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73 Reviews
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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really works!
I can't say enough about this program. It works. It really, really works. I have four children ages 14 months to 7 1/2 years. It was our third child that brought us to our knees. He started the "terrible twos" at one and a half and didn't stop for two years until we started this program. A month before I found out about 123 Magic I told my husband, "we have to...
Published on July 28, 2010 by Preacher Girl

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ONLY PART ONE, NOT TWO & THREE
I was surprised when we were watching the video to find out that it was only part ONE of three parts. The book is called Magic 1-2-3 and I assumed the video reflected the book. As we were watching it, we learned that it was only part one.... bummer.
Published 15 months ago by YankeeDoodleMom


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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really works!, July 28, 2010
I can't say enough about this program. It works. It really, really works. I have four children ages 14 months to 7 1/2 years. It was our third child that brought us to our knees. He started the "terrible twos" at one and a half and didn't stop for two years until we started this program. A month before I found out about 123 Magic I told my husband, "we have to figure out how to parent/discipline this child because if we don't, he is the kind who can destroy a family and it won't be his fault (he's too young), it will be ours because we never figured out how to discipline him". We love our son very much but we had stopped enjoying him. Some days I was facing five terrible tantrums before lunch. And when I say tantrums, I mean he was getting himself so worked up that he would sometimes vomit all over himself. One therapist told us to do a "rescue hug" on him. Well, we did rescue hugs, sometimes for 45 minutes to almost no avail. It also wasn't realistic. I have three other children and I can't be doing a "rescue hug" for hours each day on just one child. I was in despair as to what to do when a counselor told me about 123 Magic. She told me that it would be easy to implement and that it would work. She was right. We have a different home and people who knew the before and after have been amazed.

In the video Dr. Phelan continually stresses that the two main keys to this program are 1)don't use too much emotion and 2)don't use too many words. When you watch the video it will make sense. He goes on to say that parents come up to him at conferences and will say that the program worked great for about six weeks and then quit working. He instructs that the program still works, it is just that the parents have gone back to using too much emotion and/or too many words. We found this to be entirely true. When a parent is used to nagging, lecturing, and yelling, it can be a hard habit to break. My husband and I did really well for the first six weeks or so and then somehow forgot these two main principles. Sure enough, the kids (especially the third-born) started acting worse. We have gotten back on track and it is working again. The goal as the months and years go by is that the children learn to internally monitor themselves.

In the video Dr. Phelan warns that about half of the kids will immediately comply with the program and about half will immediately test it. We figured that our third-born would immediately test and he did. We took courage, though, that in about ten days he would be through that. In fact, it probably took only about five. He is a much happier child now and we are a much happier family. If you have given up hope of finding a program that works, try this one. The beauty of it is that it works for ages 2-12 and all personality types. You don't have to figure out a different discipline for each child's age and personality.

Along with this video I bought the kids version of the book. I highly recommend to do that as well. We read the book to our three older kids and they were fascinated. And even though they still fight it sometimes, they really like the program because I'm not yelling or nagging much at all anymore. A few weeks ago my seven-year old and I were in a restaurant together. She saw a child acting up and she quietly said to me, "they should use 123 Magic." I asked her if she liked 123 Magic and why. She said, "because it gets kids to obey."
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an AMAZING method !!!, December 18, 2005
I have read many books on how to manage children with difficult behavior but this is the only method I found extremely useful. I am a teacher and I teach in a bilingual elementary school. The first time I used it it worked! I couldn't believe it. I think that all the teachers and parents should watch this DVD. I've watched it 6 times and every time I find something I've missed. I have tried it on very wild kids, it works so effectively. I don't get frustrated or angry anymore. This is the best 36 dollars I have ever spent. Thank you Dr. Phelan
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh MY!, January 9, 2007
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Never thought a person could make it so simple! This man tells it like it is and gives you simple ways on how to manage your difficult child.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This only covers the first part of the book!!!, June 3, 2011
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This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12 (DVD)
I liked the DVD it was easy to watch, a bit cheezy at times but the role playing usually is. Good information overall. But why I only gave it 4 stars is because it only covers the first half of the book. You would have to spend $70 to get all the info the book covers and that is just too expensive! They also should make it more clear that this is just the "Stop" behavior part and doesn not contain the "Start" behavior portion of the book.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not a quick fix, but sure makes it easier, February 10, 2006
As a professional who works with families of children with challenging behaviors, this is a resource I recommend over and over. Parenting, especially in this time of conflicting advice from all around, is tough work. Dr. Phelan boils behavior management down to a few key principles within a system that makes it as simple as possible for parents to stay consistent -- the key to any discipline.

