Mommy of a three-year-old here and I’m mad at ya’ll because you didn’t warn me about the threenager life. I’ve heard about the terrible twos but no one ever talks about the threes. Maybe cause they blocked it out of their memories. When I bring up the threes many parents roll their eyes and say oh I hated the threes. Wait.What? Why didn’t I get a warning? Read on to find out how I’m coping with my threenager.
The Threenager Life
Listen, once my eldest son Kendall turned three, I thought I had it in the bag. I thought to myself twos weren’t so bad. We survived that, so no worries, right? Well, let me tell you these “trying threes” are no joke. First, let me start off with the positive. Kendall is one of the most loving kids I know. He is extremely empathetic. He cares about the feelings of others, is super helpful, loves cheffing it up and cleaning and he’s a very helpful loving big brother.
Characteristics of A Threenager
But there is another side of him. The trying side that is. He has grown a lot, yet yearns to be super independent and gets extremely frustrated when he cannot accomplish things like putting his coat on and zipping up his pants or taking off his shoes. This frustration leads to meltdowns.
Also, he’s set in his ways. He has transitioned to the cute little innocent no to the nonchalant no like I know what no means now type of no.
He can be super bossy. He wants what he wants NOW. He has no patience whatsoever and I noticed every time I sit down to get comfy he pops up wanting or needing something with a sudden urge.
How I’m Coping
Dealing with a three-year-old can be hard. I’m learning how to manage the meltdowns better.
- I learn what triggers my child and I try to prep him to avoid the trigger. For example, many mornings are a nightmare getting ready for school. Kendall is not a morning person and doesn’t like to be woken up, but he goes to pre-school three times a week so he has to get up to get there on time. I talk to him about getting up early from the night before. As I wake him up I encourage him to what’s in store. Does it work all the time? No, but sometimes. Another thing that triggers K, are grocery store runs. He thinks that he must always get a new toy at the store. We talk about this. I prep him on the way. I try to redirect his focus to helping me find items on the grocery list. Since he likes to help cook this seems to be working. Also, I give him something to look forward to at home so we can hurry up and get back.
- Teaching breathing techniques. Yes, I’m teaching my 3-year-old the power of breathing. This one helps me too. Sometimes he gets so upset that he cannot express himself so I tell him to take a deep breath. Like 1-3 of them does the trick. When he breathes so do I. This way I am calm and able to help calm him. Usually, after he breathes he feels a little bit better and realizes that its okay.
- I’m helping him discover his emotions. I try to bbe empathetic to Kendall’s feelings as opposed to disregarding them. I want him to do the same for others in return and most importantly I want him to know that its okay to feel. So when he’s sad, mad, or scared we address it. I ask him how he’s feeling and let him know that it is okay to feel that way, but he can just say that instead of throwing a major temper tantrum. I try to get to the bottom of it. Though I am empathetic to his feelings, I need him to understand that he cannot go around whining in life or be rude to others because he is in his feelings.
Now it’s your turn. How did life treat you with a threenager? Any tips? I’d love to hear from you – please comment below.