I was never one to claim I had the whole mothering thing down. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure my oldest will be completely screwed up and need years of therapy. However, there are certain things I figured out along the way that I thought were great parenting techniques . . . until I had another child.
My oldest is on the cusp of age 5 and when he refuses to do something, the counting to 3 thing still works on him. Honest to God I have no idea what I will do when I get to 3, but that's besides the point. I never get to 3. He grunts and groans at 1 and is doing what is asked of him by 2. Okay, I've got this disciplining thing. Not so fast smartypants.
Along comes baby boy #2 and he's a whole different ball of wax. He will be 2 at the end of May and just flat out refuses to do what is asked of him. I figure I've been down this road before, I know exactly what to do. Here comes the counting to 3, baby boy. I start with 1 and he chimes in and keeps counting to 12. I've put him in time-out (I guess that's what you do when you get to 3) and he cries but still refuses to do what is asked of him. Maybe he's still a bit young to grasp the concept of what's going on . . . but I think not.
Another thing baby boy does that the oldest never did - hit. He hits his big brother only he does it on the sly, making you think big brother is the problem. As soon as big brother yells "Moooooooooom", he starts to cry making me thing he's the one who's hurt. He actually thinks hitting is funny. He's swung at me a couple of times. This shocked me at first. The oldest child never dared raised his hands to me. This is not tolerated so baby boy goes straight to time-out, cries, and comes out swinging.
The dynamic of having 2 children is very different than having just one. There's a sibling thing going on there - a competition of sorts. The way I see it, I'm just a referee and official gatekeeper of time-out. Double the trouble and still double the reward.