


A cool tool tip I got from the last Coach Mom small group in McKinney? The Time Tracker for moms. (Hmmm, a great mom Christmas gift, perhaps?)  Here are the details:

  • Includes three timers with light and optional audio alarms, 30-second warning, and belt clips and wristbands for easy portability.

  • Lets you easily program and monitor each timer via the base station (not that any of our little angels would ever take minutes off a timer when practicing piano.)

  • Helps children develop a sense of elapsed time.

Ready to order? They are currently under $40 at 42% off. Click here.

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Ask Coach Mom

Dear Coach Mom,

I have always enjoyed a close relationship with my boys. But it seems the last few years they are closing up, and we are drifting apart. My seventh grader often has angry outbursts, and even my fourth grader seems frustrated with life much of the time, but I can’t get them to open up and talk to me about what is going on. How can I reach them?


Dear Patricia,

Find a way to interact with your boys in a non-threatening way -- something other than face-to-face. Boys in general are not the best communicators, so it takes a little more strategy.

Reaching out to your middle school son through texting might be a great way to let him know you are thinking of him and care about how he is doing – even if he’s just sitting on the other side of the room with his headphones on. Ask a few questions, and he can answer when he is ready. Drop a little text prayer or an encouraging Bible verse with an affirmation that you know he’s got what it takes to get through whatever he is encountering.

You might consider a journal for interacting with your younger son. My friend Monica started this one time when her son was going through a difficult period. She gave a journal to him and told him he could write in it whatever he was going through and feeling and then leave it in a certain place when he was ready for her to know those things. After reading, she would write in it and leave it in a certain place for him to read it. She might write an encouraging word, a verse, or a prayer. They have continued with it through the years, using it sometimes more than others, and it has been quite successful.  I believe reaching out in these ways will bless your relationships in more ways than you can imagine.


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Merry Christmas from the Stulls

Click picture to view the Stull's Christmas Letter on Brenna's Blog.

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