1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)


1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)

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Children don’t come with a How-To-Raise-Me training manual. If only it were that easy.  As parents, we know that our children are amazing and add joys in our life..…until they decide to throw a massive temper tantrum in the grocery storeOr they won’t stop picking on their little brother or sisterOr they refuse to eat dinner, go to bed or do their homework.  Wouldn’t it be nice to stop taking the ‘Ors’ out of our sentences.  After 30 years in practice (and raising two kids of his own), clinical psychologist Dr. Thomas Phelan has seen every type of misbehavior imaginable and has an impressive parenting guide to help us to apply logic to discipline.

His solution starts very simply by counting to three.  That’s right.  We can’t be effective at discipline until we, as parents, first calm down, follow through, and act as, well, a PARENT

In his bestselling parenting guide, 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12, Phelan tackles the most frustrating parenting challenges, and shows moms and dads how to use his easy and effective counting technique to curb obnoxious behavior.  This book has given me a better understanding of our kiddos and has simple strategies for handling unwanted behavior. Kids are not small adults, they can’t be expected to be on the same reasonable and mature level as (hopefully) we are as parents.  Having an approach that works for kids allows you to feel in control and to feel CALM.

The #1 child discipline book

Yes, being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but every family faces challenges that can be frustrating and overwhelming. For more than twenty-five years, internationally renowned clinical psychologist Thomas W. Phelan’s 1-2-3 Magic has helped millions of parents, teachers, and caregivers raise independent, emotionally intelligent children and build happier, healthier families―all through an easy-to-understand program that you’ll swear “works like magic.”  Luckily, it doesn’t take magic to implement his suggestions which breaks down complex tasks of parenting into straightforward approaches, discipline with kindness while being firm, and sets reasonable limits and expectations of your child.

1-2-3 Magic has tools to use in virtually every situation, including advice for common problems such as:

• Whining
• Sibling rivalry
• Reluctance to do chores or pick up
• Refusing to go bed or getting up in the middle of the night

You can reboot your families and lives with 1-2-3 Magic by being more effective to be a better, more loving, and more consistent parent, and start enjoying your child again―today!

1-2-3 Magic includes:

  • How to avoid the two biggest discipline mistakes parents make
  • How to use the counting method to control obnoxious behavior
  • Three guidelines for dealing with sibling rivalry
  • Six ways your children will test you and how to manage each
  • Seven ways to establish positive routines and behavior
  • How to use the garbage bag method to get your kids to pick up their stuff
  • The basic bedtime method and how to handle kids who get out of bed
  • The Dirty Dozen—twelve mistaken parental expectations that cause the most trouble

Q&A with Author Dr. Thomas Phelan:

  1. Our five year old is a master at negotiation.  Should I encourage this behavior when her suggestions seem reasonable or does that open the door to losing ‘parental control?’ Masters in Negotiation (MN.)  Negotiating with small children can be an excellent idea or a really bad idea depending on whether the topic involves 1) a daily routine or 2) a more fluid, irregular situation. Daily routines involve things like getting up and out in the morning, getting dressed, mealtimes and going to bed. These situations are basically non-negotiable—they have to happen. Though a youngster may negotiate if she wants to wear a blue top or an orange one, or whether she wants milk or apple juice for lunch, she cannot negotiate whether or not she goes to school or what time she goes to bed. Routines are so helpful and reassuring to little kids (and adults!). But if they are renegotiated every day, routines won’t work well and the “negotiations” will stir up a lot of conflict.
  2. Our two girls are three years apart and our youngest is going through the ‘Terrible Twos’ and testing her behavior in any way possible at the moment.  How do we help our oldest understand that toddler meltdowns is not a problem for her to help step in and help.  Talking with her about it (mommy and daddy have this) doesn’t seem to work and I don’t want her to feel she is responsible to look after her little sister.  Helping with The Terrible Twos.  Interesting question. Keep in mind that, during your little one’s meltdowns, your oldest girl’s behavior is showing affection and compassion. These are qualities you do want your children to learn. But, then again, she may get in the way when you are trying to deal with the two-year-old’s blowups. One of our tantrum rules, for example, is this: Don’t try to reason with a tantruming child. If your five-year-old tries talking to the little one, it may make the tantrum worse. Try this: When a blowup occurs and your older girl tries to step in say, “It’s nice you want to help your sister, but we’re going to leave her alone for a while.” Then insist she follow your instructions. Gently repeat as necessary; it may take her a while to get the idea. P.S. Twenty percent of two-year-olds have daily tantrums. Very normal behavior.
  3. Car rides home after a long day of work for us and school for our two year old leaves her feeling tired and cranky.  Any suggestions on how to help her calm down when we are stuck in long traffic jams? Cranky Car Rides.  Here’s what some of our parents have found useful. If it’s snacktime, something to eat or drink can help—especially if it takes a while to consume. Our kids used to fall asleep, but they’d wake up if the car stopped. I got very good at moving very slowly! Oddly enough, talking to the child or trying to reassure or even soothe them often makes matters worse, especially if they sense anxiety or irritation in your voice. Finally, we’ve had some luck with fairly loud music—Disney or even heavy metal! Trying to talk to a cranky two-year-old in the car can be irritating as well as dangerous.
  4. Can you tell my readers about the twelve mistakes parents make in their expectations of their children?  Mistaken Parental Expectations.  While we can’t go through all twelve “mis-expectations” in the space we have here, we can explain the basic notion and give you a few examples. A good deal of parent/child conflict is caused not so much by kids’ misbehavior as by kids’ behaving normally and parents’ not knowing when they can expect what from their children. For example, violent temper tantrums are normal in 18-month-old to 5-year-old kids. Twenty percent of 2-3-year olds have daily tantrums. If you’re a parent and don’t know that, though, when your youngster melts down you may tend to think your offspring is mentally ill, or that you did something wrong, or some combination of both. This will be very upsetting and your misperception will likely lead to bad tantrum management on your part, such as yelling or spanking. Another example: sibling rivalry. Siblings aged three to seven fight—on average—three to four times per hour. Yikes! This fight frequency is not your fault and it does not mean your kids are nuts. But you do have to deal with it! Other big trouble-causing parental mis-expectations involve problems such as potty training, leaving anywhere, listening, picky eaters, naps and lying. What a job!
  5. What’s the most effective method you have found to combat whining?  Whining—That Voice!  When we do surveys of parents who have young kids and ask them what is the most obnoxious behavior they can think of, whining almost always tops the list. The sound of that unhappy, feeble, high-pitched little voice drives some moms and dads insane. That’s the bad news. The good news is this: The best tool we know of for dealing with whining is counting. Counting takes a while to learn for moms and dads, but it is perfect for this problem. Right now you can learn more about counting on the 1-2-3 Magic Challenge page.
  6. Will your 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Challenge for parents to do be available through your website long term?  It’s so helpful! The 1-2-3 Magic Challenge will end with our last Facebook chat on Feb 22.

Dr. Thomas Phelan is the author of 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. For more information on the 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Challenge, please visit http://unbouncepages.com/123-magic-challenge-video-landing/

Take the 30 day Magic Parenting Challenge!

Sourcebooks is kicking off the 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Challenge . They are inviting parents to check out videos and participate in Facebook chats, and put Phelan’s program to work in their homes.  Best of all, share your experience with other parents who are doing the same!

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)


List Price: $ 14.95 (Currently on sale for $9.89 through Amazon Prime)


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