When Madeline gets out of bed, the first thing she does is set her digital timer for 12 minutes and then head into the kitchen. Her mother, Jennifer, puts breakfast on the table and Madeline knows that when the timer goes off, it's time to leave the table and get dressed, whether she's finished eating or not. To keep Madeline focused, the timer gives her five-minute and two-minute warning signals. She also knows she can come back to the table to clean her plate only after she has finished putting her clothes on.
"Until we came up with the idea of a timer, we fought about breakfast almost every morning," Jennifer recalls. "Now things go more smoothly because Madeline loves the sense of control she gets from setting her own timer and helping herself follow a schedule."