Thursday, May 1, 2014

Count Me Out


When I was a young boy, roughly fifty years ago, some of my friends had parents who were... Well, let's just call them “counters.” If a friend of mine was misbehaving, especially in public, the mom or dad would start counting aloud, as a warning that my buddy had better shape up, pronto.

Some counters counted to three, some five, some ten... You never knew what their cut-off point was, because the counters never counted down –- “Five, four, three...” –- they always counted up. If the little sucker hadn't shaped up by the time the count was finished, though, he'd get a smack! (And I don't mean a kiss.)

(What really sucked was if a kid was with one of those parents that hit other people's kids... and yes, we had them then. Those poor children never knew where the count would end, which effectively shot the “warning” aspect all to hell! “One... two... three...” WHACK! “Hey! My mom always gives me till ten!)

Anyway, now that corporal punishment has fallen out of vogue, I'm curious about one thing: There are still parents out there who count like that when the child's being a brat. The question is, if said child doesn't toe the line by the time the parent's counting limit is reached...

What does the parent do?

By the way, if anybody wants to turn my comment section into a serious forum on the pros and cons of corporal punishment... please don't.

Thanks for your time.

34 comments:

  1. *Putting away 30-page paper on pros and pros of corporal punishment*

    I've always thought the counters sounded ridiculous. Seriously, that kid is not going to act on one, two, or even five if he knows you're headed all the way to ten anyway. Kind of the same way they don't listen until the vocal commands reach a particular decibel level.

    I'll admit to being fascinated by the parents who have no problem punishing other people's kids. One one hand, I'm saying, "Yeah! Stop that brat!" and on the other hand, I'm wondering if I'm next if I don't shape up.

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    1. I've always loved parents who -- as I like to put it -- "act parentally" in public, as if to show the world that they're big enough and tough enough to be the boss of an eight-year-old.

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  2. If you're going to have a rule...have the dang rule. I always think it's ridiculous when the parent reaches the designated number and then starts saying "Three and a half....three and three quarters..."

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    Replies
    1. I've seen that. Makes the parent look so useless.

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    2. I think that very thing......counting three and a half etc is what made me hate fractions as a child. My parents didn't count either, but some of my friends parents did, and I could never figure out the fractions to know when they were getting close to the dreaded "end number."

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    3. Wow... That's really interesting!

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  3. Not a fan of counting. Just saying.
    Not a fan of correcting other people's children either.
    I do sometimes set a timer. For example "See if you can clean up all the toys in five minutes."
    If I did count....which I don't.....I would probably make them go to their room for "time out" if the behavior didn't stop.
    I think you avoid a lot of bad behavior if you let the child know ahead of time what is expected of them.
    Sorry about the lengthy, opinionated comment.

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    Replies
    1. No apology necessary. :) I like the "timer" idea, though.

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  4. By the way, my parents weren't counters. And no one else's parents ever laid a hand on me, except for a couple of teachers in grammar school. No slaps!

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    Replies
    1. so you were an angel then? wonder what happened.....ducks....

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    2. My mother always said that no matter how bad my sister and I could be at home, she was never afraid to take us out. We had an aversion to "making a scene." I wish more people were like that today.

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  5. haha I watch my aunt and uncle count with their kid, pathetic. She does what she wants until it reaches the number stops until they are done and say "thank you" "good" whatever and then starts again and they count again, stupid!

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    Replies
    1. A smart kid can make the parents look silly! Ha.

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  6. I've never been a counter. I have a Dad look that seems to work wonders.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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  7. The twins always were so good out and in others home but inside somtimes were different sigh!
    Still they hate making a scene in public!
    I notice sometimes they are fighting but so quiet:)

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like myself and my older sister when we were kids.

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  8. And sometimes they fight by washap now!

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  9. Counting down and time limits are certainly in vogue on cooking shows, but they always count down, not up. Makes more sense.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. And thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Congratulations on successfully finishing this challenge! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z", and I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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  11. That's the tough part. My ex-husband's parents never spanked him. He always bragged that his dad didn't have to...all his dad had to do was look at them and they'd behave. But it turns out, there was a spanking or two early on...they learned that if they didn't behave, a spanking would come. The problem with threatening is that it only works until the child figures out it's just a bluff.

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  12. Congrats on getting through the challenge.

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  13. oh my sons know my rules...and they are not pleasant.
    i was spanked growing up...i have on a rare occassion spanked mine
    far worse, i make them work off their punishment...which benefits us all...
    smiles.

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  14. Parents that hit other people's kids.... Dear Lord. Okay, so when the parents get old and turn into children again, it's time to start counting.

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  15. Yes, counting is still popular in parenting. Odd, I've never seen a child shape up before the final number, whether it's three, five, ten or what it is. :-)
    Time out with no TV, or going home early from the pool, lots of things can happen at the end of the count.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  16. That's if the parent isn't bluffing, of course.

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  17. A counter . . . nope. I just give them the mommy look and they respond immediately. I love it lol

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    Replies
    1. You and Brandon seem to have the "looks" down.

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