“1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12” By Thomas W. Phelan, PhD (2003); 208 pages.

Started reading August 10, finished reading August 16.

OK, the title of this one really says it all. Ben got kind of wild on our trip (and who can blame him? He had no routine, plus new friends to hang out with, every day for three weeks!) so when my friend Missy, trained as an elementary educator and administrator, recommended this and handed me her copy, I started reading immediately. And so far, so good– Ben has been pretty good since we’ve been back (I can’t discount the fact that we’re back on school routine, nap schedule, earlier bedtimes…) and perhaps, in part, because the system outlined in the book works. It was kind of funny, though, because I expected I would get through this in two days, but it really took me the full week. Once I got past the how-to-deal-with-your-wild-toddler section–which I read in 45 minutes– the rest just dragged for me. I think it was because the author covered all the way up through difficult adolescents, which I’m just not ready to wrap my mind around yet. But I do whole-heartedly recommend this: if your kids don’t listen to you (um, let me re-phrase that: if you have kids) you should give this a try. In addition to whining, back-talking, etc., it also covers how to deal with bedtime and mealtimes. Which I’m glad about; now hopefully I won’t have to read another child-rearing book for a while.