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Jennifer Knies - Family Law Attorney in Colorado Springs

Written by Jennifer Knies

1-2-3- Magic Method

Help! My daughter won’t eat her vegetables and its throwing a fit … What do I do?

One way that some experts suggest de-escalating conflict is by using the 1-2-3 Magic Method, which teaches parents to count to three in the right way. Essentially when disciplining, parents often talk too much. We treat our children like little adults because we assume if we explain why we can’t have dessert for breakfast, they will see reason and stop their bellyaching. The 1-2-3 Magic Method is a calm, effective, and simple way to discipline that actually works! The key is to say nothing except for, “That’s one. That’s two. That’s three.” With pauses in between to give the children an opportunity to settle down. Not only are you meant to be silent while disciplining, but you are also meant to be expressionless. After the child has completed their timeout (if you reached three without coming to a resolution), it’s imperative that you don’t engage in conversation.

This method prevents the disciplinary situation from escalating, the parents from overstimulating their child, and the children from misunderstanding why they were punished in the first place. This also eliminates the threat of parents having their own outburst out of frustration or making empty threats that will be taken less seriously over time.

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