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#1 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Any alternatives? When DD (3.5) isnt listening Dh uses this to get her going. I recently found out that her preschool uses it too - and she has started counting to 3 with me and it drives me NUTS! I dont like the way it sounds, and to me it is really rude. I talked to DH about it today and he asked what else we could use. Any suggestions?
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#2 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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There is a huge thread on counting to three on this page so there are probably plenty of suggestions.

I tried it a couple times but DD just thought we were practicing counting so I gave up.

I usually just give her time to comply with a reminder sometimes. If I need to get somewhere and need her cooperation I try to make it a game, a race or fun somehow.

For clean-up time I sing the clean-up song. "It's clean-up time, everybody helps" and then I describe what they are doing or what I want them to do "DS is putting the blocks away".

Wife to French hubby (8/02), Mama to DD (3/05) and DS (02/07) and (3/10)
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#3 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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IMO, counting to three (or whatever number) is a threat. Threats don't feel good to me.

The book How to Talk so your kids will listen..... has a suggestion to "say it with a word" - I've found that helps a lot. I'll ask DS to do something - please put the wrapper in the trash. I'll remind him again if he doesn't do it right away. Then I might say, "Allen, the wrapper!" and when he looks at me, b/c I got his attention, I'll say something like, "You forgot!" as if he is totally normal and it's something we all do. I might even say, "Sometimes I forget to do things, so I need a reminder." or something like that.

I've found everything is more effective when I treat him respectfully, like I'd like to be treated. If my husband counted at me b/c I was sidetracked and tuning him out, I would be really upset, so why do it to my child?

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#4 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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LMAO! I have heard people in stores using that and it cracks me up...

What happens when you get to four? Is there an "or else?".

I have never been able to wrap my brain around that little threat. But, I am sure there is a reason for it. I just haven't understood it yet.
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#5 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont understand it either - and it drives me nuts when DH does it. I guess i just needed to hear from other people WHY it is pointless. And perhaps worse than that its RUDE. Ok, off to find the big thread. Thanks girls!
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#6 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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The rudeness! That's why it bugs me so much! Wow, yeah, I sure would hate someone counting to me.

It also generally indicates a who child-rearing philosophy that's anti-GD. Check out threads here about "1-2-3 Magic", a popular parenting book that features that effing counting.
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#7 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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I don't think it's unreasonable to have a "time limit" to your "word" (from how to talk so your kids will listen...)--either they can choose to do it themselves within a reasonable time period, or you can HELP them do it if they let the time period expire. It's setting up a reasonable boundary...and if they don't accomplish their goal, you help them reach it. I don't think it's helpful to kids if they don't know what's going to happen after 3--that needs to be explained:

(after a "warning" that we're going to leave the house...)
Mom: time to go! Coat!
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: Coat!
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: (child's name), it's time to leave--it's cold outside. We must put our coats on. If you don't put it on by the time I count to three, I will help you put it on.
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: 1-2-3, (puts kid's coat on). let's go!

I don't know--I'm no expert, but kids, especially when they are boundary testing...need time boundaries as well...you could always have a different "kind" of "timer"--set a real timer, have them accomplish the goal by the end of a silly song you sing, get them to race you, make it a game, move them physically (in a fun way), something...
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#8 of 30 Old 11-25-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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#9 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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and what about counting to 3 (12, in our case, cause he loves 12) when I nurse him??

He (ds ) is 2/5 and sometimes ds2 starts crying and I want ds1 to stop nursing, so I say: I will count to 12 and we are done.
Or in the night, when I prefer to sleep and do not feel like nursing ds1 ( :-( ) (feeling touched out after nursing ds2 for hours.....) I also tell him: I will count to 12.....

IS that the same "bad"thing??

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#10 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Moonchild77 View Post
and what about counting to 3 (12, in our case, cause he loves 12) when I nurse him??

He (ds ) is 2/5 and sometimes ds2 starts crying and I want ds1 to stop nursing, so I say: I will count to 12 and we are done.
Or in the night, when I prefer to sleep and do not feel like nursing ds1 ( :-( ) (feeling touched out after nursing ds2 for hours.....) I also tell him: I will count to 12.....

IS that the same "bad"thing??
IMO, no. the counting gives them time to savor the last bit. when I'm enjoying something, I pay attention to how much is left, and try to enjoy it more before it is gone.

