All posts tagged: Dr. Thomas Phelan

The Teacher is Talking: 1-2-3 Magic with Dr. Thomas Phelan

By Leslie Lindsay When I was a young R.N. working at the Mayo Clinic in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, we used a program called 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan.  I had no idea what it was all about at the time…but I quickly learned –and loved it.  In fact, it’s America’s #1 child discipline program!  Years later, as a mom of an almost 8-year old and 6-year old, it definitely comes in handy.  (image source: http://www.123magic.com/?gclid=CPGrj5KZm7YCFcWPPAodtCUAxQ)   Here’s how it works: Your child is engaging in an activity or behavior you don’t like or want to redirect (change).  For example, “Kate, you need to make your bed.”  (Grumble, grumble).  As a parent/caregiver you say, “That’s one!”  and pause.  (1) If your child doesn’t make any progress towards the goal you initiated (they are still grumbling, stomping feet, etc.) you say, “That’s two!”  And pause.*  You are watching to see your child make some movement towards the goal/direction given.  (2) Hopefully she is moving her buns in the right direction (setting her book down and moving towards her bed, …