1-2-3 Magic By Dr. Thomas Phelan
The program must be used exactly as described. • For 2-12 year olds (must consider development level) • Simple • Practical • effective
Two Types of Behaviors • “Stop” Behaviors- obnoxious behaviors (arguing, whining, tantrums, etc.) • “Start” Behaviors- positive behaviors (cleaning room, going to bed, brushing teeth, sharing, etc.)
Parents Biggest Mistakes • “Little Adult Assumption” (reasonable, unselfish, sympathetic) • Too Much Talking (Words) • Too Much Emotion (Reasoning) • Typical Pattern: talk-persuade-argue-yell-hit Why? Kids feel inferior-they can make a “big Splash”
“Wild Animal Trainer” • Choose an effective method and repeat it • Train-do not persuade • Consequent the “stop” behaviors • Reinforce the “start” behaviors • There are times when words, reasoning & communication are appropriate. • “Dictatorship”- “Democracy”
Rules • No Emotion Rule (get upset & child will continue) • No Talk Rule (no negotiation)
Starting the Program • Goal- to stop the unwanted behaviors like arguing, whining, demanding, etc. • All caregivers must use it • Explain it to the child before you start
How it Works • 1) Give a physical and verbal warning-hold up one finger and say, child’s name “That’s one.” wait a few seconds depending on the age. If the child stops, that’s fine, if not proceed. • 2) Give second verbal and visual warning-hold up two fingers and say, “That’s two.” If the child stops, that’s great, if not, proceed. • 3) Hold up three fingers and say, “That’s three-go to time out.”
Time outs • One minute per year of age- depends on child’s developmental level. • Time outs may be in the child’s bedroom or a specified place in the house, away from others. • When the child comes out, act as if nothing happened-no lectures. With younger kids, use the moment to teach. • Serious offences go right to time-out.
Common mistakes when counting • Parents talking too much-persuading • Parents getting too upset-too much emotion • Not keeping it up long enough-inconsistent • Getting sidetracked by the child’s testing or manipulation
Responses from Kids • Immediate • Delayed • Should see results in 7-10 days • Some kids will get worse before better • With repeated use, kids will start responding on 1 or 2
Testing & Manipulation • Two Reasons: • 1) to get what they want (if it works for them, they will continue) • To get revenge (you frustrated them and they are going to get you back- if you get frustrated, then they have won)
Testing • Badgering- “why not?’ • Intimidation- “name calling” • Threat- “run away” • Martyrdom- pouting/crying • Butter-up • Physical-hitting, kicking, etc.
Testing • If your child has a favorite tactic, it is probably working • If they are using all the tactics, they are fishing for your weakness • Count these behaviors • You can ignore passive pouting or butter-up, unless it becomes aggressive, then count
Remember • You’re the boss- don’t get baited into an argument- Just Count! • Give one explanation • No extra talk • No emotion • Your authority is not negotiable
Choose Your Battles • In the beginning- Count all “stop” behaviors, until kids internalize the program, then you may want to ignore some • The consequence is short & sweet- should not cause war or revenge • It is forgotten afterwards- no hard feelings
Frequently Asked Questions • Will my child hate his/her room? The power comes from the interruption in the child’s activity. Less chance of hating room if there’s no yelling before. Child can play in room, but no T.V., video games, phone, friend, etc. • In front of others? Yes, do it as if alone.
Questions • In Public? Count as usual. Get it going strong at home first before trying in public.Use cart, corner of store, washroom, car, for time-out. Do not talk to the child while in time-out. Bribery- define “good” behavior- “If I don’t have to count to 3, then you get a treat.”
Questions • Car? 1-2-3 = No talk or pull car off road. For long trips plan ahead a reward system. • Won’t go to room? Younger kids may have to be carried. Older kids- reverse time-out- parent removes themselves from room and doesn’t talk for specific amount of time, take away allowance or privileges.
Questions • Won’t stay in room? If they stay in the room, don’t have to shut door. If they come out, may have to hold door or hold younger child if out of control. Remember-no emotion. Let the child know you will let go when they can control themselves.
Questions • Won’t come out? Let them know the time is up. Use kitchen timer-place where they can hear bell if possible. • On phone? Hold fingers up to count. • Self-esteem? Doesn’t hurt like yelling. • Room Wrecker? Remove valuables, don’t clean room for child, don’t be afraid to count in the future.
Questions • Sibling Rivalry? Count both kids, unless one is the obvious aggressor. Don’t count if you didn’t se it or hear it. Don't use same room for time out. Don’t expect the older child to be more mature- you stack the deck for the younger child. Don’t ask the dumb question, “Who started it?”
Questions • Tantrums? Count-time out begins when they are quiet. • Pouting? Ignore unless it becomes aggressive.
Positive “Start” Behaviors • Catch them being good. Twice as many positive statements about behavior as negative. • Teach or be quiet. Teaching doesn’t involve nagging or yelling.
Tactics • PVF-Positive Verbal Feedback- do it randomly so child doesn’t come to expect it • Use a timer to get things done-beat clock • Charting-stickers, etc. combine with praise • “If_____,then____. Statements • Extra privileges or removal of privileges
Consequences • Have pre-determined consequences for behaviors. • Logical- related to the behavior • Natural- happens naturally without parent • Go right to 3 for big offenses