Okay, I am just going to put it out there, no holds barred, whoever came up with the terrible two’s never met a three year old! In fact, the two’s are just a warm up for the three’s. For example, at two, bath time was about 15 minutes. My tot was in and out of the tubby clean as a whistle. At three, bath time is over an hour. Now we need to play, splash and drench the bathroom floor. And I am not even including the 20 minute argument we have about not wanting to get out even though her hands look like two plump raisins. Another example, at two, they allow you to do things for them saving tons of time. At three they need to do everything themselves, which let’s be honest, takes forever. I literally stood in my tots bedroom for 45 minutes the other day watching her put a sock on. ONE SOCK! One more, have you ever noticed that when your child hits the three’s they do not stop talking and (excuse my language) bitching about everything. Literally it seems like my daughter is never quiet and has an issue every hour on the hour. Whether she is itchy because of the tag on her pants or she hates cereal now because she didn’t like to bee in the Cheerios commercial. Don’t believe me? I have a witness to the madness. My best friend went to the beach with us recently and was amazed how she didn’t take a breath
With that said, we love our children. But they do try our patience. The fact that they can go from adorable angels to all out holy terrors in a flip of a switch is really impressive. It literally could be Stephen King’s next novel, The Toddler. The outbursts, sassiness and explosions of anger are all signs that you have entered the terrible threes. They are discovering their own personalities and testing boundaries.
Don’t worry if you feel that they only test the limits with you. It is true. To others in the outside world they behave perfectly. Recently, my daughter stayed at my parents for the night. They raved about how respectful and courteous she was, how she listened to everything they said, ate well and went to bed without a hitch. In my mind I was thinking, who is this girl they are talking about? And why do they keep referring to her as my daughter? My daughter is the little girl who won’t eat broccoli anymore because a fly landed on a bundle in the grocery store.
Here is some advice on how to deal:
• Use different discipline methods until you find one that works.
• Try to be consistent and follow through with the punishment set.
• Keep your cool and stay mature. Remember you are the adult. Example of what not to do – when your child tells you that you are not her best friend anymore, do not yell back at her that she is not your best friend either and slam the door. Not that I know from experience… just saying.
• Teach your child how to respond appropriately to disappointment and frustration.
• Just keep reminding yourself that it will pass soon and just suffer through it.
• Remember this happens to other parents and you should not be embarrassed.
At three they own you and they know it!
“Having a child is like getting a tattoo… on your face. You better be committed.” ~Eat Pray Love