count to ten

[count to ten] {v. phr.}, {informal} To count from one to ten so you will have time to calm down or get control of yourself; put off action when angry or excited so as not to do anything wrong.

Father always told us to count to ten before doing anything when we got angry.

Compare: KEEP ONE'S HEAD. Contrast: BLOW A FUSE, FLY OFF THE HANDLE.