1-2-3 Magic for Kids – A Review and Giveaway

(The following review is for the book, 1-2-3 Magic for Kids.  I received materials to facilitate the review and giveaway as well as compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own and the following review reflects my honest experience with the 1-2-3 Magic method and materials.)

123 Magic Review
As a new(ish) parent, I often find myself asking my parents what they did right in raising me to become the functional and happy adult that I am (most days of the week).  And, I often ask my husband what his parents did right in raising him, because they definitely did something, or many things, right.  The man can do laundry, fix the brakes in my car, properly administer an Elmo bandage to a boo-boo, and tells me I’m beautiful when I look like, well, a stay-at-home mom of twins.

Plus, my husband and I were both what you might call, “the good kids” in school.  Neither one of us ever really got into trouble, we liked school, and we typically wanted to please our parents.

But, when we do ask our parents about their strategy, the response we get is usually something like this, “I don’t know, you just were a good kid, I guess.”

While yes, that is a nice compliment, I have a feeling they had a little (or a big) something to do with it.

In our parents’ defense, it has been awhile since we were of that impressionable age and they were navigating the challenging waters of parenthood.  It is understandable how getting any concrete details out of them is often pretty difficult.

Fast forward about 30 years. When my own children ask me how their father and I raised such well-mannered, kind, responsible, hard-working young men (hang with me here, a mother can dream), I will have some memory, some record. I will have a name for the “method” we used to find our rhythm, our consistency, and our positive parenting approach.

In fact, I will probably just hand them my copy of 1-2-3 Magic

I first heard about 1-2-3 Magic from the collective wisdom of the mothers in my local “Mother of Twins” club. On our group Facebook page, I kept seeing the name of this book pop up over and over in response to a daily S.O.S call for help with managing the joys of toddlers. (Remember, with twins, our “joys” come doubled, so those calls are legit. And yes, I have been the author of a few “Please Help!” posts myself.)

So shortly before my own two turned 2, I had my very own copy of 1-2-3 Magic delivered to my Kindle. I think I probably purchased it after a particularly epic meltdown as I pondered the “terrible twos” (x2) we had not even technically entered.

I read it in a day. We stared the “magic” the next day. You can read about it here. (In short, it works.) 

My boys are really making progress now as my husband and I are getting better with our consistency. We even have a Nana who reinforces the process (Awesome!), so they know the drill.

And, as our boys continue to mature and understand more of their roles and responsibilities in the family, I’m excited to be able to share 1-2-3 Magic for Kids with them.

1-2-3 Magic for Kids is exactly what the title says; it is a book for kids about the 1-2-3 Magic method.  

This book is written (and illustrated) so that younger children can listen to or read with their parents and older kids can read it by themselves.  (It is also written so that it makes for a fantastic quick and easy review for parents.  The visuals and “nuts and bolts” chapters are great for all ages.  This mom included.)

123 Magic Picture

While my own two are still a little young to grasp the entire book, they do enjoy hearing the story of 1-2-3 Magic through the characters of Maddie and Rachel.  They also identify with many familiar situations in the illustrations – kids playing in the park, kids and parents looking happy, mad or sad, toddlers having tantrums, parents counting certain behaviors, and more.  I was surprised at how well reading the book encouraged good conversation (and my boys are only just two).  How do you feel when Mommy yells?  What happens when we count?  Why do you think the little girl is crying? Do you feel mad like that little boy sometimes?

123 Magic Picture 2

This is the aspect of the book I think I enjoy the most.  Although the original 1-2-3 Magic (for parents) does advocate involving the entire family through family meetings and conversations, I had never actually stopped to do so with my kids.  I think by keeping 1-2-3 Magic for Kids in our rotation as they grow, we will continue to have meaningful and age-appropriate conversations about our behavior – something that I definitely welcome in our family.  In reading it with our children from time to time, not only will it keep them in the loop by encouraging conversation about our expectations and their behavior, but it will also be a constant review for us as parents.  

So, back to that dream – 30 years down the road – of our happy and healthy young men asking us about our amazing parenting strategies. Maybe they won’t even need to ask because they’ll already know.  And they’ll know because they have been active and knowledgeable participants in the process.  It’s a lovely dream, and it is one for which we’ll continue to work.  I’m confident that 1-2-3 Magic will be a critical part of that process.

Interested in 1-2-3 Magic for Kids for your family?  Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy along with the original 1-2-3 Magic.  

{This Giveaway is now closed.}

Stay tuned for a Guest Post by Tracy Lewis, co-author of 1-2-3 Magic for Kids, next week.  Tracy will share some great (and practical) strategies for back-to-school and homework success.  Don’t miss it! (Update:  See it here!)


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  1. Beautiful photos! Quality time spent together, amazing.


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