Carol's Reviews > 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12

1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan
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's review
May 07, 2011

it was amazing

This would actually be four and half stars for me. I knocked off half a star for having to sit through the intro and first chapter which was really nothing but brag, brag, brag about the book and it's success. ~I bought the book, you don't need to sell me on it~ or, in my case ~I'm reading the book (it was a gift), you don't need to sell me on it~ comes readily to mind.

Once passed the point of egomania, however, this is a great, easy to read book. To be honest, when it was given to me, I sort of rolled my eyes. But, upon closer inspection, it didn't sound far off the mark from some of the discipline I all ready doled out to my kids (I count down from 3, instead of up.), which encouraged me to read on. I was curious what it would say I was doing wrong & there were a couple of points; what I was doing right & there was a lot of that & where I could improve. Sometimes in disciplining my own kids, I would get to a point that I didn't know where to go or what to do next and would get extremely frustrated, but this book answered that question and provided sound, practical, realistic, and immediately do-able advice.

What I really liked about it was that it discussed both "stop" and "start" behaviors and how you handle them differently. "Stop" behaviors (whining, nagging, fighting, yelling) are things you count. "Start" behaviors (cleaning, homework, practice) are thing you do NOT count, but encourage through positive reinforcment. (I often counted start behaviors and got frustrated when it didn't work. Now I understand why and how to handle "starts" better!)

Because I all ready implemented much of what the book suggests, its remaining advice seems extremely easy for me to pick up. In the parts that I've tried so far the results have been immediate!! I don't know if I would say the same if I were starting from scratch, but I highly suspect I would and have all ready suggested this book to two friends and will keep the suggestions to others going!!

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