123 Magic Review: Overview & Review of DVD, Ebook, & e-Course

1-2-3 Magic is discipline to stop behaviors.

When you as a parent need to discipline a child to stop behaviors, 1-2-3 magic is magic disciplining. Even a grandparent or other extended family can continue consistent disciplines in this manner when mom and dad show them how.

Whining, begging, temper tantrums, and fighting are just a few of the behaviors that can be stopped in your 2-year old to 12-year old by counting. Wonderful disciplines for parents.

Great for toddles, pre-schoolers, and elementary school age.

Count to Three

A discipline style that can be taught to caregivers, grandparents and other extended family, even teachers so your child receives consistent discipline by everyone.

When you need to discipline a child to stop behaviors, 1-2-3 magic is magic indeed! It is a great disciplining tool to stop unfortunate behaviors in children aged two to twelve–even preschoolers and toddlers.

In his book 1-2-3 Magic, Training Your Child to Do What You Want, Thomas Phelan adds a twist to time-out that works in many families.

First things First

According to Phelan, you must first rid yourself of an erroneous idea about children known as the “little adult assumption.” Kids are not little adults; they are kids. Explanations, persuasions, and logical reasoning usually have little or no effect on children. They simply do not respond to reasons and explanations like adults do.

Behaviour Problems

Second, you must determine if you have a stop-behavior problem, such as arguing, tantrums, and teasing, or if you have a start-behavior problem, such as going to or rising from bed, eating, and doing homework or chores. The 1-2-3 counting system is used to deal with stop-behavior problems like whining, arguing, temper tantrums and the like. It is not used to get children to clean their room, rake the leaves, or finish their homework.

Power Trip

Third, remember that children often feel small and inferior because they are smaller and more inferior than adults. Therefore, if they can arouse an emotion in parents, such as anger, excitement, or some other feeling, they have “scored” with an adult. They often enjoy the temporary power the emotions and attention that “scoring” bring.

Phelan points out that parents who exclaim, “It drives me absolutely crazy when he eats his dinner with his fingers. Why does he do that?”, have often answered their own question. The child may do it at least partly because it drives them crazy.

Phelan writes, “So a corollary of this is: If you have a child who is doing something you don’t like, get real upset about it on a regular basis and, sure enough, he’ll repeat it for you.”

Any discipline system, including Phelan’s counting method, can be ruined if parents talk too much or get too excited. Therefore, parents must also follow Phelan’s No-Talking, No-Emotion rules.

Third, remember that children often feel small and inferior because they are smaller and more inferior than adults. Therefore, if they can arouse an emotion in parents, such as anger, excitement, or some other feeling, they have “scored” with an adult. They often enjoy the temporary power the emotions and attention that “scoring” bring.

You don’t participate in arguments. You merely count to three, then start time-out. When you continue to talk, argue, or show emotions, your child does not realize that continued testing and manipulation is useless. Until he realizes that it is useless, he will continue to try something that has worked at times in the past.

You count, just that. You don’t interject emotional tirades such as “Look at me when I’m talking to you” or “Just wait until you see what we are going to do about this temper tantrum.”

Try this! Instead of your usual routine, try giving one explanation, if necessary, then start to count. Don’t give further reasons, start to argue, get frustrated or mad. Just start to count. If the behavior has not stopped by the count of three, the child gets the appropriate time-out period: about one-minute for each year of his life. Then he or she is allowed to return to the family and no one brings up what happened unless the behavior is repeated or it is absolutely necessary.

In other words, don’t argue or explain when a rule is being enforced; then don’t soothe your guilt feelings by trying to explain. Welcome the child back as if all is forgiven and it is time to get on with the day. If he or she seems to need a hug or other reassurance, give that reassurance and quickly return to what you were doing.

Even grandparents and other extended family members or caregivers can use this form of discipline magic when parents teach them how. This adds that all important consistency to discipline.

We started with the cassette, then bought the video. I would start with the video now as it allowed my husband and me to discuss our own family as we watched together. The video is also good for us visual folks. It’s worth it!!

Book Review by Jan Wilson: Copyright © 1998 CyberParent. All rights reserved

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