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1,2,3 Magic


You may remember one of my New Year resolutions was to read several parenting books this year. The first book I read was 1,2,3 Magic and it came highly recommended.

1,2,3 Magic is as basic as it sounds! Bad behavior gets “counted”. There’s no arguing, no pleading, no bargaining with the child. You simply count. For example….

The boys like opening the drawer on the bottom of the oven, which is not a habit I want them getting into. If Chase was the culprit this time I would calmly say “Chase, that’s 1.” and hold up one finger. I then wait 5 seconds to see if he stops. If he does not stop I say “Chase, that’s 2.” and hold up a 2nd finger. If he continues still I say “Chase, that’s three. Let’s go take a time out.” I then march him to his room (all the while remaining quiet), put him in his crib, close the door and set the timer on the microwave for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes is up, I get Chase out of his crib and he goes on his merry way.

More serious offenses, like biting is an automatic “3” and time out.

The no talking part of the program is incredibly important to the success, although Nick struggles with remembering that at times. I’m pleased with the program so far. We’ve been using it about a month and I’ve seen a reduction in the constant “testing” the boys were doing. The boys do still act up, but I’d say about 50% of the time now they stop what they were doing by the time I get to 2.

Counting is only to be used for bad behavior, as 1,2,3 Magic has a different approach (laid out in the second half of the book) for what they call “start behaviors” (making their bed, cleaning up, getting ready to leave the house, etc.). Right now we don’t have enough “start behaviors” with the boys to need that system, but I’ll be ready when we do!

If you’re looking for a simple, to the point discipline system I highly recommend 1,2,3 Magic!

Happy Anniversary to my parents! They’re celebrating 30 years today!

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