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Earlier Scenario: My daughter comes from school. I ask her to change her clothes with all the politeness for several times. But being a naughty kid, she just ignores me. That makes me really furious and then I shout at her for nth time in a day for not listening to me. After that she starts crying and I again feel bad for being rude to her.
This was the everyday scenario before we started playing this real fun game of Counting. I will explain the background behind creation of this game in short.
I always believed being a parent, imparting good habits and manners in my kid is my responsibility. I don’t believe in being very strict or punishing or harshly beating my kid. But to discipline kid, I do believe yelling, scolding and sometimes giving light slap is required.
Kids being little troublemakers love to try out parents’ tolerance. If we ask them kindly to brush their teeth or keep their toys back to their places then its very unlikely that they would listen till we yell at least 3-4 times or till our anger reaches its limit. My daughter is no different. She used to royally ignore my instructions if I asked her politely. And then in the process of disciplining her I used to shout at her all through the day.
One day, while sleeping she said “Mamma, do you know today you were so rude to me? You yelled at me 1000 times”. She loves to exaggerate. Nevertheless on hearing this I felt sorry for her and I promised her that I would not get angry at her. I promised myself too that I would try to be more patient and not get angry over small things.
But again the same thing happened over and over. I kept reminding myself that I am not supposed to get angry, she is a small kid and she will learn with time. However, being calm is not easy when you have a child full of energy and mischief. I could not keep my promise.
So one fine day when she got fed up of my yelling, she started playing a game with me. Whenever I asked her to anything, she asked me to count till particular number before she finished her work. I followed her instructions 2-3 times and it worked.
What started as a game later became a trick for getting desired work done from her. I realised its easier to ask her finish her work by counting the numbers. For example, when I wanted her to brush her teeth, I asked her to complete it while I counted till number 20. If I wanted her to keep her toys back in the box then I counted till 10. When I wanted her to wash her hands before meal, I counted till 5. I ended up counting many times in a day, but it was certainly better than yelling.
This trick helped me in many ways. It helped me in controlling my anger at the same time my daughter finished her work without me shouting at her. It also helped me in teaching my daughter time management. Now she understands how much time she would take to finish any task. If I ask her to freshen up and change her clothes, she asks me to count till number 20. If I ask her to only change her clothes she asks to count till 10. I do the counting at slower pace so that she gets enough time to complete her task. Now it has become our family fun game as my husband is also part of it.
Nowadays Scenario: My daughter comes from school. She asks excitedly, “Ok Mamma, you count till 20 and I will change my clothes and get freshen up”. I start counting happily and she does her activity without me yelling at her. I feel so much at peace now.
Next time when your child annoys you, remember not to yell but to count 1, 2, 3,…..10 and time up. I hope it will help other mothers as it has helped me.