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Counting (spin off of 1-2-3 magic)

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  • Counting (spin off of 1-2-3 magic)

    I count to five, but not as punishment, but as a warning for when we need to leave a friend's house and he doesn't want to or when Liam wants something that I can't give him right away or when I need him to wait. We started it around 16 mo. It usually works very well for us. It seems like it's helped him to develop some patience and to understand while mommy can't do what he wants right away, that I will do it. As far as it being used as a warning when we are leaving, it's mixed results. It seems like it minimizes what may otherwise be a very bad scene, although he often still fusses.

    Just wondering how many people count to their children as a parenting tool. I don't suggest or support the 1-2-3 magic idea at all.

  • #2
    I found counting to be very useful when my daughter was between about 18 months and 2 1/2 years, and I still occasionally do it now.

    I would ask her what number I should count to before it was time to leave. At first I gave her a choice between two numbers, later I just let her pick a number. Then I would count up to that number, and she'd generally be willing to move on.


    • #3
      Same here. We did lots of counting at that age. e.g. after I count to ten it's time to get in your car seat. But no time-outs or other punishments if ds didn't comply. It worked quite well for us.


      • #4
        Someone I know would ask her daughter what language she should count in, instead of what number she should count to. That seemed to work well for them.

        I feel like one of the reasons counting works well for very young children is that they're not really old enough to understand what "five minutes" means, while counting to 10 or 20 is more concrete. Setting a timer is a similar technique, but I feel that works better at a slightly older age. One of the good things about counting is that since it's happening continuously, it's not so easily possible for the child to get distracted and forget that it's about to be time to leave (or whatever).
        Last edited by skueppers; 06-29-2008, 10:50 AM. Reason: added thoughts on why I think counting works