Count down, not up.

When you have reached the point where gentle reminders aren’t working and now you are setting a time limit for the child, count down to one.

I think this is important because the child always knows when ‘one’ is coming.  If you usually count up to five, how will that help when they meet someone who counts up to ten?  Or only to three?

Usually when it is a discipline situation, I start at five – using the child’s name.  Ex:  (Remember, this is after gentle reminders haven’t worked.)  “Thomas, look in my eyes.  Thomas, five.  Thomas four. Look at my eyes.  Thomas three.  Thank you.”  Always thank them when they obey before one.

It also works when the room is a mess and we’re having a hard time getting it clean.  I announce to the room, “Let’s see if you can beat me – twenty – nineteen – eighteen – etc.”  They know when one is coming.

Count down, not up.

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