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parenting mistakes

February 6, 2008

Last weekend I was visiting with a girlfriend of mine and she mentioned some parenting advice that my husband had given her a long time ago. He told her that you should never count for your child, waiting for them to obey. For example, “Johnny, put that down. 1…2…3… ” It is really very good advice. I mean, think about what you are doing when you count. You are just giving them 3 more seconds to disobey. We did count with our first child, but we learned shortly after our second was born not make that rookie mistake again.

Now that we are on child number three and the issue of disobedience is beginning to show itself again, I have been rethinking everything about the way we parent. What mistakes can I avoid this time around? Just as I was thinking along those lines, I caught myself making another mistake. The baby was getting into something, so I said “no.” He didn’t respond, so I said “NO” a little louder. When he still didn’t respond, I repeated “NO!” again, continuing this way until I realized I was nearly yelling. Then it hit me what exactly I was doing. I was training him that he could disobey until my voice was loud enough, and I was training myself to yell in order to achieve obedience.

I realize now that is the biggest mistake I have made as a parent. Without even realizing it, all along the way I have taught my children that I don’t mean what I say unless my voice is raised. I know a lot of parents fall into this trap, for the the same reason so many parents count. We want to give our children an opportunity to obey, and we don’t want to discipline them. If we delay our point of action, if feels like mercy. But in the end, the results of this parenting style are disobedience and anger. If only I had known this when my first was little, how much anger and yelling could we have avoided?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. womantowomancbe permalink
    February 6, 2008 10:11 pm

    Yup–consistency is the key!

    One time, I was in a grocery store and the lady counted to ten and her little boy still didn’t obey her… she STARTED OVER! ooooo, scarrrrrry. 🙂


  2. February 7, 2008 3:49 am

    hi thanks for furnishing me with above advice….i didnt know that small things like counting for your child can make that big difference…ill always keep that in mind…thanks….:)…

    we at blog on various useful tips and tricks on good parenting…check out for more information..

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