1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

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It's not easy being a parent. You want kids who listen and children you can enjoy. You want to raise happy and competent youngsters, but you don't have a lot of free time to read discipline and parenting books. You also don't need advice that requires you to be a saint, genius or professional psychologist. This new 3rd edition of the extremely popular 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humor, keen insight and proven experience. Dr. Phelan simplifies the job of parenting in ...
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Overview

It's not easy being a parent. You want kids who listen and children you can enjoy. You want to raise happy and competent youngsters, but you don't have a lot of free time to read discipline and parenting books. You also don't need advice that requires you to be a saint, genius or professional psychologist. This new 3rd edition of the extremely popular 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humor, keen insight and proven experience. Dr. Phelan simplifies the job of parenting in three straightforward steps. In 1-2-3 Magic you will also learn how to manage the Six Kinds of Testing and Manipulation, how to handle misbehavior in public and how to avoid the Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit Syndrome. You'll also discover how your silence can speak louder than your words.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An excellent, workable, and supportive resource for parents and educators.” —Booklist
Booklist
An excellent, workable, and supportive resource for parents and educators.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781889140162
  • Publisher: Parentmagic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Edition description: Third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas W. Phelan, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and a nationally renowned expert on child discipline and attention deficit disorder. His books include 1-2-3 Magic for Teachers, All About Attention Deficit Disorder, and Surviving Your Adolescents. He lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition i
Parenting: Not for the Faint of Heart! 1
Part I Straight Thinking
1. Is It Magic? 7
2. Stop Behavior and Start Behavior 11
3. The Little Adult Assumption 15
4. The Two Biggest Discipline Mistakes 19
Part II Controlling Obnoxious Behavior
5. Counting Obnoxious Behavior 25
6. Twenty Questions 39
7. What to Do in Public 55
8. Variations: Sibling Rivalry, Tantrums and Pouting 63
9. The Kickoff Conversation 67
Part III No Child Will Thank you
10. The Six Kinds of Testing and Manipulation 73
11. Counting in Action 87
12. More Serious Offenses 97
Part IV Encouraging Good Behavior
13. 7 Start Behavior Tactics 111
14. Up and Out in the Morning 127
15. Cleaning Rooms, Picking Up and Chores 133
16. Mealtimes 141
17. Homework and Practicing 147
18. Bedtime and Nighttime Waking 155
19. The Family Meeting 167
20. When Do you Talk? 173
Part V Strengthening your Relationship
21. Your Child's Self-Esteem 179
22. Overparenting 183
23. Affection and Praise 187
24. Real Magic: One-on-One Fun 191
25. Active Listening 197
26. Your New Life 205
Index 209
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2005

    2 BOOKS WITH PRACTICAL ADVICE THAT WORKS!

    Tom Phelan presented a discipline program recently to my school district. He was sensible...and funny...so we bought his book. 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'. Exclusively written only for this challenging 4 year age span, this book is chock full of hundreds of brief, specific bulleted suggestions and examples of handling the behaviors that drive you close to your wits' end! Both books are very compatible in philosophy and are worthy additions to your home library...POCKET PARENT for the little ones and 1,2,3 MAGIC for all ages.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2004

    I no longer have to raise my voice or get in yelling matches with my daughter!!

    I always tried the logical approach with my daughter, but it almost always turned into an argument or a yelling match, with each of us trying to be heard over the other. I never felt that it accomplished anything other than my guilty feeling of having raised my voice. But, I didn't know what else to do. That is how discipline was handled when I was growing up, and that is the only way that I knew how to handle it. Thank god a teacher recommended this book to me. I found out that less really is more. I read the whole book - and that is the best advice that I got - read the WHOLE book before you try to implement the process. It is not like alot of other books that are filled with psychological mumbo jumbo. It is not very long and actually fun to read. After I finished it I discussed the process with my daughter and set up the guidelines that we both adhere to. Now, when things get out of hand, I say 'One' and the air begins to clear right away. Prior to reading this, I personally thought that these people that I saw counting at their children were ludicrous. However, I found out very quickly that it really does work!! It also does a great job of taking control of the emotional turmoil that can surround other methods of discipline. I highly recommend this book for ANYONE raising a child.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    Get control of your house, before your kids do!

    I checked this book out from the library based on a recommendation from our son's speech therapist. Our son had finally started to talk, but more than half of his vocabulary seemed to be back talk. We were already trying to use time outs with him, but what we were doing wrong was over-explaining to him why he had the time out. I'm a talker, and this book guided me to the no talking, no emotion phase, which allowed me to effectively gain control of our house. My daycare provider borrowed the book, she is now using it on her daughter and on my son as well (although he doesn't challenge her as much as he does my husband and I), but the consistency is just great. I can't rave enough about this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    It Really Is Magic!

    My son is 26 months old and I was a little skeptical about him really understanding this program well enough for it to work. I was wrong! After a few timeouts, he figured it out and now complies with most of my requests by the time I count to 2. The hidden benefit of this program is how calm I feel now. I used to get so upset with him and yell at him, but I'm able to stay quiet and calm and it makes me feel like a better mom. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    Great for parents w/problem children ie:bipolar, etc.

