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1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 [Paperback]

Thomas W. Phelan PhD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2–12 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2–12 4.8 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2004 123 Magic
Addressing the task of disciplining children ages 2 through 12 without arguing, yelling, or spanking, this program offers easy-to-follow steps to immediately manage troublesome behavior with reason, patience, and compassion. Parents and teachers learn how to encourage and respect children's growing independence with 10 strategies for building self-esteem. Also discussed are the three most important qualities for parents or teachers to exhibit in order to foster competence in kids. Tips are included on how to prevent homework arguments, make mealtimes more enjoyable, conduct effective family meetings, and encourage children to start doing their household chores. This award-winning program discusses the importance of establishing and maintaining a home or classroom with fair and consistent discipline. This revised edition includes suggestions on how to avoid over-parenting, build children's social skills, and apply the program within mental health agencies and classrooms.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life altering! Jan. 24 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has made such a huge difference in my life that I wish I could give it 6 out of 5 stars!

It has improved my relationships with my children and I have passed along the knowledge to many others.

Your kids will appreciate it too, even if not at the moment when you use it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book before you review July 25 2012
I love this book! The author stresses a fair and responsible method of discipline. To the reviewer who claimes the author suggests spanking - you have clearly not read the book. He says that he does not agree with spanking and that spanking is the adult having a temper tantrum and is not called for. A good clear discipline strategy will help prevent such bad behaviour on the parents part.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful Jan. 13 2009
I bought this book after my five-year old daughter was suspended from her school for one day. She tends to have tantrum and becomes uncontrollable. As we have three children, we can not afford to let them run the house. It was time we took a firmer approach. I started to count as suggested in "1-2-3 magic" and it works well. We don't let our daughter have tantrum and make unreasonable requests any longer. Her behavior has also improved at school. Counting works also with our three-year old son. This book is easy to read and easy to implement. I read also "Setting limits with your strong willed child" that recommends the same approach. This second book is broader in its scope than "1-2-3 magic" as it explains why the children act as they do. Unfortunately, it is very repetitive and kind of boring to read. The book "How to talk so kids will listen..." gives good tips on communication but is not useful to get anything out of a strong-willed child like my daughter. Finally, another interesting book is "A family of value". It takes a very old-fashioned approach to child rearing. Some of the recommendations are a bit too extreme but it gives some good tips and permits to gain some perspective about psychology/psychologists in general.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Children Happy Parents May 27 2004
Dr. Thomas W. Phelan is an expert on child discipline and Attention Deficit Disorder. He is a registered Ph.D. clinical psychologist and is also the author of many helpful parenting books. In this amazing book, he presents three steps to change the negative behavior and reinforce positive behavior in the future. The Index provides you with a way to quickly find the most pertinent subject you are dealing with right now.
The Contents include:
Straight Thinking - A section about how to stop negative behavior and start good behavior. He also presents the two biggest discipline mistakes.
Controlling Obnoxious Behavior - What to do when negative behavior occurs in public. How to handle tantrums and pouting.
No Child Will Thank You - Deals with serious offenses and the six kinds of testing and manipulation.
Encouraging Good Behavior - 7 Start Behavior Tactics, Cleaning Rooms, Mealtimes, Homework, The Family Meeting.
Strengthening Your Relationship - Your Child's Self-Esteem, Overparenting, Affection and Praise, Active listening.
I was amused by the information on "parental temper tantrums." I've seen parents yell at their kids and seen children reel from the verbal abuse. Then I've seen parents lovingly talk to a child about their behavior. Guess which works? How would you want to be treated? If frustration has reached the level where parents are yelling and kids are crying their eyes out daily, something must not be working. This book provides excellent advice and a three-step solution to every problem. Phelan has an interesting take on spankings and he makes an excellent point or two on page 53. He suggests that parents avoid the Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit routine.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars treat children like lab rats May 22 2004
By PonyPal
Imagine being very angry at your friend and they in turn say to you as you express yourself.. "that's one"...you continue to express your angry..."that's two"..."that's three...take a five minute time out". I would personally find it very frustrating and thankfully it never happens like this the real world. So why inflict this on your children? By using this system for several years we cut our son off from expressing his feelings constructively. If any anything this system only escalated the power struggle and fueled acrimony in our relationship with our son. This simplistic approach to paretning degrades and demeans the child and the parent, precluding possibility of a positive adult relationship relation with your child as they grow up . I am very sad about what we did following the 123 Magic approach. It's hard to believe this approach has any credence whatsoever. An example of the 123 Magic approach: giving children money every hour they behave in a car keeps them quiet but it also trains them to that they get paid for good behavior(not true in the adult world), puts the focus on parental approval and does not foster the inner discipline teenagers and adults need deal with the challenges of life. The books that have helped us create positive relationships with our children and foster inner discipline include the following: The Parent Handbook & Raising A Responsible Child, Don Dinkmeyer; How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber; Kids Are Worth It! Barbara Colorosso, Children: The Challenge, Rudolf Dreikurs; Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, Stephen Covey. Save yourself the mistakes we made; don't buy 123 Magic. We are so proud of our parenting now and so happy with postive family environment we have created with our children, based on the books listed above.
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