I don't like it, but I do it. I count to 3 in an effort to get my kids to do things that they don't do the first time I ask them to.
It doesn't really effect Devin. In one ear and out the other to no effect at all. Trevor will get upset if I count to 3 because he anticipates the time out on the other end of the 3. Trevor gets the whole counting to 3 thing. He has internalized it.
The other day, we were playing outside on the deck. Our deck has no stairs to the ground, and it's on the second level of the home (it's on the first level, but the basement is a walk out, so the deck is on the second level.) Trevor dropped a car, and so he ran out the front door, down the hill beside the house, and retrieved the car. Devin followed because that's what Devin does. Plus, I think Trevor said, "Follow me!"
On the way back to the house, Trevor said, "Come on, Devin, let's take a shortcut!" meaning he wanted to come back through the basement. From the deck, I said, "No, you can't. The door is locked." He tells me to open it. I say No, I don't want to. He wants to know why, and I say it's because I don't want to have to walk down the stairs, and anyway, he should just come around to the front door.
He says, "Open the door, mom!"
I said no.
He says, "1, 2, 3..."
I said HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Then told him to come around to the front, anyway.