Customer Review

99 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read for every parent, April 5, 2011
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2–12 (123 Magic) (Kindle Edition)
My son will be 12 in a couple of weeks and he still instantly responds whenever he sees a my index finger. I first read this book and put it into action when my son was probably between 4 and 5 years old.

My wife never read this book but saw the amazing results I was getting and I soon heard her saying "one... two...". Neither one of us has gotten to "three" since establishing the 'baseline' when we first started using this system.

Here's basically how we put it to work: When our boy misbehaved I held up one finger and said "one". He had a second chance "two" but at three he got an instant 5 minute time out.

My son found those 5 minutes excruciating and figured out VERY quickly that:

1. He received consistently INSTANT punishment at "three".

2. His punishment time was extended for "bad behavior" while in time out.

3. Most importantly, he figured out he had the ability to avoid any consequences by modifying his behavior.

Fast forward 8 or so years to the present. My son has never been spanked or otherwise punished physically. He just got another straight A report card - his usual since he started school. The comment I hear most often from his teachers is that he is a "joy" in the classroom. He's polite and kind and no pushover either: he just earned a second level karate black belt.

I could go on for an hour but needless to say he's turning out to be an amazing person.

I still use the system but nowadays it's usually discreet flash of a "one" or perhaps a "two" to let him know a course change is recommended. The only "three" he has seen in years is fair warning that his dad is about to pounce on him and tickle him until he begs for mercy.

Of course my wife (who never did read the book) will still yell "TWO" when she wants him to do something - but it still works for her.

Finally, use this book - it worked for my family. My only advice is to be certain to "set down the rules" early and consistently and then let your kid decide what course they take.

UPDATE Summer 2014:
Well, my son will be getting his driving permit soon and he qualified for placement in the "advanced technology" program in school having transferred with a 4.0 from private school. This young man is destined for success. I attribute his school success with the fact that his mother spent literally hours with him every evening working on homework. At this point he has developed excellent study skills that will serve him well.

As for behavior, he is a wonderful young man (and typical 15 year old). I am convinced that the 1-2-3 method - actually the idea of the method - has been instrumental in his becoming who he is. The idea of course, is that you are not forcing behavior but allowing the child to learn to make advantageous choices. THAT's the important message of book.

Today I see my son making choices all day long (as we all do) but he consciously weighs the pro/cons and options before taking action. He truly is a joy to watch as he gets older. And I still squeeze him when I get the chance.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2014 12:17:02 PM PDT
I'm curious though if this book addresses a child who will not stay in time out. My 4 year old wont sit in time out. Will this book be useless to us?
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