Why You Can’t Count on Counting 1-2-3
Counting 1-2-3 to get kids to listen is a popular strategy especially among parents of young children. The problem is, it really doesn’t work long-term—instead, it teaches kids to do the opposite of what we want them to learn. Think about it: counting to three teaches kids that they really don’t have to listen the first time. They learn that they’ll have several more opportunities before they have to respond. And wouldn’t we rather they listen the first time we make a request?
If you’ve been using the “Counting 1-2-3” strategy in your home, you’ve probably noticed that your kids don’t exactly snap to attention when you first speak to them. Here’s what’s going through their minds: Read More →
Parents are often quick to use “Time Out” as a discipline tool because it is a widely used practice. Physicians, teachers, and other parents frequently recommend “Time Out” as a way to correct common misbehaviors. The problem with this thinking is, “Time Out” most often increases the intensity of the power struggle.
“Time Out” is not the same as removing the child from the situation. For children under the age of 3, using one or more of the Remove and Redirect strategies are most helpful:
· Remove the object
· Remove the child from the environment (This is not “Time Out”)
· Redirect the child’s attention
· Redirect the child’s activity
After the age of three (and even younger for some children), they understand that they are “independent beings” and using “Time Out” will only intensify the power struggle. We cannot impose our will on another human being – even a child. When we try to exercise power over a child, they will naturally fight back. How can we possibly force a child to stay in “Time Out”? Some children who are less “spirited” may do as they are told and remain in “Time Out” for the prescribed time – but what are they learning about their misbehavior? Are they sitting in “Time Out” thinking about their poor choice and about how they will do things differently next time? Probably not! Most likely they are “stewing” over how unfair it is that Mom or Dad sent them to “Time Out”!
How is “Time Out” related to most misbehaviors? In most cases, it isn’t.
For consequences to be effective and to provide learning for future behaviors, they must meet the criteria of the 4 R’s.
You will learn about the 4 R’s as well as many other tools to address misbehaviors by enrolling in Positive Parenting Solutions Online.