“Do you want me to start counting to three?” I ask in a stern voice.”No, Mommy, please don’t count to three!” “Then I need you to use your in-door voice and to use your words.” I tell my soon to be three year old. Three is already known as a lucky number and often appears in fairy tales and animal fables such as “The Three Little Pigs,” “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”
In my household and probably many others, it’s also known for getting a toddler or pre-schooler to stop, listen and follow directions. For instance, at bedtime, my little girl loves jumping on the bed and wants to play around after her bath pretending to be a ghost with her bath towel and delaying getting her pajamas on and brushing her teeth. No matter how much fun she’s having, more times than not, she’ll come running towards her father or me to get her pajamas on once she hears, “One!” Thus far, we’ve just had a handful of incidents where Quinn challenges the magical countdown to see what will happen if she does not come. This is when our “I Can Do It Reward” star chart comes in handy and occasionally having her take some time out to think about why it is important to listen and how her behavior has upset her father or me is necessary but not often.
On occasion, I imagine using the one, two, three technique in my classroom or even with people who just don’t listen or who are displaying unbecoming behaviors. How great would it be to solve problems and get people to stop, listen and follow directions just by sternly saying, “One, two, three!”
All the best,