I'm not sure if this is the right forum-I am troubled by the book 1-2-3 magic

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by Evan&Annekasmom, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. I was recommended this book by Evan's summer school teacher. Evan is having some problems following directions, listening. With all he has been through with my illness and being away I think some of this is to be expected Time and understanding is what is needed now, not a dictatorship. Still, it is something we need to address somehow for his own good. Something has got to change. I read this book before, I don't remember any of it but DH said I had some issues with it.
    I just this week re-read it. It seems like it would work, but at what expense? DH counts to him but has never read the book. It just didn't feel right when I was reading it but I was desperate and was going to give it a try. Then a couple of major red flags came up. The first was the author suggested locking your child in their room if they wouldn't stay put for a time out. My jaw just dropped when I read that. The next red flag was when the author said never sleep with your child, if your child had a nightmare or there is a storm or something that brings your child into your room make them sleep on the floor next to your bed. IMO that is just cruel. Those 2 examples discredited the author in my eyes.
    Has anyone used this method? I know I can still use it and just not do those 2 things, but would I want to be following a discipline method written by someone who would recommend such treatment?
    I am sorry if I offended anyone that uses this method, I am just questioning some of the tactics and wondering if it actually works anyway.
    Today was the last day of summer school for Evan and at the end of the class the teacher gave every parent a copy. It came with a letter on how it was recommended by the principal of the school Evan will be attending for kindergarden. This kind of concerned me and really IMO didn't seem appropriate.
    I am currently re-reading Positive Discipline.
    I know my kids are going though an adjustment period but I really need to get some structure and boundaries back. Any ideas?
  2. Melaniee

    Melaniee New Member

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    I'm glad you are asking, b/c I'd like to know, too. i haven't read it, but heard people say good thigns about it. Those two examples would also make me question things, but sometimes you just have to take what sounds right or useful to you and drop the rest.

    I would like to hear with others say abuot this book.
  3. ~Denise~

    ~Denise~ Living life...

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    I liked it.....when I skimmed it. When I actually read it, I, for one, don't like the "if you get to 3" type recommendations...and I also totally felt the same as you about discrediting the recommendations and author once I read the parts about co-sleeping and control and etc. I guess for me it's hard to take the good from a book when the author feels so differently from I on issues like that. I much prefer, and tend to listen to, people who feel the same core or base as I do when it comes to asking for and getting recommendations on parenting.


    Stacinator has some excellent book recommendations for discipline......I hope she sees this and posts some. (o:
  4. pb_and_j

    pb_and_j Nature Nut

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    I use it and I like it. Some of the stuff you mentioned is awful (the locking them in the room thing... eek! We do NOT do that) and I don't recall the not sleeping w/ your child thing... but the basis of this method works. Basically it makes the parent follow through w/ discipline and lets the child know you are serious. I don't think everyone needs a method such as this... if your child listens well and follows directions, responds well to natural/ logical consequences, then I don't really think you need to be as firm as this book conveys. However, if your child doesn't take you seriously (which is probably another issue) or doesn't respond to natural consequences (my older ds does not) then it works. Once you get through a couple weeks of time outs (or whatever other method you choose... we have used sitting in a chair or a time out w/ me in the room w/ him and the door closed) it really is "magic." I would say that 99% of the time Parker will voluntarilly stop what he is doing if I start counting, which is about 99% better than we were w/o this technique. I like that it gives kids a chance to decide for themselves if they are going to continue the behavior.

    So that's my take. It works for us. We use other methods of discipline... this is one tool in the box, kwim? I think it's a valuable one.
  5. rwikene

    rwikene keeping it simple

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    I checked the book out at the library, but never got around to reading it before it was due

    anyway, I think its odd that a teacher would pass out a discipline book. That just crosses some boundries IMO
  6. mommabee

    mommabee Welcoming Mama

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    When I was working as a family support specialist (fancy title huh?) we introduced this method of discipline to a family that was having a really hard time and it seemed to be the only thing that was working for them. I was a little sceptical that this was the answer after i read the book, but watched for awhile and it really did work. Plus it gave the parents a structure for discipline without spanking that they had never had before. They did not lock their child in the bedroom or make them sleep on the floor. In fact, they had a family bed situation. I am having a hard time with the principal handing out the book as a preferred method of discipline for kindergartners. That does seem like it's crossing a line. But I think that if your children are having trouble responding to toher forms, this is certainly something that will assist in the process of getting them to listen to you again. It does work, but I would use it as one method, bot the only one, kwim?
  7. kas

    kas Kinder & Gentler

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    thinking i'll pass on this book ;)

    also, thinking the author should be locked in a closet, room, or (insert torture chamber here).

    one more thought & then i'm done...

    why is a teacher guiding parents in ANY direction to discipline their child/ren? that is OFF limits imo, and none of their business! talk about too many spoons in the pot.

    okay~heading down to the pool now~for some much needed sun :D
  8. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    These types of books are good in a "rescue" situation. By this, I mean that a family or parent simply doesn't have any other tools and ways of coping with a child. This type of parenting would always win over threats, spanking, yelling, or general parenting wishy-washiness (my personal flaw at times!).

