Today marks my discussion of Part I of 1-2-3 Magic, a book by Dr. Thomas Phelan that was highly recommended by my bff (child therapist extraordinaire). If you have a toddler, child, etc. and you're frustrated with discipline, or just want a really easy method that works, then you need to get this book.
Overall, it's an extremely simple read. In fact, I leave it in the bathroom (I know, so pathetic), so during my painful poop, I actually get something else accomplished. And, I can get my husband to read it too.
Dr. Phelan makes it clear that you need to identify start and stop behaviors in your kids as those require different approaches. Behaviors you want to stop (all the annoying stuff they do) involve the simple 1-2-3 counting method, while the behaviors you want to start (eating, going to bed, cleaning up) involve other methods that he addresses later in the book. Basically, you are trying to control obnoxious behavior (including whining, manipulating, complaining, you know what I'm talking about), encourage good behavior, and strengthen the relationship with your kids.
I appreciate Phelan's very casual approach to all of this as I gather (at least from my own experience) that people get way to up in arms and involved when it comes to discipline. There's yelling, screaming, frustration, and annoyance, and quite frankly, that does nothing but drive us nuts.
He strongly emphasizes that you leave your emotion and your discussion out of it. Keep it simple, keep it short, and don't get yourself overly involved. Not because you don't care, but because when you do that, you're feeding into your kids' negative behavior.
Here's what my fellow blog-alongers have to say about it:
- Jennifer adds that we need to remember our kids aren't little adults. No kidding. I have a hard time remembering my 2.5 year old is only 2.5.
- CPA Mom lists all the discipline/parenting books she's bought so far and mentions that the no emotion/no talking thing will be a challenge. IT IS. IT IS. But, it works. It really does. And you feel better about yourself.
-Kara shared that she thought that perhaps this is too good to be true. And like Jennifer, she added that she needs to remember her child is a child -- I think too often we think that they understand more than they do. At least I know I do since my daughter is very verbal. She also noted that she wants to make sure to get her husband involved. I can't agree more -- everyone has to be on the same page. I only wish I didn't live with my in-laws -- we definitely have issues there and I'm not sure how to remedy it than hope we move soon!
So are you tempted to join us? Please do. We're reading Part 2 for next week which actually explains the 1-2-3 approach. Drop me an email and let me know! I'll link your posts every Wednesday!
I'll be talking with Stacie Cockrell and Cathy O'Neill, two of the authors of Babyproofing Your Marriage tonight from 9-10pm. I hope you'll take a second to listen. It's a really amazing book for anyone who is a parent and is in a relationship. It's really helped me and a load of other people figure out how to stay sane and happily married/partnered after having kids. It's chock full of humor and practical advice, and it's directed at both moms and dads.
Ask the authors questions, offer them your comments, or just call in to say hello: (646) 915-8634
If you'd like to win a copy, stop here and leave a comment. If you miss the shows, you can listen to them while you read! Just click on the media button on the right sidebar. Subscribe to the feed here or listen via iTunes (search for MotherhoodUncensored).