The count to 5 rule.

This morning, as I was walking my daughter into school I heard a familiar phrase in a familiar tone of voice. A phrase often used by myself. “I’m going to count to 5 and if you haven’t [insert request] I will [insert punishment]. The only problem is, just like this mum, the punishments I choose aren’t ones that I can or will see through! This particular mum said “or I’ll go without you”, I’ve said this but of course I’d never go without her and the little monkey knows this. Even pretending to walk away doesn’t work. I’ve used “I’ll cancel your swimming club” of course I won’t! I’ve also used “or you’re not having the iPad for a week”. Anyone with kids knows how much a week of withholding the iPad is more of a punishment to the parents than to the kids.

So what is a fitting punishment? Not long after listening to this mum I too found myself counting to 5. 1, 2 then she pipes up, “what will you do if you get to 5 mummy?”. I desperately try and think of something I can actually follow through with and I can’t. “I don’t know but I’ll think of something”.

This little monkey knows just how to get around us. Recently she has taken to mimicking me when I’m telling her off. She knows I struggle to keep a straight face when she does this. She does it so well!

What is a mum supposed to do?


  1. I can relate to what you have said. Children are so intuitive in knowing how to either push your buttons or bring you back from a point you didn’t know you could come back from!


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