Beat the Clock: Helping Kids be Responsible

Teaching Delayed Gratification

Doing homework often requires the mature concept of delayed gratification. We all hate some of our responsibilities, but we still need to do them. That’s why Dorothy Rich of Megaskills: Building Our Children’s Character and Achievement for School and Life recommends setting a time limit on how much time kids will spend on what they hate to do as a great way to motivate them to get their responsibilities finished.

Rich recommends making up a game to beat the clock when asking the kids to pick up their toys. For example, set an egg timer for three-minutes and see how many they can put away in that time. Once the bell rings, stop cleaning, no matter if all the toys are put away or not. Move on to a fun activity the child looks forward to.

Not only does this activity teach the concept of delayed gratification but it accomplishes a task that needs to be done.

You can get your own copy of the book by clicking links above or below:

Megaskills: Building Our Children’s Character and Achievement for School and Life


  1. This is really helpful! One of my friends who nannies in New York City also has a brilliant blog post on learning patience with the children and teaching them to be patient themselves. It might be helpful!

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