    I'm not a time out mama, but it has taken me a while to get here. For a long time, I couldn't see how it was possible to parent my kids without a small portion of punitive consequences.

    Time outs are the least of several evils. If it takes that to change a situation, then I say do it. However, I see them as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The problems will always resurface in other ways. For boys it is all about either apathy or agression it seems.

    There are several books I would recommend ( surprise surprise! :joker: )

    _Kids are Worth It_ by Barbara Coloroso. This book is excellent as describing different family styles. It helped me to recognize the way I was brought up and the things I wanted to make different in my family. Keep in mind that there is a small exerpt about locking kids out of the parental bedroom. Dump that if it doesn't apply. It sure didn't here!

    _How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk_ This is by Faber and Mazlich. They also wrote _Siblings Without Rivalry_ which is almost like a bible to me. :)

    I also liked this book. Keep in mind that the discipline is actually punitive and I do not use it. However, the first part of the book was really helpful to me. It really helped me change my language in order to get my point across directly. _Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict By Establishing Clear, Firm, & Respectful Boundaries_
    By Robert J. Mackenzie

    Last but not least I loved this book:
    _Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys_
    By Dan Kindlon Ph.D., Michael Thompson, Teresa Barker
    This was perhaps the most important book I read. I helped me to understand my boys since I have never ever been one. LOL

    HTH!
  9. MGray

    MGray Active Member

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    I was able to take some ideas and implement them without agreeing to the whole book. I don't like the time out idea personally.

    But, my oldest is pretty will-full and the counting thing gives him some time to know that he has crossed a line and choose to change his behavior.

    I think it is a good tool to add to your toolbox. No one method is going to work all the time on all children. Any writer is only an expert on their own kids - if you are in tune with your children then you will come to know what works with them and you can modify advice to suit your family.

    Melinda
  10. spiritfreedom

    spiritfreedom raunchy title instigator

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    Although I agree that the author has some control issues, I think that for parents who have been spanking their kids, THIS is a step up of course. For those who have been parenting thier children using AP techniques, I think it comes across in a dictatorial manner. It does encourage follow-thru and I believe kids need guidelines in that area.
  11. waterlily

    waterlily arrived

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    I have not read this book. If it is what I think it is I agree that it gives a child time to change a behavior before initiating consequences. However, it can have the effect of teaching the child they do not need to respond until you get to "three". Kind of like the rut I get into with yelling...the kids don't react until I yell because I've taught them I won't intervene until I am at the poing of yelling. Solution is to intervene (with a helping attitude) prior to that point. Since they are so motivated to "do it themselves" they tend to listen better when I am good about this. Another version of this is making your request. Asking if the child "needs help" fulfilling the request, then actually helping in a gentle way. This has worked well for me.

    There is a gentle discipline forum you might want to check out.
  12. PoetMom

    PoetMom Changing my family tree.

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    I recommend the book to others -- and always with the warning that the author himself has a few off the wall ideas about kids and they should take what works for them and leave the rest.

    The basic premise works for many families and in a way that doesn't harm the child.

    I've "locked" my son in his room for the time out -- but hear me out. I locked it so that the power struggle is between my son and his door knob. There is no further conflict between he and I. In actual fact, his door did not LOCK from the other side -- I was holding the door closed and the knob still. He didn't know I was there -- but I wouldn't have left him alone then anyway. I usually sat out the time out on the other side of the door. It was my cool-down time, too. He was 2.5. The time out starts from the moment he quiets -- and is one minute for each year of life. When he touched the knob and it wouldn't move, he quieted -- no use having a temper tantrum with a door knob -- and his time out was over in two minutes.

    By the time he was three, he understood the concept of a timer. I could put a timer in the room and he'd stay till it dinged. I think it speaks to the underlying compassion of the method that he honored the time out. I certainly wasn't hitting him when he left the room.

    The author may have some weird ideas but he also is very, very strongly against yelling -- he goes so far as to say that if you CAN'T stop yelling after reading there how important it is that you don't -- then you have a problem and should get counseling. That's wise counsel. (Not to point fingers -- I think many of us go through stressful periods where we are on edge.)

    I am NOT defending all of his ideas. I think you have to read it and take what WORKS for you. There's more than one way to skin a cat -- do what works for your family.

    And I disagree that the teacher overstepped her bounds. It's extremely common for teachers in preschools and primary grades to recommend a variety of parenting books. You don't have to read them. To the original poster: I want to be clear with my comments -- if the book rubs YOU the wrong way, don't go with it! You have to find the system that works for you and your family. But don't give up! There are so many other wonderful books out there with many different ways of helping our kids control their own behavior. I certainly can relate to having a child who is struggling with change. My firstborn's kindergarten year was very difficult because of similar issues.

