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#1 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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dd is 21 mos.  and extremely willful.  i feel like we let her do a great bit of exploration but we do set boundaries and limits when they are needed.  i try to explain to her why she can't xyz when she cannot.  sometimes she is fine with it. 

however, there are times when i have to try to get her to stop doing something or keep her from doing something dangerous. 

now, we don't use time outs, try to do time-ins, etc. 

but i count to 3.  nothing comes after three (like it's not used in conjunction with punishment of any sort) and i usually say something like "if you cannot remember to not stand on the chair and pull things off the shelf onto your head, i will count to three and help you."  or whatever.  and count. 

do you guys do something different in situations like that? 

should i not do this?  it ususally gives her the awareness that if she doesn't choose to do something that in most cases she knows not to do, then i will reinforce the limits.  she 80% of the time will stop whatever it is or do whatever it is that she should be doing.  so it works.  i just wonder if it's somehow not a good way to do things. 


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#2 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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When it is something dangerous like your example of standing on a chair I offer a gentle reminder at the same time I remove him from the chair. "Chairs are for sitting so I am helping you to get down." I don't count because in this case because standing on the chair isn't one of the acceptable choices.

 

When I do count is when I am truly offering choices-like you it is never for any punishment reason. By stating two acceptable choices and stating a timeframe to decide I take a lot of that worry out of the equation for him. So I use this method a lot for getting dressed, chosing a library book, having a snack.

 

My little boy can get stuck down the rabbit hole very quickly if he has too many choices and too much time. He starts to dither and worry that he is making the "wrong" choice (should he wear his tennis shoes or sandals? If he wears his tennis shoes what if his feet get hot? If he wears his sandals what if his feet get wet...).

 

I think counting is a valuable tool that gives children a concept of making a decision and moving on to the nesk task or activity at hand.

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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I count to 10. I don't like 3 because I hear my father's threatening voice echoing in my ear lol.gif so I can't keep it positive! We don't count for choices, just to give time limits: Ten more seconds and then we will stop nursing, or You can continue playing until I reach ten, then we need to leave. It works really well for DS and we keep it light-hearted, fun, non-threatening. Sometimes he asks me to count to other numbers -- he loves hearing me count (or just talk at all, really). I don't see anything wrong with it as long as it continues to work, but he is only 2.5 and I'm sure he'll eventually decide that he doesn't need to stop whatever he's doing just because I said the number 10... so at that point, we'll stop using it, or sooner if it stops being fun.

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#4 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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I don't count to three but I'm not sure if it's necessarily threatening or if it feels like it to me because when I was a kid if my parents go to three, I got hit by something and hard. So it might be a personal trigger more than a problem UP-wise, I'm not sure. I personally just skip that step. "That isn't safe. If you don't come down by yourself, I'll have to take you down." *wait a couple of seconds* "Ok, I'll take you down now."
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#5 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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I sometimes count down from 3 or 5 or whatever and it is fairly helpful.  Both with my 5yo and my 2yo.  Usually I phrase it like "you have 10seconds to do it yourself or I will come and help you"  Then they have the choice to do it or wait for help.

 

For real, true safety issues I intervene immediately with no counting.

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#6 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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My parents counted to three in the threatening way, although we didn't get smacked or whatever when they got to 3. For some reason, I started doing that with DS too, when he was a toddler. I'd say, "Please do x" and when he didn't respond, I'd say, "that's one." Then I'd repeat it, give him a chance to respond, and say, "That's two." And he'd usually (like 99% of the time) respond. Someone once asked me what happens when I get to 3, thinking that there would be spanking or something. I had to admit I didn't know, b/c we never got to 3! I think at that age it is more that they need things repeated in order to get their brains and bodies moving from what they were doing to what you want them to do. So I really don't think it's a "bad" thing, if it works for you and keeps everyone happy and safe. Unfortunately, DS is a bit older now and it seems like we have conditioned him to not listen til we get angry. Sometimes getting to 3 doesn't mean much to him. So I don't know if we overused it, if he's just in a stubborn/deep concentration/whatever phase, or what, but it doesn't work nearly as well now at nearly-4 as it did in the early toddler years.

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#7 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Assume that she understands 50% at this age. The only thing 'wrong' that I see is that you're using waaay too much talk. Shorter sentences, positive statements and fewer clauses help.

 

So, instead of ""if you cannot remember to not stand on the chair and pull things off the shelf onto your head, i will count to three and help you." I'd say: Sit on the chair. Books belong on the shelf. Leave them on the shelf." Then if she can't stop, then I'd say "If you can't stop, I'll come help you." You might be at a point where reading "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen" would help. 

 

Remember too that at this age, once they've started something it's hard to stop. So, getting to her before she actually starts pulling to books down will be easier than if she's already in the middle of it. (And I would think that pulling books onto your head would be a self-limiting activity, no?)

 

As far as the counting goes, I think it depends on the tone. I've counted, but usually in exasperation. I don't have a 'consequence' either other than to go help the child. Personally, I think that 21 months is too young to get the whole counting bit. 


