There are many of parents out there that would understand what I mean by 1…2…3…! No I’m not learning to read! No I’m not playing hide and seek with you! It’s the adult warning count for getting a child to do the right thing.

I’ve never really had to use the warning with my eldest two children but it’s used daily with my youngest, especially in the morning time. I just can’t get him to move. And he knows how to push the boundaries.

As I am a working Mum, I get the boys up an hour before we have to leave the house. This is enough time to have breakfast, have a wash and get dressed. My youngest is not a morning child, never has been. We have to leave the house at 7:50 in order to get to breakfast club before it closes, So I wake them up at 6:55. I know that this is early and it can be a struggle for anyone to be up that early. The youngest one I have to use extra encouragement, to get him out of bed. This normally consists of me carrying him downstairs on my back or me teasing him with the morning coffee breath (which can’t be nice for anyone to smell, lol). Once downstairs, I let him choose his breakfast, I then go and get his school clothes and when he is ready I get him dressed, A quick as possible as this helps with the struggles. Although, it isn’t normally the breakfast and getting dressed that is the problem . It’s the getting the shoes and coat on that he will just sit down and refuse point blankly in doing so. It’s at this point that I use the 1..2..3 usually along with something like ” I’m going to count to the number 3 and if you haven’t begun to make a move by the time I get to 3 then I will have to come and do it for you and Mummy will be sad” By the time I get to 2 he is beginning to make a change. He knows what the right choice is and he knows that he must do this in order to get a reward. I often tell him that if he makes the right choice then he can choose an activity to do after school.

I always praise his good times, if he is doing something well that he doesn’t normally do I like to tell him how proud I am of him and that I can see that he is growing into a big boy.

Too much negativity isn’t good! I also don’t like to tell him that he is being naughty.

So along with the 1..2..3 warning count I have printed off a reward system for him.


If he gets himself ready in the morning and doesn’t put up a struggle with me when it comes to getting his shoes and coat on then he will receive a sticker that he can wear and he can move his pirate along to the next number. When he reaches to the number 10 then he will get an extra reward, something that is his choice, something that he will want to work towards. This could be baking cupcakes, playing with play dough or a trip to the park.

DSC_3363_optWe have trialed the reward chart this weekend and it has worked so far! We haven’t had any tantrums, no throwing himself onto the floor, no hitting out at us and no screaming! He keeps talking about the chart and when he does something that is good he asks if he can move his pirate along the path. Although, I have noticed that he has miraculously jumped from 2 to 5, I think a certain little boy is moving himself along without being told to. Cheeky.

I found the chart by doing an online search for a downloadable reward chart and printed it off. This particular one is from supernanny. It always helps to make sure that the chart is of an interest to your child. Once printed, I laminated it and stuck it to the door in the kitchen. He also has a smaller version up in his bedroom, hoping that he will see it when he awakes and remind him of his reward.

Do you use behavioural management at home? What works for you?

Thank you for reading 🙂




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