Have you heard parents counting while they wait for their child to comply with their instructions?
I don’t believe it in. I believe in children doing what they are told to do. Children should do what you said because you said it, not because you started counting to 3. It’s like a threat. (And sometimes a hollow one, don’t get me started on that one. That’s another post!)
“Mommy said, give me your toy.” Child continues playing and ignores her.
“Give me your toy…..(big pause)…. Mommy’s going to count…..(pause)…One (big pause) …..twooo (longer pause)….” Child plays with toy and either does or doesn’t hand over the toy. Regardless of whether or not the toy is handed over this whole interaction was a waste of time and it only teaches kids that you only mean what you said if you count.
Honestly, I’m always a little embarrassed for the Mom using this “technique.” To me, she is demonstrating that she hasn’t taught her children to respect her words only her threats of punishment.
Here’s how I got results with young children.
- “Give Mommy your toy.” Child continues to play with toy.
- I get down on their level, look them in the eye and say. “Did you hear me? I said give Mommy your toy.”
- If they don’t do so immediately, I put my hands on their arm above the wrist, and make them pass me the toy.
- If the child was looking at me when I said it the first time and I’m sure they heard me, I skip the middle step and simply make them do it.
- If I am met with defiance or negative attitude, there is a time out immediately or at the soonest opportunity. Delaying a time out for long is not effective for young children. You just seem like you’re doling out random punishment.
Believe in your own authority. If you don’t, you can be certain no one else will – not even a two year old.
If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy Believe in Your Own Authority or I’m Sorry I Can’t Understand what you’re saying ( a post about whining.)