Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Request for reviews

Any parents out there have an opinion on Thomas Phelan's 1-2-3 Magic? We've started doing brief timeouts with AB, more as a way to get him to calm down than anything else. But I'm not sure how to do the counting thing ("I'll give you till three"?)--besides, whenever I start counting, AB just chimes in and counts past me all the way to ten. So I was thinking about getting the book from the library or store, but after reading the reviews on Amazon, I'm not so sure.


Blogger kiwi said...

I have not read the book, but I have to say I am continually amazed at the power of counting 1-2-3. Frankly, I'm not at all sure what the consequences would be if I ever got to 3 without getting compliance. I think she may have gotten a timeout once or toy taken away at 3, and has been quick to comply ever since.

A quick anecdote on the institution of timeouts in our house. When my daughter was around 2, we started trying to implement the concept of time out. One day, she started playing with buttons on our stereo and when "no" didn't work, I gave her a time out. She came back into the living room afterwards and started pushing buttons again, but this time using the wing of a Big Bird doll. When I told her I was giving her another timeout, she swiftly defended that Big Bird did it, not her.

So, fine, I gave Big Bird a time out and let her sit in her room to talk to Big Bird about what he did. I then went back in the living room and was in the process of trying to reset all the buttons on our stereo when she walked out and saw me pushing buttons. "Mommy!" she reprimanded indignantly. "Timeout."

11:50 AM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

I love Kiwi's comment.

My own experience with Muffin Man has been that counting 1-2-3 doesn't work as well as counting down 5-4-3-2-1.
There is a clear end point and he can't cute his way out of it by showing off his counting skills.

Also, the guest room is our time-out room, a place he seldom goes for any other purpose and that has no toys or fun things to look at.

1:27 PM, April 26, 2005  
Anonymous Kristen said...

You'd be hard pressed to find a parenting book I didn't read with my first child. I think I read them all via the second-hand book store down the street.

I liked the idea behind 123 Magic, but didn't love it in practice. I just don't like the sound of my voice counting. It felt more like dog training than parenting to me.

So, now we just give one warning, and then the punishment is inflicted. At our house, the big misbehavior is fighting over a toy, so the punishment is that the toy goes away for a few days. We do time-outs, but not very often. (they are so busy fighting over toys, no time to misbehave in other ways!)

The books I liked the best were the "Love and Logic" series. I got some good tips from those.

But I haven't read a single parenting book since my son was born. He cured me of that addiction by proving that children don't go by the books...

1:59 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I haven't read the book, though it's been recommended to me. We do a ten-count, and then inflict the punishment. Sometimes he has to go up to his room (we don't really use the phrase "time-out", we just tell him he needs to go upstairs to pull himself together), sometimes he gets a toy taken away, and sometimes (drumroll, please) he loses his TV privileges. Those are the days I HATE.

I have to agree with Kristen about parenting books in general. If I wanted a book about how to deal with LG, I'd have to write it myself.

2:26 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

I agree in general about books being beside the point once you have kids, but I like reading ahead in Your Baby & Child
and there's a Time Life series (yeah, go ahead laugh) that was phenomenal. Lots of good stuff about avoiding melt-downs before they start. We read them before we even got pregnant and, though we haven't gone back to them much since, the concepts are ones we use all the time.

4:29 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Kiwi, your daughter sounds VERY smart to me!

Liz, I like your countdown (rather than count-up) technique. At this age, AB is happy to count up as high as he can at the drop of a hat, so the 1-2-3 thing doesn't really work right now. But maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Kristen, I'll have to find those "Love and Logic" books--haven't heard of them.

As for parenting books in general, I tend to read them cafeteria-style, taking a few things I like from each book, ignoring what just doesn't happen to work for me personally.

9:03 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

And Phantom, isn't no TV just punishing yourself? ;-)

9:04 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

We've tried periodically to have no tv in the evenings, only in the mornings before school. But then, getting dinner on the table is a hassle if only one of us is home. So, like cookies, tv is a "sometimes thing". Sure confuses the heck outta Muffin Man, tho.

10:19 PM, April 26, 2005  
Blogger Mieke said...

We give a lot of choices. At Jonas's age, 3, it seems to be all about control so we try to give him as much as we can without driving ourselves insane.

Do you want to wear this shirt or this shirt? If you want to go to the park you must pee first. Would you like eggs or oatmeal for breakfast? That kind of stuff. It seems to work.

I never read the book you're talking about, but we do use 1,2,3 when needed. "I asked you to pick up you Legos. I am not going to ask again, if you want to go to the park they must be picked up [he starts stalling or screwing around] 1,2,..." He almost always starts picking up.

We also don't use the expression "time out". We say that he needs to go to his room until he has control of his body and that as soon as he does (it's his decision when that it) he can come right back out. When he does, he's greated with a mile and a welcome back. We started doing that a lot when he was in his 2s so now I can just say, "Whoa, it looks like you've lost control of yourself." and he'll almost always try to get it back together.

However there is an IMMEDIATE consequence for hitting with no 1,2,3. He must apoligize immediately and if he doesn't he's sent away from the fun until he can control himself. I think I am just repeating myself now, so I'll sign off.

10:59 PM, April 26, 2005  

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