One two three magic discipline

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one two three magic discipline

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan

Great parenting book (but I have to admit, I think I have now had my fill for a while on parenting books). I have heard references to this book several times over the years and I finally decided on my sisters recommendation to read it. Unfortunately, we get a few parenting book recommendations... haha.

I know if I apply this consistently, it will be positive all around. I have started, but I know I need to be more consistent AND get Eric on board.

So here are my notes for me or anyone else who feels like reading them (spoilers or my cliff notes):

123 Magic is a plan for dealing w/bad behavior that doesnt include yelling or physically intimidating or abusive behavior (which is only likely to help them learn to deal with problems by yelling and physical intimidation since kids model parents).

Its easy to make 2 parenting mistakes: too much talking and too much emotion. Kids have a hard time w/ being inferior. My upset is a big splash for them. Emotional outbursts accidentally help them feel powerful!

Three parenting jobs: 1)Controlling obnoxious behavior. 2) Encouraging good behavior. 3) Strengthening relationship.

We deal with STOP behaviors by counting 1,2,3 (including whining, arguing, teasing, tantrums, yelling, fighting, invasive touch, etc... behaviors you want to stop). You dont talk or reason since your children are not little adults... you condition them to stop their behavior by counting 1,2,3 with 5 seconds in between counts. Words and reasons are not effective with young children. A consequence follows if they dont stop by three (including time-out, early bedtime, loss of electronics, no dessert, extra chore, no talking, no friend over, no TV, money fine, write paragraph or lines). Punishment should be mild and reasonable (administered by a non-tantruming parent).

We deal with START behaviors by giving praise, making simple requests, using a timer, a docking system, natural consequences, charting, and counting variation (start behaviors include cleaning up, being kind, playing nicely, going to bed, doing homework, playing piano, etc.).

We STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP by listening, having one-on-one time together, talking, solving problems, and by managing technology.

Routines are necessary for positive outcomes... same time, same place, same way. Morning Routine (up, wash up, dress, eat, leave). Chore chart (or weekly cleanup or pickup before dinner). Homework routine (neat, correct, thorough, no complaining, starting w/o reminder, reading, math).

Suggested consequences for major, medium, and minor offenses that require special attention: Grounding 2 wks/1 wk/2 days. Fine $25/$10/$5. Chores 15 hrs/8 hrs/4hrs. Community service 15 hrs/8 hrs/4hrs. Educational activity 8 pg paper/4pg paper/2pg paper.

Format for a one-on-one meeting... We have a problem... what do you think? What can we do? How can I help? (pretty much same agenda for family meeting... we have a problem... How do we sove this?... This is our solution... post on fridge... next).

Childhood is a period of transitory psychosis. They are born unreasonable and selfish. My job is to help them learn frustration tolerance (while being gentle, consistent, decisive, and calm).
Im a wild animal trainer. Choose method and apply until trainee does desired action.

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Published 02.07.2019

1-2-3 Magic Parenting Video - How To Get Your Child to Listen To You

Magic is the #1 selling parenting program in the U.S. Effective and easy to use Magic puts parents in charge, and helps build closer, and happier.
Thomas W. Phelan

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C ounting to get kids to listen is a popular strategy especially among parents of young children. You probably asked them once or twice before you started counting. Will a teacher ask multiple times before a student agrees to do what is asked? Can an employee wait until the supervisor asks several times before turning in the assignment? Not if he wants to keep his job.

I was blessed to grow up with a mom who was a preschool teacher for over 25 years. I got to watch her interacting with little kids all of the time. She was skilled at keeping the classroom running in an orderly fashion, while at the same time creating a rich environment for the kids to explore. When I started having my own children, I found myself automatically implementing her strategies without even realizing what I was doing. It just came second nature to me, since I had spent so much time watching her. I think her way of interacting with young kids was much like the Magic discipline method of today. The basic principle is that adults talk way too much.

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Magic! Magic is a discipline program that focuses on implementing time-outs for inappropriate behaviours. It helps adults gain control of their own.
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Irish Times News

No talk, no emotion and firm action is the essence of the Magic method of discipline, according to its founder. There are times for discussion with children — but when you are trying to correct misbehaviour is not one of them. When it comes to discipline, the two biggest mistakes are too much talking and too much emotion, according to the founder of the popular Magic parenting programme, US psychologist Dr Thomas Phelan. When that happens, the parent is no longer a credible source for authority, he says. He cites the example of when a child is resisting going to bed in the evening. It is recommended for typically developing children, as well as those with special needs.

The premise of Magic is based on fairly simple concepts— give directions effectively and stop arguing, nagging and pleading to gain compliance. When kids don't comply, parents are encouraged to start counting. If the child doesn't follow instructions by the time a parent reaches the number three, the child is given a negative consequence , such as time-out. Of course, there are times when parents are encouraged to give an immediate consequence, rather than offer three chances. If a child exhibits aggressive behavior , for example, the author recommends giving an immediate consequence. The program helps parents make consequences more effective while reducing manipulative behavior, such as whining and begging.


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