Learning Apps & Tools

“I’m Tired Of Reminding Her to Do Things”

These handy watches replace nagging with vibrating, ringing, and even texting features that help kids remember to stay on task, take their medication, and re-focus their attention.

Man with ADHD looking at watch on wrist outside



Reviewer: Nancy, mom of Jason, 14

The Challenge: My son’s teachers have told me that he “spaces out” in class, and I’m worried that he will fall behind. Cell phones are prohibited in class, and a beeping alarm would be disruptive to everyone.

The Solution: The WatchMinder3 looks like a sports watch, so Jason didn’t mind wearing it to school. You can set a silent, vibrating alarm — he programmed it to go off every 20 minutes during class — as well as pre-programmed messages. He chose PYATTN (“pay attention”). The vibrating alarm nudges him out of his daydreams — at least for a few minutes. There’s also a mode for 30 daily reminders, and we set one for taking medication. The watch is rechargeable and you can create your own personal messages.

[Total Recall: Great Gadgets to Jog Your Memory]

VibraLITE 3 Watch


Reviewer: Cynthia, mom of Chas, 15, and Katy, 13

The Challenge: My kids lose their watches or won’t wear them — maybe because they see them as annoying reminders from me! I want them to remember to do things on their own.

The Solution: We were mainly interested in the stopwatch function of the VibraLITE, with a silent, vibrating buzzer to notify you of the time. Katy was excited to try it, but she found it too complicated to set up. Chas figured it out easily, but the watch wasn’t his style — so Katy wore it. Katy had trouble setting the watch with one hand while wearing it on the other. Larger buttons or an easier set-up process would help. The vibrating buzzer does alert Katy to the time and helps her stay on track — when she remembers to set it.

[Beat the Clock with These High-Tech Timers]

Cadex 12-Alarm Watch

Reviewer: Stephen, dad of Jeanne, 13

The Challenge: My daughter forgets to do simple chores — taking out the garbage — and to take medication. I am tired of reminding her to do things.

The Solution: I needed something (besides me) to nag Jeanne to get things done. What I like about Cadex is the alarm, which rings every three minutes (for up to four hours), reinforced by a text message, up to 36 characters long, that appears on the face. Jeanne, even at her most distracted, can’t ignore both the auditory and visual prompts. When she finally takes out the garbage, she presses the FORWARD button on the watch to stop the alarm and text messages. At school, she takes her meds quickly when the alarm goes off, to avoid being embarrassed in front of classmates. Jeanne still doesn’t do all of her chores, but, thanks to the watch, I get an occasional reprieve from being a 24/7 nag.

NOTE: This article was last updated in June 2013

4 Comments & Reviews

  1. There is now the Octopus watch by Joy. Parent sets visual pictures for the child tonuse tonremind them of their daily routine. It vibrates every minute according to what you set it to do. You control it via your android or apply phone or tablet, then sync it and it can also be recharge it. The vibrations are discreate and it minimisss my nagging. Though she has become accustomed to it recently.

  2. These watches have the features we want: conspicuous reminders that teachers approve of, text reminders that kiddos need and absolutely no additional features that distract. However, after purchasing two VibraLITEs and two WatchMinders for our pre-teen daughter, we can attest to the fact that they are not quality watches. They are being used in a normal way, nothing rough, not around water, just to school and back. They are incredibly helpful but only a few months at a time (our last WatchMinder lasted only two months). We were considering the Cadex next, although we just might decide to stop throwing money away and go with a brand name instead, even if the features are not ideal. PLEASE someone share a brand they are happy with!

  3. I have a watch recommendation that worked great for me! It’s a Casio daily alarm (link at the bottom).

    TL;DR: Casio watch is a cheap, durable, no-frills, convenient option that has been around for years and worked *really* well for this reader.

    My Review

    Some background: Young adult trying to juggle combined-type ADHD, school, work, social life, and remembering to feed my betta fish (among other things). Struggles with time blindness, getting things done, forgetfulness focusing (duh), and getting enough sleep. Has destroyed and/or lost several watches, while simultaneously being fascinated with beautiful, old, wood clocks.

    What I love about this watch: It’s sleek and sporty, fairly inexpensive ($10 bucks at Walmart; let me know if you find a better buy), fits comfortably, seems pretty indestructible, is an old model made by a reliable brand, it could work for men or women, *awesome* quick timer feature (more on this in features), and it WORKS!

    What I don’t love: The alarm just isn’t loud enough to wake me up. Granted, I am a pretty heavy sleeper, but still…

    You won’t like it if: You have trouble reading (the watch is SMALL), you want a “smart” watch, you really want it for the alarm clock (sorry), you are a guy who has issues wearing a watch intended for women (it doesn’t look like it at all, fyi!) you want more color options (it comes in black, black, or black), or you want something else…?

    You will like it if: You want a nice, convenient, reliable, inexpensive, minimalist watch that helps you keep track of time without any of the bells or whistles (which will just break anyway!).

    Features: *Quiet* alarm clock, stopwatch, date, time (duh), am/pm, water resistant, black (plastic?) band, hourly chime (which I turned off- it was annoying), and the TIMER! I wrote this in all caps because it is so awesome. It’s a button at the top that you press- once for 1-minute timer, twice for three, three for five minutes, four for 10, five for 15, six for 20, and seven for 30. I LOVE THAT BUTTON. Helps me get things done!

    Sorry this got so long, I just love my watch!

    Here are some links. The first one is to my watch, the second is to all the Casio watches at Walmart (great place for cheap Casio watches), and the third is to the Casio website. Good luck finding a watch, and I hope this helped!


Leave a Reply