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Magical Tips for Parenting

Published in Behavioral Health Services, Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Jeffrey Reed, MS, LMFT, Psychotherapist

Most parents wish that children came with an instruction manual. Being a good parent is the hardest job in the world. Fortunately, there are resources that can help you.

The St. Cloud Area Family Y and CentraCare have partnered to offer parenting classes on effective approaches backed by research. 1-2-3 Magic is a two-class series that offers a simple and effective procedure for setting limits in addition to helping parents reinforce positive patterns of behavior in children between ages 2-12.

1-2-3 Magic divides the parenting responsibilities into three straightforward tasks:

  1. Stopping negative behavior
  2. Encouraging positive behavior
  3. Strengthening parent-child relationships

The program helps you create a loving, supportive family atmosphere through the following principles:

  • Parents are in charge
  • No arguing/yelling
  • Less is more in terms of using words or showing emotion

If you find yourself stuck as a parent, 1-2-3 Magic can give you the tools to reduce negative behaviors and improve compliance. In the fourth edition of “Self-Help That Works,” John Norcross, Ph.D., asked thousands of mental health professionals what child discipline books they recommended most frequently, and which programs worked the best. 1-2-3 Magic received a “Highly Recommended” five-star rating.

Upcoming classes (each class is made up of two sessions):

  • March 23 and 30, 3-6 p.m.
  • May 18 and June 1, 3-6 p.m.

The class is $60. YMCA member receive a $20 discount. For more information, contact Jeffrey Reed, MS, LMFT, at 320-229-5128 or

Register online at You also may register at the front desk of the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA. For an additional fee, children are able to use the Kid Zone while their parents are attending class (includes snack).