I'm not into counting to get compliance.
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#11 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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I don't know if this will be of any help here or not, but my mom bought a book for me titled "Have A New Kid by Friday." Then she read it first; I'm a single mom sole support of 2 sm children and mom cares for them while I work. Any rate she started to implement the ideas in the book with my children and it works. I have seen an AWESOME improvement especially with my ds.

Then again she has more patience than me. The main concept she says is: Get the child's total attention on you, then say what your going to say ONCE, than turn around and walk away.

If your child doesn't obey, you're not to raise your voice, don't threaten, remind, or lecture. You simply take action - which can be removing the child from the room for 5 minutes, taking a beloved toy off the child, forbidding a dvd or video or tv program, or an activity the child wants to do, whatever.

Then when your child asks or whines "Why?" You tell him/her "When I asked you to do 'whatever' you didn't do it, so I can't allow you this." Sometimes she has to repeat the situation a second time, but rarely a third.

Afterward, she just says "Do whatever," and he instantly does it. She doesn't raise her voice, she never counts, doesn't give him a thunderous look, just uses a normal voice and he responds.

My ds is 3 1/2, his sis is 20 months and even she understands, doesn't always follow through but with my mom they're 100% better than with me. My mom says she wishes she'd had this book when my brothers and I were little. It would have saved a lot of tears and voices [yelling and screaming].

Anyway the book is "Have A New Kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman, she got it from www.amazon.com.
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#12 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mrsfatty View Post
I don't think it's unreasonable to have a "time limit" to your "word" (from how to talk so your kids will listen...)--either they can choose to do it themselves within a reasonable time period, or you can HELP them do it if they let the time period expire. It's setting up a reasonable boundary...and if they don't accomplish their goal, you help them reach it. I don't think it's helpful to kids if they don't know what's going to happen after 3--that needs to be explained:

(after a "warning" that we're going to leave the house...)
Mom: time to go! Coat!
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: Coat!
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: (child's name), it's time to leave--it's cold outside. We must put our coats on. If you don't put it on by the time I count to three, I will help you put it on.
Kid: (ignores mom)
Mom: 1-2-3, (puts kid's coat on). let's go!

I don't know--I'm no expert, but kids, especially when they are boundary testing...need time boundaries as well...you could always have a different "kind" of "timer"--set a real timer, have them accomplish the goal by the end of a silly song you sing, get them to race you, make it a game, move them physically (in a fun way), something...
: I have a highly spirited 3 yo dd and despite my initial hesitation counting actually works. She is a child that needs boundaries and limits and like the example above, for us counting is gentle. In many cases we don't get past 2 but when it does happen, she knows what is going on.

I don't feel comfortable saying anyone who uses 123, I have been parenting almost 17 years now and I have learned that different kids require different approaches. My eldest was a laid back kid who I never had to count with but my youngest is 180 degrees from her brother.

Shay

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#13 of 30 Old 12-06-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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I am in the minority here because I do count with DS and always follow through if he doesn't listen when I get to three. I don't find it rude, I think its rude when he ignores my requests. I know that he can hear me but he chooses to not do what I ask. I always make sure to have his attention, ask him to put his "listening ears" on and if he continues to ignore me I begin to count. For about the last six months I've never had to get beyond 2.

With that being said, I really like the idea that Luv2bamommy2 suggested. It sounds like a method to ensure your child really listens to you and what you are asking.
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#14 of 30 Old 12-07-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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My husband and I count 1-2-3. However, I am uncomfortable with it and I am looking to change things up. It works very well with my son actually. We have never gotten to 3. But my husband and I often ask eachother, "What will we do if we ever get to 3?" It is a threat and we don't know what we are threatening...DS is going to test us some day and we won't have a response. Also, I don't think this approach will work with my DD (14 months) when she gets older. She is not laid back like my son. She is going to be more independent and willful I think.
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#15 of 30 Old 12-07-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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This is hilarious. Right after I posted, my husband told me that he actually got to 3 yesterday. My son looked at him scared and said, "Why did you get to three?" He was clearly afraid of what was going to happen. So my husband said, "I was really counting to 5 this time."
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#16 of 30 Old 12-07-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I count with ds (25 months) for help with transitions and choices. Like tonight, it was time for bed and he was very engrossed with his play animals. He knew it was time for bed and so I told him he could choose two animals to take to bed with him. Five minutes later, he was still choosing. So I told him I was going to count to three and then I would help him choose an animal if he still hadn't decided. And followed through. We also count when we wash hands or when it's time to get out of the bathtub ("Okay, it's time to turn off the water now, ready? One, two, threeeee!")

