Now We Need To Figure Out How To Count Backwards

Micah's compliance level is mostly in the negative aspects. Sometimes it'll jump up to about a 2 on the scale of 1 to 10, and on those days we rejoice greatly because life suddenly got a whole lot easier for everyone. The key is to make the boy think that what I want him to do is all his idea, hatched in his own brain. This isn't always as easy as one would think, partially because the boy's reasoning skills aren't that awesome. One can't just say, "if you do A, I'll give you B." He doesn't grasp that, he just hears "do A" and melts into a puddle of high-level noncompliance.

You know, like any 2 year old.

We've been living in this stage for more than half a decade now. It's as fun as it sounds. It's also reasons #1, 2, and 3 on why we are absolutely sure we are done having kids. Well, that, and the fact that we decided even before he was conceived that 4 was our jumping off point.

Mostly, the easiest way to get Micah to be excited about chores is to put his siblings to work first. He'll then realize that either chores are what's happening and it's his turn, or that his siblings decided to do chores and he *really* wants in on the action. He's all about peer pressure, that one. The latter happens less and less frequently, partly because the older kids have the nerve to grumble about said chores. While Micah lacks reasoning skills, he can pick up on attitudes quicker than the dogs can sniff through the trash. So again, the compliance levels are in the toddler range.

But I've recently discovered something to swing things in my favor. Counting. The whole, ONE, TWO, DON'T MAKE ME GET TO THREE kinda works for him. I'm pretty sure this works for the sole reason that I hate this method. I've taught my kids "instant willing obedience" and still drill that into them. I expect to be obeyed the first time EVERY time. If I have to tell you to do something twice, you're already in trouble. But with Micah, forced compliance ends up ugly no matter how you look at it. Trust me, I've tried everything I know. But the counting somehow works miracles in his little world.

Now I just need to figure out how to get the magical down from 3 to 1.

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