The Five Minute Rule

The Five Minute Rule

The five minute rule evolved to help me and my kids deal with "sharing" problems. When one child wants to play with a toy, game, etc that another child is playing with, they say, "five minute rule" and this means that you have to give up that toy to the other child in five minutes. Sometimes mommy has to set the timer for five minutes so everyone knows how much time has passed.

Any child can invoke the five minute rule. For a favorite toy, this means a lot of back and forth after five minutes. The five minute rule cuts down on one child grabbing a toy from another one. It teaches delayed gratification because the child has to wait for the toy that they want. It also helps with one child refusing to let another one play with a toy and it encourages the children to try to figure out how to play together with a toy so they won't have to stop playing with the toy after five minutes.

One thing that is really great about this rule is whenever a child comes to me about a sibling not sharing, I say "We have the five minute rule in our house and I set the timer. This cuts down on how much I have to referee.