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To wonder why counting to five has magical powers

(38 Posts)
Dinobab Sat 02-Jan-16 09:25:16

Over my usually very stubborn 2 year old?
What do they think will happen when you get to 5?
Threats of time out get laughed at, threats to take toys away gets the toys chucked at me but have recently discovered a threat of "I'll count to five then you had better get out the kitchen/ stop trying to jump off the sofa/ let me change you're nappy" usually gets him to behave magically by about 4
What kind of magically voodoo is this? Why have I only just discovered it?
Will it stops working once he realises I can't cually do much after counting to 5 hmm

catfordbetty Sat 02-Jan-16 09:28:58

I have no relevant experience, but I think the answer is to never get to five.

gleegeek Sat 02-Jan-16 09:29:33

grin My dd did once ask 'what happens when you get to 3 mummy?' To which I replied 'you don't want to find out'. Apparently this satisfied her and counting to 3 worked til I didn't need it anymore. Tbh she is the type of child who doesn't push the boundaries much anyway so I might just have been lucky!

afreshstartplease Sat 02-Jan-16 09:31:32

I count to three

For 2 year old if I get to three she gets time out, 95% of the time it works

With 6&7 year olds if I get to three they loose a privilege, again 95% of the time it works

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sat 02-Jan-16 09:33:32

I used to do this, and even now (DD1 is 22 and DD2 is 17) they are absolutely terrified of "the counting". Apparently I had a particular tone of voice I used which made it so horrible.

They had no idea what would happen at 5, just that it would be so awful, they really didn't want to know. Probably helps if you have imaginative DC who can fill in the blanks themselves. (I have apologised to them btw, and explained I didn't mean ot scare them much wink)

Kleinzeit Sat 02-Jan-16 09:34:56

I remember it well and it is magic grin - used to count to three but quite slowly (one-banana-two-banana-THREE) and it worked for a very long time! Though I don’t think it really started working til DS was a bit older, 3-ish maybe. The count gave just him enough time to think and change direction, whereas piling up threats just got him more agitated and stroppy. When DS was older (5 or 6 ish) I noticed the instructor at the ball-games class used to give the kids a countdown from 10 to stop playing and put the balls away etc, and that worked too.

Sychnant Sat 02-Jan-16 11:22:17

Yep, counting to 3 still works on mine and he's 13 in a month! I've never got past 2 and he's never asked what would happen. Luckily, as I have no idea... :D

Pilgit Sat 02-Jan-16 11:42:13

I count down from 5. I have no idea why it works I'm just grateful that it does! Occasionally I have had to do something at 1 to reinforce the threat. Otherwise rarely get beyond 4 before there is compliance.

TheSconeOfStone Sat 02-Jan-16 12:55:45

I count to 3 and it usually works. wouldn't have worked with either of my children at 2. I did 1,2,3 then removed child from what they shouldn't have been doing. Eventually no consequence was required as the habit was ingrained.

Narp Sat 02-Jan-16 13:10:33

I found counting 1-5 was not magic, but 5-1 was!

Narp Sat 02-Jan-16 13:12:01

Also, I found that saying to my (even a 2) competitive DS2 'I bet you can't' and 'I'll race you' worked wonders.

He's 12 and is wise to it but it still works

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sat 02-Jan-16 13:17:04

Still works on DD and shes 8. The trick is to have something not nice happen at the end of 5 seconds. DD knows I mean what I say.

MammaTJ Sat 02-Jan-16 13:23:42

I count to three and a friend once asked what happened when I got to three! I told her I didn't know as it had never happened! grin

BathshebaDarkstone Sat 02-Jan-16 13:30:40

At school they count down from 5. I now do the same, saying "you don't want me to get to 1, do you?" Again, I don't know what DS thinks will happen when I get to 1! grin

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sat 02-Jan-16 13:45:23

I think it might fall under the "Assumed Compliance" category. You give them 5 seconds in which you assume they will comply.

I'll keep using it until it stops working.

icanteven Sat 02-Jan-16 14:43:38

I only count to 3 and the effect is ELECTRIFYING on my very-nearly-7-year-old. Hit and miss with the much more, um, decisive 4 year old though.

CrohnicallyAspie Sat 02-Jan-16 15:27:25

Usually when I get to 3 I physically enforce whatever it is DD is stropping over.

For example-
Don't want to take your Elsa dress off? After 3 I'm pulling it off and if it gets ripped it's your own fault.
Don't want to get in the car seat? After 3 I'm putting you in there (with the aid of my elbow).

Now as soon as I get to 1 it's 'don't count mummy don't count!'

catfordbetty Sat 02-Jan-16 15:29:17

Robomum, is that you?

Lexigrey Sat 02-Jan-16 15:33:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rallytog1 Sat 02-Jan-16 15:34:34

Doesn't work for me. My 2yo must be broken hmm

cogitosum Sat 02-Jan-16 15:37:48

I cpunt down and my 2 yo imitates me hmm

AmpleRaspberries Sat 02-Jan-16 15:46:37

Works about 95% of the time here, if I get to 5 I enforce whatever I have asked DD(2) to do. Most of the time she waits until I get to 4 then springs in to action. Because of this I leave a bigger pause at 4, if she's in a particularly mischievous mood she'll say the 5 for me.

raisin3cookies Sat 02-Jan-16 15:49:12

I count down from five, and almost always get to one with my 2yo. Then I say, "all done!" and physically remove her from the situation or take something off her, whatever. It works for me, too - just a few seconds to breathe and calm down from getting angry.

AngelBlue12 Sat 02-Jan-16 15:53:01

Counting to three works on DD's 11,8 and 6 but DD3 just shouts out GO when you get to three and starts racing around!!

MyGastIsFlabbered Sat 02-Jan-16 16:14:57

I count down from 5 to 1 and very rarely get to 1, if I do all I have to say is 'you're in big trouble now' and that's it. I have no idea what the big trouble entails!

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