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1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 Paperback – February 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Usually parents get caught in the trap of explaining or justifying their prerogative. This can be done once: clearly I am the adult, and not only is it my responsibility to guide your development, but, because I have been where you are and understand your situation--mainly frustration at not getting what you want--it is I, not you, who are in a position to make the right decisions. Period. Indeed, this doesn't even have to be said once. Children understand, with or without realizing it, that Mom and Dad know better than they do.
So any sort of "talk" is not only superfluous but may obscure what has happened, namely that the child has done something wrong and the parent wants it stopped. Furthermore, if you talk, the child talks and the lesson is diluted.
Even worse is for the parent to get emotional about disciplining the child. It's your job, do it and don't get worked up about it because discipline is just a technique in the larger socialization process. If you allow yourself to become emotional, you muddy up the waters and detract from the business at hand.
Phelan's 1-2-3 Magic technique works and is easy to learn and implement.Read more ›
I have several friends who swear by this book, but it just didn't cut it for us. I would recommend trying it out for yourself to see whether it will work for you. If not, "Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility" by Foster Cline and Jim Fay is a great book that incorporates all the things we felt were lacking in this one.
His advice is practical and well tested. His book sites many specific examples of what our kids do and say and what WE can do differently to change THEIR behavior.
He addresses discipline regarding 2 types of behaviors... "STOP" behavior (like bad words, hitting, whining and disrespectful attitude)and "START" behavior ( like getting the kids to do their homework, chores, clean up, use manners etc.)
He emphasizes that "the Magic" it is not so much the counting of...1, 2, 3 but rather how you choose to say it...in a calm yet athoritative manner so that the child knows the parent means business. He also talked about the importance of discussion outside the heat of the moment with the child either in a one-on-one discussion or a family meeting.
Our 2-way communication with our children now involves more listening to one another and less lecturing. I realized that I had been doing the count all wrong expecting the magic to happen...threatening and screaming the numbers at the top of my lungs finding myself reaching 2 and 3/4...2 and 7/8 and feeling my kids were in total control and that I was a failure with the technique that was working so well for my neighbor.
Listening to Dr. Phelan and reading his book has taught me how to use this method correctly and to my surprise it is actually now working with my 6 and 8 year old. If you have a toddler or preschooler like me, I found many more age appropriate positive discipline strategies in another complementary A-Z guide for parents of 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's...called "The Pocket Parent".Read more ›
Now for the not so good...This book has a really condescending tone that so many parenting books adopt and it drives me crazy! I think children understand a lot more than people realize. I don't think it's appropriate to never discuss their behavior with them as the book suggests. And frankly, I find counting every single offense to be unrealistic. I understand the concept behind it, but for us it just really doesn't work. Instead we make the request once and when she doesn't comply we will determine appropriate discipline. Sometimes time out is the best answer, but sometimes it isn't. You have to pick your battles.
I think the actual magic of this book is explaining to frustrated parents that they really just need to calm down a bit and use a cool and level head when they are disciplining children. Additionally, the section on rewarding and encouraging good behavior is good. Positive reinforcement is one of the most important components of good discipline and one that is often neglected. For these reasons, I think it's a worthy book. And the counting technique is fine, but it's not the only way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased 5 parenting books recently and this is my favorite. It is so straight forward and easy to read and apply. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Nancy
I love this book great for parents looking to discipline without stress!Published 6 months ago by Stephanie Baella
Will stand behind this book 100%. It's made a world of a difference with our strong willed little girl. And the technique is so simple! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Every parent needs this. I purchased this for a friend with a young child after my positive experience. My daughter "got it" in three days. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am less than a week into applying the lessons from this book, and have noticed a complete behavior turn-around! Our home is calmer and we are ALL much happier. Read morePublished 7 months ago by DeskJockey
Excellent book. A friend suggested this book to help us develop better discipline technigues. It arrived quickly and was in excellent condition. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Elizabeth
I read and used this book when my two oldest children were young. They are now 32 and 30 years old. The book helped me so much that I bought it for my son and daughter-in -law to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Cynthia Klug
This book was a gift to a young parent. I have used it for 25 yrs. as a pediatric professional and with my own 5 children . It is an excellent resource book.Published 8 months ago by carol hanson