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1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2–12 (123 Magic) [Kindle Edition]

Thomas W. Phelan PhD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.61 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

This revised edition of the award-winning 1-2-3 Magic program addresses the difficult task of child discipline with humor, keen insight, and proven experience. The technique offers a foolproof method of disciplining children ages two through 12 without arguing, yelling, or spanking. By means of three easy-to-follow steps, parents learn to manage troublesome behavior, encourage good behavior, and strengthen the parent-child relationship—avoiding the "Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit" syndrome which frustrates so many parents. Ten strategies for building a child’s self-esteem and the six types of testing and manipulation a parent can expect from the child are discussed, as well as tips on how to prevent homework arguments, make mealtimes more enjoyable, conduct effective family meetings, and encourage children to start doing their household chores. New advice about kids and technology and new illustrations bring this essential parenting companion completely up-to-date.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 1 Feb. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book at the end of last year as we were having a few problems with discipline of our 2yr old and 3rd old. They very quickly got the message we were trying to get across once we had read the book and the behaviour has been so much better since. This has meant that life is generally easier and happier with more time for fun rather than the children not listening to us.

Can't recommend this highly enough for all parents.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like magic 19 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This works. I read the reviews about a year ago when my 5 year old was becoming intolerable and nothing seemed to help discipline him. When this arrived I read it in one sitting and decided then and there that my husband and I would be incorporating its methods into our lifestyle.

The first time we used it, it came as a shock to our son, but we continued using the methods and within one day (I kid you not) it was working. We have now maintained this method of discipline for the last year, and have maybe got to the count of '3' a handful of times. I can just say, 'one' now, and my son behaves. We are now beginning to use it on our youngest who has just turned two.

Discipline, as with all skills, needs consistency and this needs to be stuck too; by the book quite literally. I have recommended it to people, but they waiver or give up and then say it isn't working. It DOES work, you need to remain consistent and stick to it. No discussion, no arguing, just 1-2-3. I swear by it, and am proud to have a (mostly) well behaved son. It did feel like magic and it seemed so simple on reflection, but it is something you have to maintain and is a lifestyle change.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars here we go again 4 July 2013
Format:Paperback
There are some interesting insights and good natured humour in this book but in essence it seems like many of the current books on behaviour.Each of these books tells you that their method will work as long as you follow it to the letter and I believe most parents are desperate to do so if they have difficulties with their children.In essence it's a "time-out" system, rather like Supernanny on tv.Where it all falls down for me is getting the child to the chosen timeout location.Surely the point is with really defiant kids that they won't go there and a whole new fight begins trying to get them to comply.
I brought my 2 children up trying to treat them as miniature adults, respecting them, talking to them and empathising with them and in their childhood this worked very well.I know that a time out strategy would have worked with little difficulty with them but it was never required because they nearly always complied.The author of the book suggests jokingly that there are only 3 children in USA like this but I disagree with his point.Social workers and psychologists have said to me that hitting and kicking carers/parents is normal behaviour but it all seems to fit with a pattern of accepting brattish behaviour.It's not normal behaviour and should raise concern.
I am now a full time carer for my grandson and he has enormous behaviour problems.I have tried the 123 magic method under another guise and the problem always arises when he has to go to time out.It usually produced even greater tantrums and violence and is completely inappropriate.The book does not answer this difficulty so I would say don't buy it unless you expect that your child will comply with the time out approach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 8 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a great book well worth the money,number one son does as he is told by, thats a 2 most of the times,he knows mummy means business
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 15 Jun. 2011
Format:Paperback
Genuinely superb. Many of my friends swear by this and I have to admit it really works. Has saved my sanity. A must buy.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Works 20 Jun. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book, as I was having a few issues with my 3 year old son (the usual tantrums, not doing as he was told etc) and I found it really worked.

I particularly like the way they divide behaviours into stop/start and suggest different ways for dealing with each kind. The suggested sanctions and rewards were useful too.

Another thing I found useful was the move away from constant debates with my son and trying to reason with him, which wasn't working or necessary because he knew what he was doing was wrong.

It's true that we've all heard the "I'll count to 3" method before, but this book is so much more than that and if followed it WILL get results.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Parenting Skills!! 12 July 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I asked my 3 yr old's nursery teacher how to "discipline" our girl when she was throwing a tantrum she told me about 1-2-3 Magic. It really fitted with my values and I ended up buying the book. I have been so impressed I haven't stopped recommending it!!!! We have a much happier child and my husband and I are a lot less stressed and emotional. All-in-all we have a happier, tidier(!) home which is now full of fun and we enjoy our daughter more! A must read for every parent!!! A+++++
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It really works! 31 Aug. 2013
By Lady
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great strategy for dealing with strong minded children that leaves you feeling in control and sane with minimum fuss and guilt!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Poorly written but there's no getting away from the fact that the methodology works!
Published 2 months ago by G review
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brill works great
Published 3 months ago by Bentley Priory Linen
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple approach to stopping challenging behaviour
good for tips to help keep your sanity as a parent when dealing with challenging behaviour from your children
Published 4 months ago by Helen Tweedle
4.0 out of 5 stars It certainly provides help we need looking after our grand ...
It certainly provides help we need looking after our grand daughter especially as her father also uses 123 Magic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good book
Published 5 months ago by Ms C.
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book, some good ideas
very good book, some good ideas, that have worked well with my twins aged 10 yrs, especially my son who has ADD
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Jl Pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic!!!
Published 6 months ago by Augusto Cesar De Miranda
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Really like this book but didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know
Published 6 months ago by Joaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read.
Excellent strategies. Really easy to read as well, unlike other parenting books. Makes you think about your own behaviour in relation to your child's as well.
Published 7 months ago by C. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Brilliant tips.
Published 7 months ago by julia rumbelow
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