    I have a child with Mood Disorder N.O.S. which is a mixture of Bipolar, ADHD, Anxiety, etc. and this book has helped GREATLY in achieving a once again balanced household and helped her immensly in keeping her anger in check. She makes wiser decisions now. I've struggled with every form of discipline out there, I've read tons of books and attended even more parenting classes. I wish I would have had this book 4 years ago, it would have saved me and my children a lot of valuable time and heartache. Friends and family have requested copies of the books and dvd's because quite frankly, they work! This method is the best I've ever encountered. It puts the control back in the parents hands but leaves choices available to your children. I have no doubt in my mind now that I am raising children who will become constructive adults. The methods in this book literally worked magic in my household in just 2 weeks. It's a totally new and peaceful environment in my home once again. Stick with it, it's worth it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    A Must Have

    Worth the purchase! I plan to read this book several times!

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    A MUST HAVE for parents of ADHD/ODD children

    This purchase of this book was the life changing event that took place in our household. As an educator, I felt like I should know what to do, or how to handle children with ADHD. After all, I have those very same students within my classroom daily. However, the saying "it is always different with your own" is VERY true. When our school psychologist made the recommendation of 1-2-3 magic, I was willing to try anything at that point. This was the BEST recommendation anyone has given. It is not only VERY simple, but VERY effective. You will see immediate results. It is not the many other systems that takes time and effort. It removed the STRESS out of our household immediately. I not only use it in my classroom daily, but have also now conducted staff development workshops within our school to incorporate this "magic" school wide! Thank you Dr. Phelan!!!

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book!

    This is a well written book by a man who KNOWS kids. I have a 3 and 4 year old that have been running amuck in my home. I've tried EVERY possibly parenting technique from spanking to the naughty step (consistently) and nothing was working. This worked WONDERS on my 4 year old. She responded the first day and is such a wonderful joy to be around now. My 3 year old (newly turned 3), is the "immediate tester" the book talks about. We have only been implementing for 7 days now, and the book states 10 days for effect on those children. We're seeing some turn around in behavior toward the positive, but we have some time still. But all in all, a HIGHLY recommended book. There's no physical punishment to the child, and "parental temper tantrums" are minimized.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Highly Recommended Book

    I started having discipline problems with my 3 1/2 year old and brought the issues up with my pediatrican. He said he usually doesn't recommend books but he had the same issues with his kids and read this book. I got right online and ordered 1,2,3 Magic and figured it couldn't hurt to try. I think the concepts in this book are great! It's an easy read and is so simple to implement. No fancy charts, no difficult plans of action. Just simple words and it really is magic. Just by counting my son responded right away. I love that the book also shows you different scenarios and how to respond to each. That was very helpful. I highly recommend this book to everyone who feels they 1-need a good form of discipline, or 2- have tried everything and feel they are at their wits end. I know I've already recommended it to all my friends. Thanks Thomas Phelan for writing such a great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    FANASTIC for All Kids

    I have three children - 5 1/2 year old compliant child, 4 year old "strong-willed" child, and a 22 mo old. This program is working for all three! I'm not sure about the "magic", but it definitely has helped us turn a corner as we await the arrival of #4!!

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    1-2-3 Magic

    Highly recommend this book for every parent, grandparent, and teacher! I used many of the 'tools' in the book and wasn't aware that I was when raising my own 4 boys. This book will end most of the arguing, screaming, manipulating parents experience.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    Great book!

    I used the concepts from the book to guide me through raising my children and now my daughter is reading the book to raise her children.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    What a wonderful concept

    I have use this method of discipline with all three of my kids.It's much better than physical discpline that I was brought up with. Most of the time all I had to do was to get to the count of 2 and the bad behavior either stopped or they knew that if I got to three they were in timeout. I would recommand this to every parent.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Great Book In Dealing With My 'Difficult' Two-Year Old!

    This book was recommended to me because my two year old has a somewhat difficult temperament and after buying a copy and reading it through, I couldn't thank my friend enough. I began implementing the techniques right away and thankfully my daughter was extremely responsive. We did run into some resistance later on, but have stayed on track with the counting and seem to be returning to even ground. There are a lot of good techinques for older children as well, which don't apply to us right now but we look forward to using them in the future. Overall I really enjoyed this book and thought it has some very usable ideas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    Couldn't be more glad!

    We heard about this strategy being used on our niece and nephews but the book provided a fine blue-print on how to approach it. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    The Best out there!

    This makes so much sense. It totally works with both my kids boy/girl, 5/4. They are so used to it, I only need to hold up my finger to represent the number one and they start to behave- that works for me, no nagging!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2007

    A reviewer

    I enjoyed reading this parenting book. It offered me good, logical information to help me be a better parent. Another parenting book that offers good parenting tips as well as helps strengthen couple relationship is 'Good Parents Bad Parenting' by Lisa Dunning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2006

    It's working already! Excellent Book!!

    It's been a week since I started to put what I learned into practice & I can see a difference already. There's less yelling. And things like bedtime & dinnertime, are running more smoothly! My only regret is that I wish I'd read this sooner!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2005

    It is a book with magic advise

    Its title says it all it is magic!, but do not get discuraged it takes work, and after you establish your boundaries is going to be MAGICAL...remember it gets worser before it can get better... Trust me on this one this book is worth every penny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2004

    Love it !

    Oh my gosh, I am soooo glad I bought this book. I have 3 sons and was tired of feeling like a referee all the time. This book makes total sense and I agree on everything he says. I started counting with my oldest after I read it and it worked almost immediately. You will not regret your purchase. This book was recommended by others who had used it and I am glad I followed their advice. Your house will be much quieter with no more yelling, whining, bickering, etc.

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