Monday, March 12, 2012

Parent's Tool Kit

Magic 1-2-3

Do your kid's like magic tricks? Well, here's one they can participate in - behavior change!

Magic 1-2-3 is a method for helping your children change an undesirable behavior. It is basically a warning system used to help your child understand when their behavior is inappropriate, and it gives them the opportunity to turn their behavior around by their own free will. The magic of 1-2-3 is that it empowers
your child to control themselves before their behavior becomes out of control.

Keys To Success
This method is especially useful for children from 3 to 9 years old, to reinforce the behaviors they know you expect of them. You can explain that you want to help them remember the rules for good behavior, so you are going to use a code to warn them when their behavior is going in the wrong direction. The code is: "When I say one, you know that is your first warning, and that you need to stop what you are doing. If you don't change your behavior for the better, I will say two, but you will only get two chances. If I have to say three, there will be a consequence."

The consequence is the most important part of the formula. You can call it a punishment, a discipline or whatever word you want, but basically your kids need to know that you mean business. Think ahead of time about the kind of consequences you might need to enforce, because it's important that you can follow through. In some cases it may be that you need to separate the child from their playmates, take away a privilege, or whatever fits the situation.

You might have a standard consequence, like being "grounded", that you have already discussed with your kids - they know what it means. On the other hand, you may want to use consequences that fit the circumstances, and age of the child. For example, you have already taught them that they should be kind to others and share, and there is no hitting. You see your child in a heated argument with a playmate about a toy and you say, "Johnny that's one, share the toy or I will take it away." This is good for young children because you have given the warning and clearly identified the desired behavior, as well as the consequence. As your children become accustomed to this method, and as they get older, less or no explanation will be necessary; by just saying, "that's one", they will know what you mean.

If you think this method might help you I suggest reading the book because it gives clear explanation about how to start using this method, and what to do when kids resist or rebel.
Have you tried Magic 1-2-3? Feel free to leave your comments!


  1. Stopping by from the Alexa Blog Hop!

    1. Thanks, I'll do the same in a day or two!

  2. Very good idea, and a nice spin on an old formula.
    Consequences are key, and many parents get lazy when following through on prior warnings.

    ~ Rory


I love comments and I'll do my best to respond to them all.