1-2-3 Magic

So, part of my blog is learning about parenting. If you follow me on Facebook or read my blog, you’ll know that I was thrown in to parenting to a 12 and 10 year old last year when my 12 year old stepdaughter (I just call her my daughter) told me of inappropriate things that were going on at her mom’s house.

So, we’ve had the kids in counseling, but then we had to switch counselors and the new counselor recommended we read the book 1-2-3 Magic. I just got done reading this book, so I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve learned.

I think the main point of this book is to teach the parents to not give a reaction to the kids that the kids want. The kids are there to try & get you to scream and yell at them (especially my kids). Because of my kids background, they think negative attention is better than no attention. (Sad, I know.) But, this book emphasizes on when the kid wants to argue with you, you don’t let it get to you and you show no emotion & you don’t talk. Instead, you count. You give me them 3 chances and then you send them to their room. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing in their room or not. You’ve taken them away from they were doing. Once they’ve spent their timeout in their room, you can tell them they can come out, but you don’t readdress what put them in their room. Once again, you still show NO emotion & you don’t talk to them.

I think that’s going to be the hardest for me. When the kids are not obeying or they’re doing something completely obnoxious, it’s hard for me not to show emotion & get all worked up.

The book also emphasizes on “start” behaviors. Getting the kids to “start” doing things (i.e. cleaning room, getting ready in the a.m., etc). This is one area that my kids have A LOT of trouble. Especially with cleaning up after themselves. At their mom’s house, they didn’t have rules. They lived in squalor. Plus, the kids have ADHD. So, when we tell them to clean their room, they throw a fit and it’s an all day task, that could easily take one hour to do. Plus, because they have ADHD, they get distracted easily. Unless you sit in the room with them. Well, like every other parent, I don’t have the time to sit in the room with them, and I don’t WANT to sit in the room with them.

The kids have NO concept of time either. We get them up in the morning in plenty of time to get ready for school and out the door, but they dilly dally around. What they talked about with the “start” behaviors in the book are supposed to help.

One of the ways with start behavior is to set a timer. I think this will work with homework, but with other chores or whatnot, I have a hard time seeing it work. My son has told me before that the timer can sometimes be overwhelming to him.

Another thing that I think is going to be tough, is with cleaning their room, if they don’t clean it, it’s their own fault. We will just close their bedroom door. My husband has a hard time with that. However, I think as long as the door is closed and the kids aren’t in there, then he’ll be ok with it.

Last thing that will help, that we REALLY need to implement, is having “special time” with mom and dad. We need to focus on the 1 on 1 time with each kid. It’s easy for us as parents to get caught up in everything going on in our lives. I know that I’m SUPER busy. I’m going to be starting a second job here in the next week and my husband works graves and sleeps during the day, but we need to carve out 15-20 min a week with each kid by ourselves. It doesn’t have to cost money, even if it’s going to the park. It will help with the family dynamic.

So…with all this being said…have you read the book 1-2-3 Magic? Do you use any of these tips/tricks with your kids? How does it work for you?


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