Ask Kelly: Consequences for Kids

[ 1 ] August 1, 2007 |

My eighteen-month-old won’t hold my hand in parking lots, and likes to break free and run. Lately his independence is getting the best of me. What book/method/thing can I use to help?

1-2-3 Magic Starting as early as nine months, children can begin to understand basic consequences. One method that works well and requires little effort on a day-to-day basis is 1-2-3 Magic written by Thomas Phelan. The program addresses obnoxious behavior, unnecessary behaviors (including basic things such as nail biting), and encouraging good behaviors.

The program is easy for parents to follow, and gives both mom and dad a consistent idea of how to react when the child does something undesirable. The method remains positive while creating guidelines for interactions in public and at home. The program also allows children to be just that, children. They are given three opportunities to correct the problem. Phelan’s method points out that a parent who engages in “Too Much Talking” or “Too Much Emotion” will lead to failure. For more information on this book, check it out of your local library, shop online, or borrow a copy from the Bellani Maternity library.

Kelly LaChance-Guertin BA, CCE, CD (DONA), CLC, has been a birth and postpartum doula for the past five years. She is currently a certified birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America) and a certified childbirth educator. As the co-owner of Bellani Maternity and the mother of two, she experiences first-hand the struggle of balancing work and family, as well as the realities of raising children. Visit to learn more about Kelly’s one-stop resource for pregnancy and parenting.

Category: books / stories, parenting

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

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  1. Sean says:

    You’re right on with this one Kelly. My wife actually came home with this book (which she bought from Bellani) and I thought she was off the wall. How could 3 numbers help with our out of control 2 year old? I was hooked as soon as I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. It started working the same day we implemented it. Every parent should have this book.

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