‘1, 2, 3 Magic’ parenting class offers tips from SWAN group

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
South Windsor - posted Wed., Aug. 7, 2013
SWAN coordinator and parent educator Virginia Molleur addresses the group of parents. Photo by Lisa Stone.
SWAN coordinator and parent educator Virginia Molleur addresses the group of parents. Photo by Lisa Stone.

The South Windsor Community Center recently hosted a parenting class presented by South Windsor and Neighbors called “1, 2, 3 Magic,” which was geared toward the 3- to 12-year-old age group.

Several parents attended the Aug. 5 meeting in the hopes of learning techniques that counter bad behavior. SWAN’s coordinator and parent educator, Virginia Molleur, listened to the parents’ concerns and addressed difficult issues. “Parents tend to want to reason with children and explain why they are not allowed to do the bad behavior. Our ‘1, 2, 3 Magic’ method stops all the chaos and exhaustion that the parents feel. You only need to explain why the bad behavior is not acceptable once. After that, you need to be consistent with punishment,” said Molleur. “Parents tend to over-explain. Kids are smarter than parents give them credit for. They know what is and is not acceptable.”

The group watched a video that was created by SWAN which explained exactly how the method works. The video showed several different situations with and without using the “1, 2, 3 Magic” method. In between the segments, Molleur would stop and discuss that theory with the group. One parent was concerned over a child taking his shoe off in the car. This was aggravating and frustrating for the parent because the shoe would have to be put back on before exiting the vehicle every time. Molleur gave this advice: “Pick your battles. If that is really important to you, give a ‘time out’ for each episode. On the other hand, the more attention you pay to a certain bad behavior, the more the child will do it. Kids love to push their parents’ buttons. When you don’t give them such a reaction, they will get tired of the behavior and it should stop,” said Molleur.

In the “1, 2, 3 Magic” method, “1” is for only one explanation of why that behavior is not acceptable. “2” is for no talking and no emotion. Give the discipline without feeding into the “Why?” question. “3” is for not wavering on your authority. Let the child know that you are in charge and that is just the way it is. “Punishments should be short and sweet. Give one minute in ‘time out’ per year of the child. For example, a 2-year-old should have a two-minute time out,” Molleur said to the group. “When the ‘time out’ is over, the child should come back to the parent guilt-free. This is very important.”

SWAN has several parenting programs available. For more information on future programs, e-mail virginia.molleur@southwindsor.org or call 860-648-6361 ext. 314.

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