I'm not sure I agree with counting when it's used as a threat - "do this or *something bad* will happen". My parents counted A LOT and for me it was just a game to see how long they would stretch it out - one, two, two and a half, two and three quarters... - and what they would do once they actually got to three. I could often talk/beg my way out of the spanking that was supposed to follow. With my younger brother it was very effective - my mom said they rarely got to three with him - but he's much more laid back than I am.
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#17 of 30 Old 12-08-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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LMAO! I have heard people in stores using that and it cracks me up...

What happens when you get to four? Is there an "or else?".

I have never been able to wrap my brain around that little threat. But, I am sure there is a reason for it. I just haven't understood it yet.
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I dont understand it either - and it drives me nuts when DH does it. I guess i just needed to hear from other people WHY it is pointless. And perhaps worse than that its RUDE. Ok, off to find the big thread. Thanks girls!
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The rudeness! That's why it bugs me so much! Wow, yeah, I sure would hate someone counting to me.

It also generally indicates a who child-rearing philosophy that's anti-GD. Check out threads here about "1-2-3 Magic", a popular parenting book that features that effing counting.
Wow. I'm a little disappointed at the comments here. I am an extremely GD-focused parent who does count. I also pride myself on my courtesy, kindness, and patience.

I did read 1-2-3 Magic... like anything, I took what I liked and left the rest.

With some children, who are perhaps extremely spirited, intelligent, and driven, an approach like counting (be it to 3, 5, or 12) seems to tap into that drive. It isn't always a threat... for our family it's a "beat-the-clock" strategy!

Dh was an athlete, he still responds to sports terminology. When he is being intolerable (like grousing about, cursing, barking, name calling...) I have pulled off a paper-towel and tossed it on the floor calling out "Penalty. Illegal use of name-calling!" We laugh and dh says, "Shoot! Off to the penalty box." He'll sit on the couch for a minute, and then he comes and apologizes...

Like her dad, dd is very driven and competetive. She is pokey, like most kids, but sometimes I can't afford to be patient for a half hour while she watches the end of her program, and I'm not going to just bull-doze in and turn it off and coerce her into movement. We talk about being pokey puppies, and that sometimes we gotta hurry scurry.

Out of curiosity, mostly, I tried the counting piece out on her with the "threat" that if she didn't "comply" by the time I get to 3, she loses. If she loses, then she didn't win. There's no actual loss, here, except maybe time to dawdle. The worse case scenario is that I step in front of her program and ask for eye-contact, then I talk with her about the fact that I could sure use her help, we have a responsibility, and will she please be a team-player.

To be honest, I think that's the threat... that she'll get a mini-lecture. She doesn't love sitting still and being talked to about her behavior, or her role in things, because she knows... so not "complying" may get her a little talk. She'd rather beat-the-clock than get a talk.
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#18 of 30 Old 12-08-2008, 07:47 PM
 
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Yeah, I really liked what msfatty said, that's how we do it. Also petitchou.

In our house, you get an explicit description of what's going to happen. Like, "If your carseat is not buckled when I get to 5, I am going to help you buckle it. 1...2..."

I don't see that as rude at all. It introduces the consequence (if you choose not to do it on your own, someone will have to help you -- not a punishment, but often an undesired result for a 3yo) and gives a stated amount of time to do what needs to be done. There's no threatening, no mystery. Around here we use it when boundary testing is going on, or when general screwing around when we need to be getting out the door or off to bed or whatever is going on.
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#19 of 30 Old 12-09-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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I guess for me and my kids, the counting does imply a threat. I'm not quite sure why, in the carseat example, you couldn't just say, "Are you having trouble getting in your seat? I can help you if you need help". When I use counting or the if/then scenario, I always feel kind of angry inside, and like I'm assuming the worst about my kids (that they want to be "oppositional) rather than helpful.

