“Shoe Alarms” to Get Kids Out the Door

I’ve been reading a blog called Rookie Moms since my first son was born. Recently, they had a post about using “Shoe Time Music” to get their kids moving out the door. They set an alarm to sound when it’s time to put on coats and shoes and walk to the car/bus/what have you. shoes in grass

I’ll tell you, now that I have three kids, getting out the door is challenging. Everyone always needs to poop just before the school bus is due to arrive. Or else I can’t find someone’s snack or diapers. It’s all a chaotic mess.

Add to that my oldest son, who gets to use the iPad once he’s dressed, eaten breakfast, and brushed his teeth. He does not want to stop using the iPad just because it’s time to leave the house.

So I decided to try some of these phone alarms to get my kids moving. Woah! What a difference!

I set the alarm on my phone to sound 2 minutes before we need to leave to walk somewhere or 5 minutes before we need to leave to drive somewhere (because getting into the car is EXPONENTIALLY more difficult than getting everyone to start walking down the street).

All of a sudden, it’s not me suggesting we need to leave. It’s the shoe alarm! Can’t argue with the shoe alarm! The shoe alarm is not subjective, the shoe alarm can’t negotiate, and the shoe alarm waits for no lost dolls or skid loaders. The shoe alarm just goes, and keeps going until I turn it off.

I’ve even got my kids invested in the power of the shoe alarm. If one of them doesn’t spring into action when it sounds, the other will say, “You have to get moving! The shoe alarm is going off!!!”

I have adjusted the shoe alarm timing for winter, since it takes so much longer to put fleece and hats and layers on so many young kids.

Thankfully (I think?) my oldest son has inherited my anxiety about being late, so the shoe alarm reminds him that the school bus is going to come really soon and if he doesn’t get moving, he will miss that bus. My second is only 2 years old, so it’s hard to say whether he cares about such things. What if he’s like his father and just doesn’t mind being tardy for things? Who knows if the shoe alarm will continue to work.

For now, I love it. Thanks for the idea, Rookie Moms!

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