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Book Review – 1-2-3 Magic

Many of you may have already heard of Dr. Thomas Phelan’s best selling childhood discipline bible, 1-2-3 Magic, but The Mommy and I are new converts. The system for dealing with behavior issues is really simple to understand but hard to implement. How can it be both good and hard at the same time you ask? It is hard because the system requires the parents to become zen monks and not blow our stacks. 1-2-3 Magic teaches the belief that unlike most parents thinking children are not little adults they are wild animals. Parents must become animal trainers. Everyone has heard of counting to three and if the bad behavior doesn’t stop then the child gets a timeout. Well this system uses counting in a way that makes long term changes. The adults need to count without emotion and then give the time out without talking or arguing. The book deals with how children have little control of their situation but one of the things they can control is a parent’s reaction. The system is great because when you do it correctly it works wonders. The challenge is to use it correctly and that is hard. I think the book should come with free xanax but it is pretty amazing what happens if you can pull off the system.

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