Monday Mothering: 1-2-3 Magic

Posted 17 February, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Monday Mothering: 1-2-3 Magic1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan
Published by ParentMagic, Inc. on October 1st 2010
Genres: Family & Relationships, General, Parenting
Pages: 224

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.

I liked this book. It has great potential as a manual to take charge of a hectic household with the end goal of making life happier and more harmonious, helping parents to actually be able to enjoy their kids more.  

The advice on disciplining (and growing relationships with your kids) is practical and achievable. For me, it is a book full of little changes to make life more pleasant, it is unlikely to require a whole overhaul of your discipline program or daily life, just tweaks here and there.

There’s a whole chapter on “The Little Adult Assumption” which I am still continually pointing my husband to. The man loves to talk and likes to try to reason with the three year old Girl in a very adult way. This leads directly into the idea that adults talk too much. Kids don’t want lectures! I agree with the basic premise – but no talking after time out was a little too much quiet for me. I always ask The Girl : “Why did you go to time out?” “What are you going to do to avoid it next time?” 

All that being said, every parent knows that kids are all different. So ALL parenting books should be taken with a grain of salt. Use what works, leave the rest.

Other reviews took issue with the tone of the book. I can see how some parents who are in awe and worship of their little darlings might find the tone a bit off-putting. (I don’t mean that as sarcastically as it sounds, promise.) For me, it was just right, as I’m a little irreverent about everything (not just parenting) myself. It makes the fact that you’re reading a parenting book a little more bearable. 

..and seriously likening parenting to training wild animals seems to be a very apt comparison to me. 

Check it out.


April @ The Steadfast Reader


Comments are closed.