28 May 2020
Imagine you have had a hard day at the office and have just curled up on the couch to read a book or watch your favourite soap or football game. You are just getting into it when someone picks you up and drags you into the kitchen to wash the dishes without even asking you. You would probably be outraged. You might even have a tantrum. Same with little people. They are busy people playing a game on the floor and you swoop on them without warning and take them to bed, or tell them to put away their toys immediately and get dressed to go out. No wonder they have a tantrum.
By using the Countdown Technique you are able to very respectfully tell them that in, say, 15 minutes it will be bedtime, or in 15 minutes you will be going out and they will need to put their toys away and be ready to go out.
The steps are
1. Give the children a specific time e.g. 15 minutes to finish what they are doing, put their toys away and get dressed ready to go out, come to table to eat, or before they must go to bed, etc.
2. Place a clock where they can see it.
3. As the countdown proceeds tell them every few minutes how much time is left.
Children need to mentally prepare themselves for change.
Try to remember to keep all your interactions with your children respectful. Respect and love has to be earned – even from the little people.