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    How do you discipline a kid that times himself out?

    I know discipline is important. It’s important to start early. We do lots of redirecting in our home, paired with counting and some time-outs for serious crimes. But I’ve hit a new ceiling. How do you discipline a kid that counts themselves into trouble?

    Case in point.

    We’re trying to get G to NOT walk or stand while on the couch. This is mostly for his safety as he’s tumbled onto the floor now on two separate occasions. But he thinks it’s a game. Yesterday he gets up on the couch and blatantly stands and walks around while I’m sitting there next to him. Of course grinning ear-to-ear. We engage in the following discussion:

    Me: G, I need you to sit down please

    G: [cackle]

    Me: Ok, that’s one!

    G: [laugh]

    Me: That’s two!

    G: Tree!!! (while STILL standing mind you!)

    And there you have it. G knows that three (or in his case “tree”) follows two, and he’s happy to participate in the counting game. BUT IT’S NOT A GAME, KID! You’re in trouble, and you just hurried yourself into it!

    So since he counted himself out, he got removed from the couch (which is what I was going to do if I got to 3 on my own).

    The thing is that this is the second time now he’s done that. He gives himself the 3 count, which has the same result as if I would’ve counted.

    I don’t really know what else to do here. The consequence is the same no matter who gets to 3, but why is this fun for him? Is this him disrespecting authority? Do I need to be harsher in consequences if he counts vs. me?


    3 responses to “How do you discipline a kid that times himself out?”

    1. kelly marie says:

      I would say to just keep at it. Eventually he’ll learn that getting to tree means that he is being removed from a situation or must stop whatever fun activity he is engaged in. Remain firm and consistent, don’t laugh at him or aknowledge that he is counting.

      This was hard for us as well, because we started counting to 3 around the same time G started learning counting to ten.

    2. Janine says:

      I agree with PP – best thing to do is probably just keep doing what you are doing. don’t engage in their counting “game”. don’t give them any sort of response. K does the exact same thing, so I feel your pain. I hope they grow out of it.

    3. Kelle says:

      i dont believe in giving them 3 chances to disobey (the “one, two, three”). tell him once what is expected, then impose the punishment for not obeying. he will catch on quickly!

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