    I did feel the need to step in and say that the book is very useful to many GOOD parents. You know, baby and bathwater and all that....
  13. PoetMom

    PoetMom Changing my family tree.

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    Just wanted to add that this can be a problem -- he suggests going "straight to three" with certain behaviors (e.g., hitting, biting -- things that cause harm to others or could cause harm to the child) and he also draws a very firm line with backtalk and sassing. He adds 10 minutes to a time out when the child backtalks. I chose not to implement that until Max turned four. I wasn't comfortable holding a child accountable for backtalk prior to that. I know some parents do so from age two. I don't have to worry this time -- my twins don't speak well enough to back talk beyond a totally adorable footstamp and "No!" :hahaha:
  14. Katie

    Katie Amity's Focus Member

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    Considering all that you've recently been through. Why don't you do something completely off the wall like circle the wagons, snuggle up together and then roast marshmallows over the campfire built with parenting books.

    Restoring order is one thing, but finding peace and security is far more appealing.

    I read your other thread and find you incredibly brave and courageous. I look forward to getting to know you. :)

    Katie
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2004
  15. Thanks for all of the replies. I do think it is a better alternative to yelling all of the time or of course spanking, perhaps that is why she handed it out.
    Stacy, thanks for the book recomendations, I'm off to the library. I'll do little book reviews as I finish them, I like to know what others think.
    So, anyone what to join my book club? I think I'll start with Kids are Worth it.
    Jen
  16. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    No disrespect intended, but the struggle is still between you and the child. You've just disconnected from him and now he is alone. Whether you are on the other side of the door is of no consequence. Is the intention really to defer his feelings to a doorknob? If so, how does this help him learn?

    I'm totally up for a few moments of chill out space if the consequence would be that a parent uses a more punitive form of punishment without it. This is more for the protection of a child rather than a teaching tool although if used regularly, it does become a punishment for the child.

    Just an observation. I promise I'm not trying to pick on you.

    Of course it is. ITA. There are many many many good, no great, parents out there that use forms of punitive discipline. I see the whole process in stages. Jen was communicating to me that a punitive approach didn't seem appropriate to her. I was offering up alternative ways to help Evan. I have found value in almost every parenting book I've ever read. They all have useful information.

    If the first stage is stopping yelling, spanking, or shaming, I can understand (if not agree with) books like 1-2-3 magic. Once someone gets their bearings with a new way of thinking, they are more capable of extracting the good parts out of a book and leaving the things that don't make sense or work for their family--just as you did.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2004
  17. kas

    kas Kinder & Gentler

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    i have a feeling this thread is going to take a little trip to another forum VERY soon.

    with that being said, i have to say that i am HORRIFIED that someone here at aw would LOCK THEIR CHILD *ANYWHERE*.

    imo, ya might as well just swat/spank em, no?
  18. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    I'm not horrified at all. The thought that Alaska isn't a good mother never crossed my mind.

    I've been giving this a lot of thought lately because there have been a lot of discipline issues brought up on the board. There are certain *levels* to discipline. It is kind of like playing "this or that." It goes something like this:

    Which is worse (keep in mind this is rhetorical):

    Hitting vs. swatting.
    Spanking vs. swatting w/ a small switch or something
    Yelling vs. snapping
    Yelling/shaming vs. time out
    Time out vs. positive discipline

    Some people are more than happy to stop at the level of
    yelling vs. time out. They see everything above that as worse. They are right IMO. Once one gets to the time out vs positive discipline stage they tend to see everything above that as punitive and that is true. However, its not apples and apples. We are all at different stages during this parenting gig. Do I think there is a best way to do things? You bet! Do I agree with shutting the door and holding it so a child can't get out? No way. However, I am horrified by parents who beat their children in Walmart parking lots. I am not horrified by a mom who is actively seeking new ways to parent her child. Intentions are important in the overall scheme of things.

    Also, I have no idea what other forum you are talking about. Where else would this go?
  19. kas

    kas Kinder & Gentler

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    um, the discipline forum, perhaps?
  20. Rach

    Rach New Member

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    Personally, I do not think the school is out of line in recommending a discipline or parenting book. In a full day program, the school deals with the child most of his/her waking hours. They are offerring the parents a chance to be on the same page. Also, it does not sound as if anyone was being singled out. I often sent home articles on nurtrition or television when I taught school. I did not just send them to the homes where donuts were served for breakfast and a crappy lunchable was sent in the lunch sack. I sent them to everyone so no one felt singled out. I see it as a way that the school is trying to act like part of a community in which they want the parents to be involved. That said, if you really do not like the book, you might take it up with the administration, or at least the teacher to find out how it will be applied to your child.

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