Solving Discipline Problems

Solving Discipline Problems – with Dr. Thomas Phelan

The creator of ‘1-2-3 Magic’ shares simple tips you use to fix common discipline challenges

by Steve Silvestro, MD  @zendocsteve


“I was a wonderful parent before I had children.”

That spot-on line from Adele Faber, co-author of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk rings so true, doesn’t it? It was easy to know exactly how you were going to raise your children before you actually had them and then, well, they got here and real life stepped in.

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual (just a “Child Repair Guide!”), and the parenting section in bookstores can be overwhelming. And yet, there are a handful of books that have stood the test of time. 1-2-3 Magic is one of them, having sold nearly 2 million copies over close to 30 years.

My guest today is the author of this perennially bestselling discipline guide, Dr. Thomas Phelan. Dr. Phelan has worked with children, adults and families for over 35 years. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Illinois Psychological Association. Dr. Phelan is the author of numerous books, DVDs and audios, the most popular being 1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting, which is now in its 6th edition and has sold nearly 2 million copies. He maintains an active schedule of international lectures and his articles appear in many regional and national publications.

And in our conversation, Dr. Phelan outlines the 3 simple steps you can use to radically change discipline challenges in your home.

Take a listen on your favorite podcast app or in the player below:


In This Episode, We Talk About:

  • The origins of ‘1-2-3 Magic’
  • The 3 jobs every parent MUST do
  • How parents talking too much can interfere with fixing problem behavior
  • How to keep your cool when facing behavior challenges
  • Thoughts on “time in,” “time out,” and how 1-2-3 Magic fits with other parenting approaches
  • How to use 1-2-3 Magic at different ages
  • How to handle testing & manipulation from your child
  • What happens when 1-2-3 Magic doesn’t work
  • Using 1-2-3 Magic to encourage positive behavior
  • Routines for preventing mealtime challenges
  • How to change or introduce new routines
  • Using 1-2-3 Magic in the classroom
  • …and a whole lot more!

Scroll up to the player above to listen, or hear it on your favorite podcast app!

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