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1-2-3 Magic : Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, January 28, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews


If your child has begun to rule the roost a bit more than you'd like, this book provides a system to get your family operating smoothly. Especially sensible is Phelan's theory that children shouldn't be argued with endlessly to convince them to do what you want them to do. He also wisely points out the best way to get your child to repeat unwanted behavior is to have a highly emotional reaction to it. The plan is simple, and though it's not quite magic, it may feel like it is. -- Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., L.A. Parent Magazine, September 1999

This newly revised second edition provides a fine coverage of effective discipline choices to be used on children ages 1-12. From handling sibling rivalry and arguing to avoiding self-defeating syndromes and reactions, this covers everything from home to public behavior, providing parents with plenty of solid tips which work. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the author of "I Never Get Anything!", All About Attention Deficit Disorder, Surviving Your Adolescents, Self-Esteem Revolutions in Children, and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. He lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Parentmagic, Inc.; 2 edition (January 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188914004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889140049
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,071,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We had tried everything to try and show our 3 year old son who is in charge. We could'nt go to restaurants (or almost and public place for that matter) without it ending in a meltdown and being bitten, pinched and hit by our son. Even at home if he didn't get his way he would bite/hit/pinch/scream. We agreed not to spank, but found ourselves yelling often. Many days I ended up in tears. My son's preschool teacher recommeded this book. I stayed up almost all night one night reading it, and put it into action. It has changed everything! Not only does the counting method really work (I had sort of used my own counting before, but I wasn't following the "no talking no emotions" rule), but we just feel more in charge and in control, which our son seems to sense and respond to. He is much better behaved all the way around, but if he does have a meltdown it is gone right after "that's two". I can't believe what a difference this has made in my house!
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Format: Audio Cassette
I listened to the tape of this book while I commuted. In less than a week I was ready.
Within 5 minutes our son understood the new 'rules of the game'. Within 2 days we had a more sane house. Yes, really.
The discipline of the old days was 'spank your kid', and many of us reject this. The problem is that there wasn't a replacement that worked. So some parents keep spanking, some parents just yell all day. Either way, it's not a happy feeling of control.
The basics of the 1-2-3 method are simple, kid-understandable, quick-to-implement, & quick to explain. (So you can even get care-takers, teachers, cub-scout leaders in on the game - to have some consistency.) But don't kid yourself - the real value is in understanding all of it.
I don't believe I'm actually writing this but - just try it and you'll be a believer too.
I loved the audio tape especially. In the first few minutes of the tape, the initial '1-2-3 Magic' is revealed. I wanted to start that day. Then examples, tactics for multiple kids and reinforcement follow. All of it is key to recognizing your kid's techniques for handling YOU, and creating the sane environment we all wish for.
OK, life still isn't perfect, but this information goes a very long way to getting you out of the nightmare you might be in.
I've bought copies for my sister, my friends, and my church. Every time I see a screaming parent and a crying kid, (or a nasty, defiant kid), I wish I had the nerve to give them a copy.
No, I don't work for the author, but I sure would like to thank him. ;-)
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Format: Paperback
Tom Phelan has indeed written a sensible, easy to read, discipline book that clearly explains his 1-2-3
Magic theory designed for parents of tots-gradeschoolers. As a veteran preschool teacher, many of the parents of my own students over the years have found success with Phelan's techniques. However, some conscientious but frustrated moms and dads admitted to me that they found themselves between a rock and a hard place as they reached '2 and 3 quarters', '2 and 7 eighth's', etc ...unable to change the behavior of their sometimes annoying, disrespectful, uncooperative kids. Not to
worry...Although your career as a magician may fall short of your goal, you are not doomed to be labeled an ineffective disciplinarian. It has been my experience, both as a parent and teacher, that there is no one single discipline approach that works every time, for every kid in every family. Although I
totally respect 'the count' in this book, I strongly encourage parents to seek out an assortment of strategies that for whatever reason might be a better fit at a particular moment, in respect to age, personalities and parenting style. If you have young kids (2's, 3's 4's,and 5's) who are literally driving
you towards your wits' end with such things as their bad words, 'I hate you's', hitting, whining, parent deafness, tantrums, lying, 'gimmes', mealtime and bedtime refusals, I suggest checking out "The Pocket Parent", a quick read A-Z guide, loaded with hundreds of fast answers and tips to try. The bullets of information (called 'sanity savers') are written
exclusively for preschool behavior and are based on a solid philosophy that maintains a real sense of concern for the needs and feelings of both children and their parents. I highly recommend both books for a variety of workable discipline options that parents (and preschooler teachers) can choose from while trying to remain sane in the process!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended by a friend who knew that I was struggling with my daughter. I'm a single father of a (as of 10.10.02) five-year-old daughter. I have her everyday from after school, 3:30 to 6:30, and all day Sunday, and she still lives with her mom. I was raised with a smack first mentality and her mother believes in spanking, too. I decided early on that I wouldn't do that as it did nothing to improve my unruly behavior. Having said that, I was very skeptical of this book but with the great reviews here at Amazon, I gave it a shot. After reading about half of the book, I told my daughter I was reading a book about how we could better handle behavior issues. She abhors me yelling, despite causing the need for it. The book says that at that age, initially they might not understand the 1-2-3 explanation, but THE VERY SAME DAY, she understood. It worked for everything from leaving the park earlier than she wanted, to not listening at the house, in other words, everything. In fact, if I immediately got mad (this is addressed also at the end of the book under the backtracking chapter), she would say, "Hey, you didn't even count." Now, I have only had to use this a couple of times with my "old school" parents around, whom I know would prefer the spanking method, but the book does recommend strategies for dealing with skeptical loved ones, other parents, or friends. Finally, the second portion of the book addresses the "start behavior" such as cleaning rooms, homework, etc. While my daughter doesn't have as much to do as an older child, it has been very effective in dealing with these issues, too. In a nutshell, I was a divorced, clueless, single parent who grew up virtually isolated from other kids, so I was very eager for advice, and quite simply this book provided it. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book and it's recommended age range of 2-12 seems quite reasonable. I hope you find it as useful as I did.
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