December 02, 2009

Parenting by Counting to Ten

Ok, so I found myself counting to ten today while I was waiting for the puppy to "Come" as I commanded. I laughed my way to ten, and I ended up carting her indoors. But this has worked great with my children all these years, so I thought I would share...

Originally, we started counting to ten when the children were first learning to buckle their car seat belts. They had to be finished by the time we got to ten.

In the preschool days, I found this a great way to keep calm and it gave me something to do while waiting. I paced the counting according to the child's ability. Now that my children are in grade school, I just breeze through all the numbers and it's an or-else kinda thing. But it still moves them into cooperation. We use it to stop inappropriate behavior and to elicit desired behavior. I just start counting after several requests to stop or start a task.

It's like magic! No yelling required. P. S. nothing happens when I get to ten and they aren't cooperating because this rarely happens. When it does happen some love and attention are in order because something is very wrong.

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