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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Magic, but: Sane, Simple, Quick - with no yelling. Yay!
I listened to the tape of this book while I commuted. In less than a week I was ready.
Within 5 minutes our son understood the new 'rules of the game'. Within 2 days we had a more sane house. Yes, really.
The discipline of the old days was 'spank your kid', and many of us reject this. The problem is that there wasn't a replacement that worked. So some...
Published on 24 April 1999

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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Discipline Books Available
123 Magic is a one size fits all, quick fix approach that does NOT address the root cause of why children misbehave. It may bring fast results as long as strong temperament is not an issue, or if the ONLY problem is that the parent has been too lenient and pleasing in the past.
There is no help for parents trying to prioritise which behaviours to focus on when a...
Published on 6 Dec. 2001 by Derrick


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Magic, but: Sane, Simple, Quick - with no yelling. Yay!, 24 April 1999
By A Customer
I listened to the tape of this book while I commuted. In less than a week I was ready.
Within 5 minutes our son understood the new 'rules of the game'. Within 2 days we had a more sane house. Yes, really.
The discipline of the old days was 'spank your kid', and many of us reject this. The problem is that there wasn't a replacement that worked. So some parents keep spanking, some parents just yell all day. Either way, it's not a happy feeling of control.
The basics of the 1-2-3 method are simple, kid-understandable, quick-to-implement, & quick to explain. (So you can even get care-takers, teachers, cub-scout leaders in on the game - to have some consistency.) But don't kid yourself - the real value is in understanding all of it.
I don't believe I'm actually writing this but - just try it and you'll be a believer too.
I loved the audio tape especially. In the first few minutes of the tape, the initial '1-2-3 Magic' is revealed. I wanted to start that day. Then examples, tactics for multiple kids and reinforcement follow. All of it is key to recognizing your kid's techniques for handling YOU, and creating the sane environment we all wish for.
OK, life still isn't perfect, but this information goes a very long way to getting you out of the nightmare you might be in.
I've bought copies for my sister, my friends, and my church. Every time I see a screaming parent and a crying kid, (or a nasty, defiant kid), I wish I had the nerve to give them a copy.
No, I don't work for the author, but I sure would like to thank him. ;-)
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read this book months ago!, 3 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
We had tried everything to try and show our 3 year old son who is in charge. We could'nt go to restaurants (or almost and public place for that matter) without it ending in a meltdown and being bitten, pinched and hit by our son. Even at home if he didn't get his way he would bite/hit/pinch/scream. We agreed not to spank, but found ourselves yelling often. Many days I ended up in tears. My son's preschool teacher recommeded this book. I stayed up almost all night one night reading it, and put it into action. It has changed everything! Not only does the counting method really work (I had sort of used my own counting before, but I wasn't following the "no talking no emotions" rule), but we just feel more in charge and in control, which our son seems to sense and respond to. He is much better behaved all the way around, but if he does have a meltdown it is gone right after "that's two". I can't believe what a difference this has made in my house!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediate results., 29 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
A therapist suggested reading 1-2-3 Magic for addressing our pre-schooler's unacceptable behaviors--we were on the way to a pediatric psychologist. I had read many books of diverse philosphies, none had "worked," and I was skeptical of a book with "Magic" in the title. This book was a welcomed surprise--no psycho-babble, no examining of one's parental navel. Just practical ways to get your kid under control. And it "worked"--fast! As the author cautions, your child may not like it--if you want to be a "buddy," you'll have a hard time instituting the discipline. But if you have the stomach, buy this book.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There Is No One Single Magic Trick For Effective Discipline, 31 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
Tom Phelan has indeed written a sensible, easy to read, discipline book that clearly explains his 1-2-3 Magic theory designed for parents of tots-gradeschoolers. As a veteran preschool teacher, many of the parents of my own students over the years have found success with Phelan's techniques. However, some conscientious but frustrated moms and dads admitted to me that they found themselves between a rock and a hard place as they reached '2 and 3 quarters', '2 and 7 eighth's', etc ...unable to change the behavior of their sometimes annoying, disrespectful, uncooperative kids. Not to worry...Although your career as a magician may fall short of your goal, you are not doomed to be labeled an ineffective disciplinarian. It has been my experience, both as a parent and teacher, that there is no one single discipline approach that works every time, for every kid in every family. Although I totally respect 'the count' in this book, I strongly encourage parents to seek out an assortment of strategies that for whatever reason might be a better fit at a particular moment, in respect to age, personalities and parenting style. If you have young kids (2's, 3's, 4's,and 5's) who are literally driving you towards your wits' end with such things as their bad words, 'I hate you's', hitting, whining, parent deafness, tantrums, lying, 'gimmes', mealtime and bedtime refusals, I suggest checking out THE POCKET PARENT, a quick read A-Z guide, loaded with hundreds of fast answers and tips to try. The bite-sized pieces of information (called 'sanity savers') are written exclusively for preschool behavior and are based on a solid philosophy that maintains a real sense of concern for the needs and feelings of both children and their parents. I highly recommend both books for workable discipline options that parents (and preschooler teachers) can choose from while trying to remain sane in the process!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good and it works, 6 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