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#8 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 05:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

The only thing 'wrong' that I see is that you're using waaay too much talk. Shorter sentences, positive statements and fewer clauses help.

Totally agree.  I don't think there is anything wrong with counting as part of a choice though I think she is a little too young for the counting concept as well. 

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#9 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Assume that she understands 50% at this age. The only thing 'wrong' that I see is that you're using waaay too much talk. Shorter sentences, positive statements and fewer clauses help.

 

So, instead of ""if you cannot remember to not stand on the chair and pull things off the shelf onto your head, i will count to three and help you." I'd say: Sit on the chair. Books belong on the shelf. Leave them on the shelf." Then if she can't stop, then I'd say "If you can't stop, I'll come help you." You might be at a point where reading "How to Talk So Your Children Will Listen" would help.



Remembering this has helped me so much.  Some days I feel like I'm talking to the dog, but it works.  When we leave I used to say "You need to get your shoes on so we can go.  If you don't we'll be late and then we won't have as much time to play"  That rarely worked.  Now it's "shoes.now. go" and she's so much better at getting them on and getting out the door.


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#10 of 18 Old 08-01-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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When my dd was younger I did count before helping her because I wanted her to have a chance to do things on her own without me physically overpowering her but it also let her to know there was a non-negotiable time limit on her chance to choose to do things on her own.  Before I would just go and help her, but I feel like we both did better when she was given a chance to do things herself because she really had more control over the situation.  We grew away from counting as she got older, but I don't think it is wrong to use.  Like many parenting strategies I think it is important to look at how it is being used, how it affects both parties, and how you as a parent feel using it. 

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#11 of 18 Old 08-02-2011, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchick View Post

I sometimes count down from 3 or 5 or whatever and it is fairly helpful.  Both with my 5yo and my 2yo.  Usually I phrase it like "you have 10seconds to do it yourself or I will come and help you"  Then they have the choice to do it or wait for help.

 

For real, true safety issues I intervene immediately with no counting.



yes.  this is pretty much how i do it.  only i am not so sure dd can understand the seconds part, hence the counting. 

that's what i meant-- i kind of feel like it lets her know she has the choice to do whatever it is, and that i intend to make sure she does it if not. 

then i started second guessing it, and like mamazee says, (pretty much EXACTLY how it worked for me as a child, too) i am not sure whether the ominous tone is situational or internal for me. 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#12 of 18 Old 08-02-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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I second the simpler sentences.  I got this tid bit from The Happiest Toddler on the Block.  I find even really articulate toddlers respond better to simplification when conflicted between their impulses and your rules.

 

I think counting works for me because it gives me a chance to calm down and not react in anger. I started the counting thing though when DS was about 3.5.  before that it meant less than nothing to him.  

 

Simple  commands reinforced with firm but gentle physical redirection worked far better to get him moving away from dangerous situations. 

 


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#13 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hildare View Post

 i count to 3.  nothing comes after three (like it's not used in conjunction with punishment of any sort) and i usually say something like "if you cannot remember to not stand on the chair and pull things off the shelf onto your head, i will count to three and help you."  or whatever.  and count. 

 



It sounds like something does come after 3.  You help.  (Assuming you're following through and not just saying it.) 

I do this with the car seat.  DS likes to get in the car himself, but he doesn't always get in the car seat right away.  So I count, and if he doesn't move by 3, I take him out and gently but firmly set him down in the seat.  Lately he climbs in, I close the door and go around to the other side to give him enough space to sit down.  If he's feeling playful he won't get in right away.  The funny part is that he knows what's going to happen, so lately he starts the counting for me "One . . ." (with that sparkle in the eye that says "I know exactly what I'm doing,") and then usually scrambles into his seat by 3.  

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#14 of 18 Old 08-16-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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h0dscjcvqqS

 

 

*erm, something about my three year old hijacking the computer while it was in this section probably shouldn't be a good example.. 

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#15 of 18 Old 08-16-2011, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lol.gif but did you count to three?
 

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h0dscjcvqqS

 

 

*erm, something about my three year old hijacking the computer while it was in this section probably shouldn't be a good example.. 



 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#16 of 18 Old 08-16-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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lol.gif but did you count to three?
 



 


I've given up on counting to three!  I have a 23 month old and a 35 month old.. counting to three doesn't happen- by the time I get to two something ELSE is going on that needs attention. fencing.gif

 

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#17 of 18 Old 08-16-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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lately we've been doing a lot of counting to three with my 27 month old, "you're being to slow, get up the stairs/into your highchair/your shoes on or mama will help you do it. one," "I do it" and she speeds up shrug.gif. mostly it's because sometimes it's not okay for her to dawdle. 


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#18 of 18 Old 08-21-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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With my DD I probably would have tried something like you're trying...I wasn't a counter but I was big on making requests and offering reasons.  With my DS I keep everything much simpler, no reasons, physical direction if possible.  "Books go on shelf.  See?  Elliot put books on shelf!  No? OK, let's pick you up."  Simple and decisive is working much better for me this time around, although who knows with different kids.

 

My DD didn't actually respond to reasoning until about 3...I heard somewhere that kids don't really get cause and effect until they start asking why questions. 

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