Don’t Make Me Count to Three – Book 1

Remember my grand and glorious book list of 2011? Yes, well I’ve been chugging away at it. I’ll admit it now – I’m already behind. gaaaahhhhhh!!! But it’s okay. Because I’m making progress. And progress is better than nothing. Plus, if i had never made the goal, pretty sure I would not be working at it.

So, while I’m slightly disappointed I’m behind, I have not lost hope. After all, there are still 10 months left in 2011. 🙂

Anyway, the point of this post is not to blab about my failure to keep up with the goal, but to report that

BOOK 1 IS FINISHED!!! Yee-haw!

The first book I read in 2011 was Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

This book is for you if:

1. You’re a mom.
2. You have kids at home who are 12 or under.

This book is geared towards mom of younger kids. While a lot of the philosophy still applies to teens, the examples do not. Since my daughter is only 15 months old, I cannot use all of the ideas in this book yet, but I was glad to read it for future use.

This book is extremely practical. Throughout the book, Plowman gives personal examples that perfectly illustrate the points of the book. Her emphasis is on “heart-oriented discipline.”

I thought about how to give you a peek inside this book and my solution is to share some of my favorite quotations from the book. I’ll start with an excerpt from chapter 1…an excerpt that illustrates the style and transparency of the author’s writing:

“Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” … I learned humility well one Friday afternoon in the Winn Dixie Grocery Store about three years ago. … The place was packed…In the line next to me, the very last line, waited a mother and her two small children. They were about the same ages as my children, three and five. … The five-year-old began to beg mom for a coke (Let the games begin!).

Mom gave a firm, “No.” The boy began to walk over to the refrigerator.

Mom said (loudly), “You better not open that door!” The boy opened the door.

“You better not pull a drink out of there, mister!” The boy grabbed a coke.

“If you open that coke, you are going to get it!” The boy unscrewed the cap, tossed it on the floor, and took a big swig.

Mom was screaming now, having completely lost it. “You just wait until we get home and your daddy hears about this!”

…this scene had the full attention of every customer. Now, in order for all these people to watch the scene unfold, they had to look past me and my children, who on this particular day were behaving well. Enter pride. Rather than having compassoion for this poor mom and the struggles she was havingt with her children, I smugly thought, “You won’t see my kids acting like that.”

And then it happened. My three-year-old daughter, Alex, was standing right behind me when all of a sudden she blurted out the most horrible three words imaginable. It was as if she grabbed one of the microphones from the check-out counter and yelled into it with all her might. Waving her hands frantically in front of her face, in a BOOMING voice, she screams, “Mama! You pooted!” My entire body froze. Time stood still. To this day, I do not know which was worse – the second she blurted it out or the minute it took for everyone to realize it was true.”


I have never been able to read that story without shaking with laughter. 😉


Now that you’ve seen a little bit of the author’s personality, here are some of my favorite quotations from the book. I’ll limit it to 10.

  1. “It is possible to cause your child to change his irritating behavior to that which is acceptable without an actual heart change taking place.” (pg. 33)
  2. “Your first objective in correction must not be to tell your child how you feel about what they have done or said but to draw out the cause of the behavior.” (pg. 39)
  3. “When children behave sinfully, use the Word of God for verbally training them in righteousness and then reinforce that training by having them put it into practice at that very moment.” (pg. 63)
  4. “If we could view all of their sinful behaviors as precious opportunities to teach them then we would be far more righteous in our training. We would be joyful and eager all the time rather than angry and frustrated.” (pg. 70)
  5. “The question is not: Will they sin? The question is: When they sin, what will you do about it? Will you ignore them, scream at them, make excuses for them, or will you train them up in the way they should go? (Prov. 22:6)” (pg. 72)
  6. “We are robbing our children of the blessing that God intends for them when we fail to require obedience.” (pg. 73)
  7. “When training is done properly, it should always end on a positive note.” (pg. 105)
  8. “A secure child is a child that knows his boundaries and is consistently corrected when he oversteps them.” (pg. 113)
  9. “Discipline shouldn’t be an “I’ll show you!” mentality, or a “Boy, you’re gonna get it now!” It should be, “I love you too much to allow this sin to take root in your heart and grow.” (pg. 115)
  10. “Right attitudes are not issues of the emotions. They are issues of the will, which means that a child can choose to be happy and content.” (pg. 119)


Wow – I know that’s a lot of things to read all at once and let sink in. But if you can think on those nuggets of truth, I am sure they will be a help to you as you parent – just as they were to me.

Plowman also includes a chart on pages 94-95 called “Wise Words for Mom.” It is an extremely practical chart including a description of the child’s wrong behavior, heart probing questions for Mom to ask them, as well as a reproof, encouragement, and additional verses section. I’m sure I will be referring to this book a LOT in the future!

I trust this post was a blessing to you – especially if you are a mom. If you are interested in buying this book, amazon sells it here. (And if you don’t have extra $ to spend on books, you should start using swagbucks as your default search engine. Seriously. I have bought many of my books using my swagbucks gift cards to amazon!)

Your local Christian bookstore may have it as well. Or, if you live in the area, you’re welcome to borrow it from me. But it’s already on loan to someone right now, so perhaps I’ll have to start a loaning library. 😉

Have a great weekend! Love your kids and let them see it!


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