A bit sceptical that this would work, especially with 2 boys with some behavioural difficulties, but it does! Helps you to discipline without getting angry, and kids appreciate the more consistent disciplinary approach, knowing exactly at which level they are at, rather than going straight to code red.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a 5 plus, 20 May 1999
By A Customer
this book as changed our lives. the impact of silence is the most powerful parenting tool i have ever encountered i am the mom of 3 very active boy's who used to rule the roost. now i am calling all the shot's and we are the most functional family you could ever imagine. i would love to thank the author's of this book for saving our sanity and our lives... i have been your best advertisment for your book. everyone i know is reading it with the same amazing results. wish i would of had this from day one...oh well everything fall's into place on it's own... thank you again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Psycho-Babble, 24 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
You don't need to "understand" your " difficult" or "regular" child to make this method work. This book shows you (not the kids) how to be in charge and get peace into your everyday life with a VERY simple method. Yes, you can control big, bad behaviors as well as those littleannoying behaviors: arguing, badgering, whining, complaining, etc. A second method is presented (which also works) for getting kids to go to bed at night. We have had great success for 2 years now w/ages 3 to 7.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too simple to be true, 25 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
...but it is! I was so skeptical when I realized what the author was proposing. I don't think that any of us wants to admit that all of the struggling, talking, yelling, and then guilt while disciplining our children has not worked, and that the simple act of counting to three has. Not only did these prior methods not work, but they gave our 2 and 3 year old daughters a lot of practice in manipulating us and knowing what pushes our buttons. I love the "no talking, no emotions" rule, because as we've found out on too many occaxions, trying to rationalize with children does only lead you into arguing, then yelling, and eventually spanking your children. 1-2-3 Magic is truly a no-nonsense method of putting you in charge and defining your role as a disciplinarian.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading and easy INSTRUCTIONS, 23 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
This book provides some actual techniques for discipline, not just psychological analysis. I do understand my child's strong will and intensity, but have had a hard time getting this 4 year-old in control. I was using a 1-2-3 method of my own prior to reading this book, but this book has given me better guidelines for consistency. The advice on getting your child to do what the things they should, has truly worked magically for our 4 year old. It is well worth the small price for the book. I have at least 6 other parenting books for "strong-willed" children, and this one is the best for hands-on methods for keeping both parent and child in control.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Discipline Books Available, 6 Dec. 2001
By 
Derrick (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 (Paperback)
123 Magic is a one size fits all, quick fix approach that does NOT address the root cause of why children misbehave. It may bring fast results as long as strong temperament is not an issue, or if the ONLY problem is that the parent has been too lenient and pleasing in the past.
There is no help for parents trying to prioritise which behaviours to focus on when a child is truly out of control. Without a clear strategy to initiate change, a partent can easily be overwhelmed by a childs strong and fiercly oppositional reaction to even minor changes. For this I would highly recommend the book "Ain't Misbehavin" by William P Garvey, "Setting Limits: How to Raise Rresponsible Independent Children by Providing CLEAR Boundaries" by Robert J MacKenzie or "Try and Make Me" by Ray Levy and Bill O'Hanlon.
For an in-depth book that explores both the parent and childs role in power struggles, I would recommend "The Manipulative Child: How to Regain Control and Raise Resilient, Rresourceful, and Independent Kids" by Swihart and Cotter.
I do however agree with the books suggestion of no emotion or anger during discipline on the part of the parent. But even this is contradicted by the author who suggests that a smack on the butt for a child fighting a time out as being acceptable.
Also I found the books tone sort of negative and demeaning towards children at times, making comparisons to "wild animals" that need training.
There is some good advice on interrupting behaviors but overall too punitive for my liking.
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1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12
1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas W. Phelan (Paperback - Dec. 1995)
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