Book Review – Don’t Make Me Count to Three

Title: “Don’t Make Me Count to Three!” A mom’s look at heart-oriented discipline
Author: Ginger Plowman

Where Ted Tripp leaves off in Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Ginger Plowman picks up. If you agree with the philosophy of parenting being more than just correcting your child’s behavior, but guiding them to love God and make wise choices, but you struggle with how to incorporate that into your daily life, this is a great resource. It is filled with Scripture and wisdom, as well as practical ideas.

The book is divided into three parts: Reaching the Heart of Your Child, How to Give Biblical Reproof and the Biblical Use of the Rod. Plowman’s approach is to introduce a concept, share the Biblical view and then walk you through possible conversations you would have with your children. She addresses issues like sharing, obeying, lying, and sibling rivalry to name a few. At first, I felt like these examples were a little cheesy, I later found myself using her exact words in my preschool Sunday school class. The effect was astounding. The situation was immediately and peacefully resolved and I felt like I had actually reached the child at the heart level.

The other main point I walk away from this book with is that it is not enough just to show our children what not to do. We must be diligent to also show them the correct response. Plowman walks through many examples of correcting her children, showing them the Biblical reason and then walking them through what they should have done. It is time consuming and requires effort, but as Plowman shares, “This is how we train our children to walk in the righteousness of Christ.”

This book is filled with Biblical wisdom and practical application that works. I highly recommend it to not only parents, but those who interact with children on a regular basis.



  1. spaghettipie

    Of course you can! I also promised to loan it to someone else, but I think she’s in the middle of reading something. I’ll check and get it to you.

  2. cassidy

    Both Ted Tripp and Ginger Plowman’s approaches to child “care” are shocking. Advocating spanking children from infancy is not a Christian value that I share. As a Christian mother I believe that Jesus gave us the example, lead with love and compassion. Through our example do our children learn best… spare the rod and spoil the child is NOT scripture and a good shepherd knows that the rod is used to guide and protect and never intended for use on the flock….. shame on you for advocating in God’s name….

  3. spaghettipie

    Cassidy – Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. It’s unfortunate that I don’t feel either the love or compassion you talk about through your comment, but only words intended to evoke guilt and shame. I hope your method of discipline aligns with what the heart of what both Tripp and Plowman talk about and not that corrective method I experience here.

    While I have no issue with spanking when it is handled in a proper, well-controlled, intentional way, the reason I advocate these two books is for the heart of what they are saying – a message applicable to both advocates of spanking and not. The first 3/4 of Plowman’s book in particular would be of great use to you (have you read it?), as she walks through how to speak truth, not sugar-coat sin, and teach the right behavior not just correct it – despite what method you may use. Much of what Plowman discusses is how to talk through correction with your children and how to train their hearts. That is information I think every parent can use.

    It appears to me you came to my blog by searching for Ted Tripp. I’m curious to know why you were searching for him if you do not advocate his style of parenting.

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