Most of the time my kids do listen, particularly if I am respectful and get down to their level to make my request. However, if my dd2 didn't (for example) take her napkin to the kitchen after dinner, I would probably say, "No, I asked you to take your napkin to the kitchen" and actually take her hand and grasp the napkin. She is a pretty kinesthetic (sp) learner, however - she learns best by doing - so sometimes some hand-over-hand will help her.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#20 of 30 Old 12-09-2008, 04:21 AM
 
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<snip>
However, if my dd2 didn't (for example) take her napkin to the kitchen after dinner, I would probably say, "No, I asked you to take your napkin to the kitchen" and actually take her hand and grasp the napkin. She is a pretty kinesthetic (sp) learner, however - she learns best by doing - so sometimes some hand-over-hand will help her.
See this is a perfect example of each their own. I would feel coercive if I were to (and do feel so when I have felt I had to) hold her hand and physically move her in the direction I want her to go in. I might as easliy ask a mohter whp uses this technoque, "Why don't you just say something like 'Oh, I see you forgot your napkin, here I'll hand it to you."

To each their own...
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#21 of 30 Old 12-09-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Counting works great for my DS and I. It helps him get moving and it helps me with anger/frustration issues. For instance: If I need to change a poopy diaper and he is busy, well I can plead with him over and over again, or I could chase him and grab him and force him down but instead. I tell him: I need to change your diaper. (NO!) I am giving you till 3. 1......2....... he comes trotting over and lays down. Why? Because he likes to do things on his own terms and he knows that if I get to three I will walk over and pick him up and set him down.

Another example: if he has a screw driver and is poking the wall with it instead of going over and grabbing it away from him (like I would have done before) I say "No hitting the wall, Give mama the screw driver" (NO!) I'm going to give you till 3...... then he brings it over and I can show him what to do with a screw driver instead. If he doesn't listen to me then he gets a time out (since he is WELL aware that hitting the walls is forbidden)

For me couting is a limit. A time limit. And our life without limits was H.E.L.L. Some kids really need clear firm messages and limits. I just don't think that its rude at all.

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#22 of 30 Old 12-09-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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For me couting is a limit. A time limit. And our life without limits was H.E.L.L. Some kids really need clear firm messages and limits. I just don't think that its rude at all.
I totally agree. I think "rude" is a totally judgmental term. If a parent who is consciously trying to practice GD finds that a certain technique does not work for their child, that's fine. But if a certain technique DOES work for a child, then it would be nice if other GD-oriented parents would realize that GD, like parenting itself, is an ongoing experiment and the children involved are a huge group of variables. No one, single technique will work for all children.
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#23 of 30 Old 12-09-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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I guess for me and my kids, the counting does imply a threat. I'm not quite sure why, in the carseat example, you couldn't just say, "Are you having trouble getting in your seat? I can help you if you need help".
Because the answer to that is "NONONONONO *slapslapslap* I want to do it I want to do it!" followed by a catapult leap into the front seat. And five more minutes of screwing around with the carseat. If I jump in and buckle at any point in there, the response is a tearful meltdown about how "IIIIII wanted to do it!"

Whereas with the firm time limit, the buckling usually happens right away; if it doesn't, the tears are very short-lived. Fairness and preparation for transitions are big with us.

Quote:
However, if my dd2 didn't (for example) take her napkin to the kitchen after dinner, I would probably say, "No, I asked you to take your napkin to the kitchen" and actually take her hand and grasp the napkin.
I could easily say here, "I'm not quite sure why you couldn't just make a respectful request or offer to help her take the napkin to the kitchen?" but I won't, because I am going to assume you know your daughter best and can conduct yourself in a nonthreatening manner. I hope the same courtesy will be extended to me.
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#24 of 30 Old 12-10-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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Like a PP, I use counting for transitions with DD. I found that transitions are tough for her. If I just ask her to do something, she generally just fiddles around and ignores me. However, if I happily say "We're going to do X when I get to 3" and count, then she generally happily does it. We get to 3 all the time, and nothing bad happens. If she still doesn't do it, then I help her do it, but she's still happier having had a timed transition. FWIW, it's not always 123 that is used. Depending on the situation, sometimes we count to other numbers, sometimes she requests we count to certain numbers, sometimes we sing a song, sometimes we use a timer. It all accomplishes the same purpose - making the transition easier.

I don't agree with using counting as a threat, and it is very easy to fall into doing so. DH started positively transitioning with it, and it theory agrees with and understands using it for transitions, but definitely has crossed over into using it as a threat. Just last night he did ("I'm counting to 3 and you better stop X!") and he wasn't real happy when I called him on it, either.

