I couldn’t have checked out my reserved copy of 1-2-3 Magic on a better day. This was a particularly bad day with my 15 month old son, Peanut. He’s already showing signs of the terrible twos and it’s painfully obvious that I’m completely unprepared. Unprepared, as in standing and staring at him open-mouthed, trying not to laugh or cry.
Before becoming a SAHM, I worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I’ve worked with some pretty tough kiddos (ADHD, autistic, Oppositional Defiant, JPU (just plain unruly)). Through many an inservice, conference, and on-the-job experiences, I’ve learned A LOT about behavior management. Naively, I came into this parenting gig thinking that behavior was going to be an area at which I would excel. Turns out that comparing behavior management for your students and that of your own child is like comparing apples and orangutans.
I had several reasons as to why I wanted to be a part of this blogging book-a-long. First, all of my “expertise” is with children age three and up. My little darling is 15 months old is already giving me a run for my money. Also, when I was working, I never had to deal with any one student for longer than one hour at a time, so I have no experience with ALL DAY LONG behavior issues. Fear is another HUGE motivation for reading this book. I DO NOT want Super Nanny showing up to my house and making me look like a fool on national TV. Finally, I’m expecting another baby in May and I’m positive that after the new arrival, it will be impossible for me to have time for reading anything besides “Goodnight Moon.”
So blah, blah, blah, get to the review already! Here goes…The best part about the book so far (the first 4 chapters) is that it is so easy to read and understand. It is written in layman’s terms, which is helpful since I’m suffering from a wicked case of pregnancy brain. The book discusses the different types of behavior to modify, behaviors to stop (tantrums..yes please!) and those behaviors we’d like to see start (doing homework…a much later worry for me). I’m interested to read the following chapters where the actual “magic” ways to implement this discipline system are discussed.
One notable point that was made in these introductory chapters, was that it’s important to remember that children are not little adults. When we try to reason and offer lengthy explanations for why their behavior should stop, we are doing nothing to help the situation. Hmmm, maybe that’s why when I’ve found myself explaining to my 15 month old how why Mommy doesn’t wish to be hit in the face, I’m not seeing any behavior improvement. Actually, he had just been acting worse. In public. At home. In the car. EVERYWHERE!!!!
Finally, the most important thing that I learned was that our emotional reactions to our child’s behavior can just act to encourage more of that behavior. I’ve already tried NOT reacting when I get my daily smacks in the face and have in just two days seen some improvement. I guess that when I don’t get riled, I’m not as exciting to hit (yay!!!!!)
This book does say that it is meant for children 2-12. And yes I realize my son isn’t two yet, however, it’s worth the read just to see the results so far. I suspect that much of the information in the upcoming chapters will be a bit beyond my current reality. Doesn’t mean that I can be an overachiever and be prepared for the battle ahead. Stay tuned!
Thanks Kristen from the Mom Trap, for giving me the opportunity to participate in this blogging book-a-long!