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February 23, 2005


Bluegrass Mama

I've been a counter. And if they didn't move on "three" I moved them myself. My daughter is now too big for me to move physically, so if the counting stops working, I may have to go to Plan B.

As soon as I come up with a Plan B, that is.


Sometimes I count, and I hate the way I sound.

My dad used a technique that was very motivating for me, a competitive child. He would "time" us for doing things like getting in our pajamas, or taking out the trash. How fast could we do it? "53 seconds! Wow, you're fast."

We knew we were being had, but we had so much fun we kept responding to the old trick. When we had too much energy, he'd time us running around the house outside, or even around the block.


I'm not a counter as much as I am a timer. Whether it is to go potty,brush her teeth,clean her room,put away her back pack, all I say is ,"You've got ____ seconds on the clock....GO!" If it's to brush her teeth I might give her 60 seconds as I count really slow so that she brushes completely. She'll do anything if I time her. She thinks it's fun!


I tried counting with my 3 year old, Isaac. I always went to 5. It worked, never making it past 4 until he ask one day, "Mommy, what is after 4?" I told him 5 and since then, when I count he thinks he should count too. He jumps for each number and really gets too excited about counting, he may be an accountant one day!

Due to counting not working, I've come up with a different way to get his attention. I whisper. I have a really strong voice, nice and loud when I am just talking. When I whisper, he has to get closer and closer to hear me. He does not like when I whisper because he is always interested in what I have to say.


As our daughter got older, we increased the count - so now that she's turning nine, we are giving her until nine to do whatever it is she's supposed to do.

Believe it or not, she still begs me "Don't count! Don't count!" So we wait a little longer -- but it still works.

A Touch of Style

Wow, did this bring back some memories. I should try it again with my son when his room needs to be tidied up lol... I wonder if he remembers?


counting is absurdly effective with my 29 month old son. Most of the time I don't even have to threaten what I'm going to do when I get to 3. He hears a stern "one" and he immediately stops.

Usually when we do get to 3 we go straight to time out -- which is a dark room where I'll hold him but he can't play or talk and he gets bored and hates it. He calms down pretty quickly when I make him lay in bed for 5 minutes! ;o)



Hi Julie! Oh yeah, I count. But I have no idea what will happen at three and hope I never get there.

I wanted to say to you, in honor of the Parent Appreciation Festival we have going over on our blog: you are amazing. The contributions you have made and continue to make to the lives of parents around the world is truly incredible. Your commitment to the readers of your blogs - and especially to your child and family - is palpable and inspiring.

We are spreading positive karma to parents we know and admire and you are at the top of my list.

Morah Mommy

I am a counter. It gives them limits. I'd love to say that it always works...but at 10, 7 and 4 my kids don't always listen to me. Was that a gasp of surprise?! I admit it...they don't always listen to me.

I also use time limits at home and in my classroom. "You have 5 minutes till clean up time." Someone once commented that they don't know how to tell time. Yes, that's true, but they know that their time is up soon. When they are expected to do something like clean up or bed, it doesn't come as a big surprise.


Oh, I definitely count. In my house - the girls have until 5. They've never ever pushed to past 3.


I'm definitely a counter. One...two...bad things happen when mommy gets to three...and...*kid runs off to do whatever he's supposed to do*


Counting only works if you go through with punishment when you get to three.


Absolutely. Tyler's almost 13, and he still responds. Blows. My. Mind. I was just saying the other day that I wonder when will be the last time, but then I found myself counting to Lila who is only 20 months old, and giggled when I counted...

So it begins again.


kiddo#1 loves to count with me. and so far it has worked in being a tactic to help him figure out the *limits* in the house.


I counted with my first and he really seemed to respond to it. My second is immune to the call of the countdown. He responds to supernanny style things such as the naughty step. I also have a naughty "crib" which is his pack and play...he's more likely to stay put in that one.


I also use counting in my best "stern mother" voice. When I get to three my 3 1/2 year-old daughter is in "big trouble". unfortunately, I'm not sure what "big trouble" is. I'm hoping she won't test me for a while...


We count. I limit it to three because ten takes an awful long time. And if she balks I plan on limiting it to two. :)

We also make great use of timers around here. She's only two and a half, but she gets that and accepts it.


When Tony was young I would count, and he knew that if I said "three" he would be in trouble. Now days, I start at "two" and usually that's all I have to say. If he's in the bath tub, and we've told him to get out and he's being slow, I'll count from ten down to give him time to rinse off, get out and dry off. In our house, counting helps

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