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#25 of 30 Old 12-10-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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For me couting is a limit. A time limit. And our life without limits was H.E.L.L. Some kids really need clear firm messages and limits. I just don't think that its rude at all.
This pretty much sums us up, prior to the counting it felt like a free for all as far as limits/boundaries and was driving us all crazy. I really do agree that some kids need clear firm messages, I find with my dd that if we are not clear that it creates frustration not just on our part but hers as well.

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#26 of 30 Old 12-10-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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I can see both sides to the counting thing. I use it sometimes but I have to be very careful about the situation and my kids' moods.

I cannot use it if my kids are already frustrated with something (to reuse an example, if they are having trouble with a carseat). It will freak out my oldest even more and she'll become pressured and anxious. She may become so upset that she is in a "mood" the entire rest of the day. We'll normally discover her in bed with us the next morning. She has some issues with anxiety.

I need to be really careful with my tone of voice when it comes to counting. If I'm acting all bigshot authoritative b!tch and start counting in a pissy "You're going to get it when I get to 3" kind of way then that's not good parenting (and totally not GD). I think this is the tone that I hear often in public, usually the grocery store. This is what turns ppl off of counting because we really don't want to become "that" mom, kwim?

I do use counting in certain situations. When it's my turn to brush the kids teeth (they brush and I brush) then I count to 20 while I'm brushing. I count to let them know how much longer they need to cooperate with me brushing their teeth. I usually count in silly voices - opera, muppet, big bad wolf, little teensy mouse - whatever entertains them.

I also count to set time limits. If we're leaving the house I'll count to 5 and everyone meets me at the front door. The kids race me to see if they can all get to the front door before me. This ensures that I'm not searching all over the house for kids when we need to get to an appointment or something. I always make a big deal over them "beating" me to the door... "Aw, man. You won again! I guess I'll try again tomorrow."

Beth
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#27 of 30 Old 12-10-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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I have found a unique way to use counting to 3. It's 1, 2, 3, go! We use it as a transition to doing something else. We use it on the playground--back the swing up, 1,2,3, weeeeee. Up on the slide, 1, 2, 3, down we go!!! 1, 2, 3, run!!!

So, then, it's time to go potty. 1, 2, 3....go! It's time to pick up toys, 1, 2, 3, let's pick up!

So it's not a warning, but a transition and a fun way to start something that's being resisted.
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#28 of 30 Old 12-25-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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We count backwards. If I tell/ask her to do something, like share the drink with her brother and she doesn't comply initially I'll say 3.2.1 and when I get to 1, I help her comply. Sometimes it is by force and I don't like that.

I try to keep my ears open though, so if she has a reason for not complying initally I hear her and we talk about it.

We've also done counting as a race. I bet you cant get in your seat by the time I count to 5, or whatever the struggle happens to be.

I probably do use it as a threat sometimes, and for us it isn't effective. That's why I'm perusing my GD stuff again for a recharge.

For some kids, it gives them something to focus on or strive for. I remember when It came time to push for DD (hospital induction epidural) I had wanted no counting or "push push push" talk. But I was getting discouraged (after only 20 mins) and this very firm but gentle nurse came up to my head and said, how about we try to push until 8, and if you need a breath, you take one, but I'll just quietly count in your ear. It was exactly what I needed, and DD's head was out with that next push.

For other kids, it may be a distraction or power play. part of this is finding what works for you and your family while respecting everyones differences and needs.

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#29 of 30 Old 12-25-2008, 02:28 AM
 
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we just started counting and i have to say i LOVE it.... it has reduced the yelling and spanking sooo much. 3=a time-out which i know not everyone here agrees with but its so much better than what we were doing before.
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#30 of 30 Old 12-26-2008, 12:58 AM
 
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I have used counting when I have asked my children nicely to do something that they know is expected of them and they ignore me. LOL Like " Okay, the timer has gone off and it's time to take off your smock and put away your paints." If they ignore me I start counting 1....2....., and if or when I get to three I just start "helping" them do it. That's usually enough to get them going and wanting to do it themselves.
I think when my kids are testing their limits, it lets them know that this is their chance to do it their way or otherwise I take the initiative. ( Sometimes we have funner () place to be anyways!!!)

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