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What is 123 Magic?

(27 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Sat 13-Jul-13 19:24:57

Just wondering. Have seen it mention plenty. Assumed I'd find it patronising and daft.

Would I?

ouryve Sat 13-Jul-13 19:25:53


I read it and laughed at it, because DS1 would have just kept on counting!

ouryve Sat 13-Jul-13 19:26:26

Works a treat for some people, though.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 13-Jul-13 19:27:52

So no point in ever attending the training then!?

GuffSmuggler Sat 13-Jul-13 19:31:38

I like it, it's a structured format of 3 warnings and then consequences.

It's good if you want to feel in control and have a method of dealing with bad behaviour and don't want to smack.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 13-Jul-13 19:32:40

Hmm. There's a whole book and training course on THAT?

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 13-Jul-13 19:33:41

Also. A bit confused about why 3 warnings.

Who decided on 3?

BikeRunSki Sat 13-Jul-13 19:33:43

They sounds interesting Guffsmuggler, where can I find out more.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 13-Jul-13 19:36:05

And how much time between 1 and 2 and 3?

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 13-Jul-13 20:40:35

Ah, the joys of 1,2,3 Magic.........

What I took from it was not to get involved in a disussion and to try to remain calm......

It was recommended to me by my HV when DD had just been born and DS was beginning to display his behavioural issues. I bought it, read it and attempted to implement it..... The first Time Out whould have been 3 minutes... it took an hour and a half. I persevered after discussion with my HV. Six weeks later I threw the sodding book in the bin.

I do still count to 3 though and I do try so very hard not to get emotional and enter into discussions.......

It's very, um, repetitive...

As to how long between 1,2 and 3... not long!

GuffSmuggler Sun 14-Jul-13 21:42:46

It's best to read the book if you are interested as it gives you the whole theory behind it and what to do.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 14-Jul-13 21:49:41

It worked for our four (and was the only thing that worked with the one with SN). It's not just counting. grin There are two important points:

1. Don't let the child draw you into a discussion about the behaviour/consequence. The time for explanations is afterwards, when you are both calm.

2. Don't let your emotions control your response. Shouting or anger can escalate.

The reason it helped me was that it encouraged me to address the small misdemeanours, rather than just letting my irritation build up until I lost my temper.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 14-Jul-13 21:51:38

We found that it works best on pre-adolescents. Teenagers are a different ball-game.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 14-Jul-13 22:25:07

I find it works well with DD(6) who is a champion debater with her 'But I was only...' and 'I was just...'. Otherwise she can justify her behaviour forever.

Sample conversation:

DD, can you put [toddler] DS down please, you know you're not supposed to pick him up.
But we're just playing, mummy!
Well DS isn't enjoying it, he's crying, that means stop!
I just want to carry him over here so we-
That's one.
OH OK THEN! <puts DS down> <strops off>

The consequence we use for getting to three is losing dessert after dinner. Time out, we use for more immediate things like having lamped DS or something.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 14-Jul-13 22:29:34

"There's a whole book and training course on THAT?"

Well, most parenting books are a fairly simple idea expanded to fill a book, right? grin

There are other 'rules' about using it:
you should only use it to stop a behaviour, not to start (eg to tidy their room)
you have to follow through with the three and not piss around with two-and-a-half, two-and-three-quarters etc
it's a while since I read it TBH.

mumeeee Sun 14-Jul-13 22:36:03

DH and I used to do this with our 3 years ago and it did work. My sister did it with her 5 children.One of my nephews tried to tell some cows to move away from the gate and told tjem I'll have tо count to 3. grin

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 15-Jul-13 16:02:17

Why should you use it to only stop a behaviour and not start?

Isn't starting the kind of same thing as stopping? i.e. 'sit down' is the same thing as 'stop standing up'.

Still not getting why 3 is the magic number. What about the other numbers? What about 1. Doesn't waiting until 3 simply mean that the child is allowed to ignore you 2 times?

WilsonFrickett Mon 15-Jul-13 16:05:59

I bought it at the same time as 'how to talk so children will listen' and 'how to talk' works really, really well for us, so I never really got round to '123'.

BrianTheMole Mon 15-Jul-13 17:11:34

I thought you could use it to start behaviours. I'm sure there was a chapter on starting behaviours. The counting to three is to give them enough time to think about, and stop the behaviours. These days I only need to count to one before whatever it is they are doing is stopped. And you can have a reasonable amount of time between the numbers depending on the age of the child. For example it could be up to 30 mins for a six yr old, and it doesn't need to be related to the same behaviours. I think it works pretty well.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 17-Jul-13 22:48:03

I may have missed the chapter on starting behaviours...!
My imperfect recollection is that if you asked your DC to tidy their room and they were in the middle of doing something and said no, then starting The Count would be a bit harsh. That's more of a situation for consensus building. Man.

Why three? Don't know really. Obviously just 'one' wouldn't work, because that would just be a child who did what they were asked the first time you asked it <hollow laugh>

Any warning system would work really i suppose, as long as you always used the same language to show you're serious, and always follow through with the consequence.

JacqueslePeacock Wed 17-Jul-13 22:50:54

Does it work with toddlers? (do they have to be able to count?!)

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Wed 17-Jul-13 22:56:38

I saw it mentioned on a thread the other day. Someone said read the reviews of the book on Amazon and you will find out all you need to know, but I haven't got round to it yet. I have one child that refuses to start things (or do them at anything like the required speed) and one that tends to keep doing things after being told to stop.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 23-Jul-13 22:58:55

So is it counting to three? Or giving three warnings (3 strikes and you're out??)?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Jul-13 23:02:10

I dunno. My ds has autism and we have a 'one ask' rule.

If you give him 3 chances, he'll think I didn't mean it the first 2 times and then not believe the 3rd. I insist on immediate response and immediate consequence if none.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Jul-13 23:03:11

But I'm still a bit bewildered how there is a whole course on counting to 3.

Does it cover SN? I really can't see the 3 thing working, unless I said it all fast in one breath.

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