Don’t Make Me Count to Three: A Mom’s Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline is one of the best resources a parent can have. Plowman not only gives sound advice, but she also backs it up with Scripture (which is one of my favorite things to see in a parenting book). Don’t Make Me Count to Three! is broken up into three different parts: reaching the heart of the your child, how to give a Biblical reproof, and the Biblical use of the rod (yes, she addresses the touchy spanking subject). Each part builds on each other and just flows with a wealth of information – taking everything back to your child’s heart.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; however, it is one that I feel needs to be taped to my side for constant referral. There is so much useful information, I felt like I was trying to drink out of a gushing fire hydrant. Plowman does include a chart of many of the Scriptures and disciplines that she mentions in the book, but there was not room for all of the Scripture that she did use.
I also feel that, while what Plowman teaches in her book is wonderful, it is slightly difficult to practice on a child under the age of understanding (two, maybe three). Yes, I can start teaching my child the Scriptures; however, much of the disciplining that Plowman mentions seems to just go over my child’s head. She is a very smart eighteen month old, but when she is breaking down and throwing tantrums because she missed her afternoon nap, taking her aside and explaining that we do not throw fits just because we are tired seems to be lost on her. I am still working and teaching her, but I feel like much of my time now is training myself to do the correct parenting, not necessarily making my child do everything to the T. When she does reach the age of understanding, I feel like we will have a good base under us to work with.
I do like what she says about spanking. It is good and needed when necessary — not because the child has brought us to that breaking point, but for teaching and disciplinary action. Explaining to the child why it is happening and not just for every wrong thing that he does makes the difference.
This parenting book (and the charts and resources that Plowman provides in the book) will be something that I refer to for advice for years (and children) to come.