I've used this as a classroom teacher, a consultant, a parent educator, and as a parent myself, and while I have tweaked it a little over the years, I recommend any parent give it a try. Also, the video format makes it easier for parents to stay on the same page since they can (and should) watch it together and make a consistent game plan.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1-2-3 Magic DVD Review, January 4, 2011
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This video is an excellent accompaniment/alternative to the book which is authored by Dr Phelan.
What you get on the video is a down to Earth explanation of the 1-2-3 Magic system, and a deeper understanding of the warmth and humour of Dr Phelan, who comes across as an excellent presenter.
Its a very easy ~90min video to watch ideally with your partner.
Having already read the book, it made the video easier to absorb, and my partner and I have redoubled our efforts to employ the system. As with every other parent, we find it works well, and are lucky enough to have instant compliance from our kids. Particularly the older one, who likes to show off to the younger one that she understands the rules.
I would recommend this video heartily, but would also recommend that the more 1-2-3 magic video is additionally obtained. 1-2-3 Magic is all about "stop" behaviours (stop hitting, whining, teasing, badgering, talking back etc.) More 1-2-3 magic is all about "start" behaviours (tidy your room, get ready to go to school, eat your dinner). All parents (referred to as "wild animal trainers" through the video) will recognise their own desire to get kids moving, as well as getting kids to stop, so the videos are a complimentary set. Both my partner and I have tried the "stop" tools in 1-2-3 magic as "start"ers, and this has proven to be confusing for everyone, and singularly unsuccessful !!
Both videos are easily worth $200, for the sanity that they can restore to any chaotic family home, if the tools are understood and used properly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for families with young children, February 6, 2010
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This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12 (DVD)
I am a therapist who work with families and children. I bought this a tool to help families learn effective discipline methods. The simple method is easy to understand and implement. Most families find some value from this even if they are not able to use the technique flawlessly. Who can?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12, February 15, 2011
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This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12 (DVD)
This DVD is producing miraculous results in the families of those who are implementing the method of 1-2-3 Magic. The DVD is very clear, succinct, interesting, and invaluable for parents and children. Nowadays, parents seem to be afraid of their children, and children seem to reign over the lives of their parents. This method can transform the quality of family life as well as the nature and character of the children who follow it. The sooner parents can implement this gentle but firm and unwavering strategy, the better... before the children turn into teenagers.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, effective classroom management, November 14, 2009
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I am a counselor at an elementary school. Behavioral problems in the classroom setting are always an issue. Most management methods are too complex. This program is very easy, and both teachers and children relate well to the setting of healthy boundaries. The DVD illustrates the method well. I recommend this DVD to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good parenting advice, December 27, 2011
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This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12 (DVD)
I am the mother of a very strong-willed 3 year old. I originally bought the 1-2-3 Magic book, and faithfully read it cover to cover. My husband is not the reading type (if there's no pictures he doesn't want it) so when I saw there was a video I purchased it quickly. We watched it one night after the kids went to bed, and it was very much like the book except even more in depth. Both of us looked like idiots, nodding and saying "UH HUH, YES!!" throughout the whole thing because it seemed like Dr Phelan knows our child. We instituted the practices and I can tell you it works. It is so very simple, yet so profound. The babysitter has it now and my mom will get it next. It's also great for teachers. Two warnings: it's pretty darn expensive but it's worth it! And this only discusses the "stop" behaviors, you have to purchase the 2nd video for the "start" behaviors, which I haven't done yet.
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1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12
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