1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children

Greetings, all!

In a recent seminar hosted by BFC, we had the privilege of listening in on Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. He taught us that 1-2-3 Magic is simple, but not always easy. The easy part is the basic structure of the program. The hard part is the fact that the first step in disciplining kids is to discipline yourself.

Below you will find further tips that we pulled away from the seminar.

Tip 1: Think of parenting as a three step process:

Step 1: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior
Step 2: Encouraging Good (Start) Behavior
Step 3: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Tip 2: There are two basic kinds of behavior problems:

STOP BEHAVIOR: arguing, whining, fighting, teasing, tantrums, yelling, etc. For this minor obnoxious behavior you will use the 1-2-3, or “counting,” method.
START BEHAVIOR: eating, going to bed, getting up in the morning, homework, cleaning rooms, practicing, etc. To encourage good behavior you will have seven tactics. You may use one or more of them simultaneously.

Tip 3: Controlling Obnoxious (Stop) Behavior

The “counting” method: two brief warnings (“That’s 1,” “That’s 2″) followed by a “rest period” or time-out alternative if the child hits three. No talking, no emotion. No explanations afterwards unless absolutely necessary.
What to do in public? Get 1-2-3 rolling at home first, then use it in the grocery store the same as at home. Beware of the threat of public embarrassment!

Tip 4: Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Child

Try these four things: shared one-on-one fun, avoiding over-parenting, sympathetic listening, and solving problems together

1-2-3

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

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