A recent conversation with one of my closest girlfriends (my son’s Godmother) prompted me to finally write a review on a behavior and discipline book that I read almost 2 years ago. 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan, PhD is an easy to read book about effective discipline for children 2-12 years old. I tell every mom I know about how its healthy and effective methods of discipline have helped transform the way I deal with tantrums, bad habits, and defiance without all the yelling, arguing, and spanking.
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At around 18 months old, my son started what some may call the terrible twos. As a new mom, I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate this new found willful and stubborn toddler my sweet baby was turning into. Based on a recommendation from a friend, who also happens to be a teacher, I decided I had nothing to lose by checking out this book—1-2-3 Magic.
I took this book on vacation with me and read it in less than a week! 1-2-3 Magic’s easy to read strategies and examples of real-life behavioral issues parents face, helped me learn the simple and effective technique to control my son’s annoying behavior. I also learned several new ways to encourage my son’s good behavior, like when he picks up his toys when asked and eating dinner in a timely manner. There are also some great tips on how to strengthen the bond between you and your children.
At first, when I was in the thick of it, I thought this is it- this is my life! I would tell myself that I have a terribly behaved child who never listens, who has horrible outbursts and tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants, and I’ll never be able to take him in public for fear of severe humiliation.
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Desperate for an answer, I asked every mom I knew what to do, hoping my son was just like someone else’s child and they would have some encouraging insight to help solve my son’s new label of being another victim of the terrible twos.
Well…turns out EVERY mom I talked to was just like me, in the same miserable boat just trying to get through the day without another fight with their 2-year-old. Somehow, this made me feel better about my situation—just knowing that I wasn’t alone helped relieve some of my stress. Still, I wasn’t looking to just get through the day and on to the next which, inevitably, would have the same behavior problems. I needed to find a way to get our issues under control.
And then, one day when we were at a birthday party my son had one of his famous meltdowns because he didn’t get what he wanted and all I could do was sit there, watch, and wait until it was over—along with everyone else at the party. I was so embarrassed. You may be thinking, so what—so he had a tantrum, kids do that all the time. But at this point, my son’s tantrums and outbursts were daily occurrences and they were breaking me down.
I was tired of it— tired of not knowing what to do, not knowing how to stop them or control them. What I really wanted was to stop them from even happening in the first place, which I thought was a long shot. I was feeling a little bit broken, a little bit like a failure of a parent. And on this day when I was really feeling it, a friend came up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “my daughter used to act the exact same way, read the book 1-2-3 Magic and it will save your life.”
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She went on to tell me how this book not only helped her learn how to parent a little better but also helped her in her classroom where she teaches young children who also suffer from the same behavioral issues. She explained to me that her child and certain others at different ages and stages just need a little more training and guidance on learning how to behave the way you want them to. Children are not born with the ability to understand how to behave in public or how to deal with not getting what they want. It’s our job as parents and teachers to do just that–teach them and train them on how to be well-behaved children who grow into well-adjusted adults.
I bought 1-2-3 Magic on Amazon that night, took it on vacation with me, and got right into it. Ideally, I would have liked my husband to read the book too because it’s important to be consistent with these strategies. Instead, I gave him a rundown of the book and its tactics and we then started implementing them right away. It took some time (it didn’t happen overnight) and real training but, all in all, the method and the tools outlined in 1-2-3 Magic helped us get our son’s tantrums, bad behaviors, and defiance under control big time! They don’t work every time, and sometimes he definitely needs more guidance than others. But after reading this book and strictly enforcing the counting method, we know how to try and stop the bad behavior before it gets out of control.
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We’ve learned how to be more calm and effective rule enforcers. We’ve also stayed consistent with the methods, which means even if we’re out in public and a time out is needed, we find a spot or we go to the car for a designated time out. We follow through with what we say—No. Matter. What. We follow through. This is one of the most important concepts to help your children understand that you are in charge and the rules for behavior are important and must be followed.
Good luck and I hope if you are in search of some strong and effective disciplinary methods, you find that 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. helps your children transform their bad behavior. For more tips check out the awesome website 123magic.com!
Has your child struggled with behavior issues? If so, what type of discipline methods have you used? Share in the comments below.
Buy 1-2-3 Magic on Amazon:
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.