Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Moment of Training - Why I don't count

Good Morning Friends!
Christmas is soon to arrive as well as family to help us celebrate our Lord's birth! The Wood family home has been full of activity and joy! The children have enjoyed signing for different retirement homes in the community with some local families, snowmen made by the children have adorned my yard, cookies and cheesecake have been made as we celebrate this special Season, animals are all settled in the barn where they can stay warm and out of the cold KS weather while Joe and I continue to grow together in Grace and look forward to all our tomorrows together! These are truly precious days!

This morning Bekah and I were talking about some training tips and I thought I should come and share with you, our friends, as well. May the Lord be glorified in each of our homes as we minister to His people! 

I am sure you have all heard a parent give a directive to their child and then follow it with, "1..... 2.... Johnny, you better obey.....3......"  or maybe you have even done it yourself. Let me share with you why I have never counted for my children to obey and what we have done instead. 

When you count for your children to obey you are actually teaching them to disobey until you get to 3! You are teaching them that they don't have to listen to your requests until you are angry, or until they have exhausted mercy. Most children never obey at one; they wait till 3 or don't obey at all!  In my opinion counting is nonproductive and a training method to avoid! 

So, if you aren’t suppose to count what do you do? 

First, before you get started you need to prayerfully decide if this is an area the Lord wants you to train your child in at this moment. Remember, God doesn't show us our sin until He equips us to overcome it. That is why each of us are always growing, always being transformed in His image as He opens our eyes to sin and then shows us how to overcome it. Let's do the same for our children! 

BEFORE we train a child in any area we must decide if they are old enough for this responsibility. If they are not, then it is up to me to remove the temptation or trial from them BEFORE it is an issue! When my babies are little and I am ‘baby proofing’ the home, I took the example I found in Genesis for knowing what to remove and what to leave out. God left only one tree that Adam and Eve were not to eat from therefore I use this concept and do the same.  I leave ONLY one item the child is not allowed to touch.  everything else they have free access too. Then, I work to teach them from very early days not to touch that one item. I have had some stronger willed children than others. In fact, I think God gave me more than my share of strong personalities. However, even with children who have amazing determination, they too can learn it is more fun to live within the boundaries given than in their own chaos.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Speak sweetly but with clear direction- When you give your child a directive such as, “Don’t touch the presents" your child should know to listen to your voice the first time, when you give your directive in a kind and loving voice. Be careful not to train your children to only obey when they hear your voice has reached a level of exasperation. (Personal note: I always used a very soft voice for times of serious instruction so that my children would learn it was that quiet voice that was most powerful!) 
  • Expect obedience- If a child continues to touch the presents, depending on age and level of maturity, you must train them to obey. We use songs regarding obedience as reminders, charts on the refrigerator talking about obedience and a host of other things.
  • Train them to obey- For a young child you may need to physically remove them from the presents and say, “Mommy told you, don’t touch the presents.” I would often place my children a good distance from the object but still allow them access to return and disobey, if they chose to do so. At the same time, depending on age, I always provided another activity or task to keep them busy.  
  • Praise them- Praise them for choosing to do what's right. Even if it is only for a split second that they chose to do what was right. If they participate in an activity with you and keep looking over at the present, make comments such as: “I’m so proud of you for obeying mommy!” or “God is watching you and so proud of you right now!” 
  • Discipline them if they refuse instruction- If they insist on going back and touching the presents then they must be disciplined. I would say, “Oh, no! Mommy told you don’t touch the presents. You must choose to do what is right.” Remember, the discipline would need to be age appropriate. 
  • Be consistent! - Repeat the training session as needed! After the discipline, let’s say sitting on the couch in time out, the child is then allowed to make the choice again. This continues until the lesson is learned. Some days and issues take longer than others yet, we must be faithful to train our children and not become lazy in our duties as mother to the Kings people!  

There is so much to this subject of early training to discuss. Let me hear from you and your questions so that I address what is important to you. Do you have questions about something I said? Need more clarification or more practical suggestions? Just let me know and please… pray about the issue of counting… is it really training your children in Godliness?

With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood


  1. I would LOVE to see pictures of a chart you are using...or one you have used in the past that worked.

    One of my favorite parenting books is titled "Don't Make Me Count to 3" by Ginger Plowman. As a result of reading that book I have refrained from using the 1-2-3 method.

    But I still struggle with getting first time obedience - specifically with poor attitudes :-(! It seems very difficult to train attitudes - and disrespectful words. It appears new habits have popped up I have to deal with now that my son is 6 1/2. Sometimes I think he forgets who he is talking to...I say - I am not your sister...then I realize...he shouldn't be talking to his sister that way either - so I need to pay closer attention.

    I'm learning - but any ideas or methods for training the tongue would be appreciated in a future post!!!

    Merry Christmas!!!!

  2. Courtney, it is so good to hear from you! Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!!! We have always used the Doorpost Charts you can view their training tools at: www.doorposts.com I would encourage you to take a look. I think you will enjoy them as well. I have never read the book you mention. I think I will try and find a copy so I could offer it to others through our library. I will prayerfully consider a post on the tongue. The Wood family actually has a book that we LOVE in regards to this subject. If you send me your mailing address I would love to send you a copy. It is for adults however, you will be able to glean from it and use to teach the children. I think we first read it 15 years ago, this is a subject that we must continually refresh ourselves in as the tame is a challenge to tame!

    Merry Christmas dear friend!!!
    Mrs. Joseph Wood

  3. I would like the name of the book you are referring to by the Wood family --I would like to get it. I have read half way through the Don't make me count to three book and that is the best book that helped me to knwo what to say but, I had to get through the library ILL so I need to just buy it. It was really helping me and my children--Helping me not yell as I mentioned on another post. I love your post and your music playlist. I am going to listen to it all night, well, while I sleep. Thank you again.

  4. Hello Jessica! I am up late trying to finish up some desk work while the house is quiet. I know I must get to bed soon since my morning will come early. We wake at 5:30 over here in the Wood household! yikes! At any rate, I wanted you to know that I had to come and read through the post to know what "book" you were refering too. See, WE are the Wood family and we haven't written any book as of yet on this topic so I was a bit baffled. After reading my comment a few times I realized I was talking about a book that we love called, The Tongue-Our Measure. I blogged about it here: http://amomentwithmom.blogspot.com/2010/02/moment-in-proverbs-21510.html

    I also got your other comment with question and I will respond to that on the blog next week. AND.. most importantly when I read that you were going to listen to the music as you slept I prayed for your sleep to be sweet as written in Psm chapter 3! May the God of your Salvation minister His peace to you!
    With much love,
    Mrs. Joseph Wood

  5. Well, here I am again and I have read todays post ---just what I needed to hear/read. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I just can't say it enough, I know the Lord has lead me to you. I am first generation Christian and so is my husband --when I say that, families did attend church but, did not live a christian life. I look forward to your response on blog next week. Thank you for your prayer.