Two’s Are Hard, But Three-Year-Olds Are Harder…..


Everyone has heard the phrase “Terrible Twos.” It’s what you automatically think of when you see a two-year-old misbehaving. You figure it’ll get easier when you have a three-year-old.

Well, let me tell you, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Three-year-olds are on a whole nother level.

When my oldest starting approaching the “dreaded age of 2”, everyone would say, “Oh, be prepared for the terrible twos.” I would laugh it off, but being a young mom, it worried me a little.

What could she possibly do at age 2 that would be so terrible?

Age two came and went with the anticipated toddler tantrums, the predictable “NO!” stage, and a few other developmental stages that two-year-olds go through. It seemed pretty easy, even with adding a newborn baby brother to her world. I was so proud. “We did it! We got through the Terrible Twos!”

Then we entered the stage no one warned me about…The Terrible Threes.

If you have made it to this stage, you know exactly what I am talking about. The tantrums have gotten worse. The “Why?” stage has begun. The kid is refusing to nap. Suddenly, they have become such a picky eater–things they once ate are “gross,” now.

Now don’t get me wrong; I truly don’t think a kid can be “terrible,” but they can certainly get challenging.

Three-year-olds are at the age where they are really starting to realize their emotions. And they also realize certain emotions trigger certain emotions in you. So if they are having a meltdown, the best way to handle it is to stay calm and collected. If your normally easy-to-feed child has become a picky eater, I suggest still offering the same foods you have been offering all along to get through this phase.

Three-year-olds are also at the age where nap time is starting to shorten or disappear altogether. I suggest still having a rest time of at least thirty minutes. It is a great time to unwind from the morning and prepare for the afternoon for both of you.

After three kids, I can honestly say my patience for this age has grown. I know what to expect, and I am prepared. And I know these couple of suggestions I gave you are not always going to work for you all the time, or perhaps at all since every child is unique.

But I hope it helps you realize you are not alone, and things aren’t always going to be “terrible.”

Three-year-olds are adventurous and amazing!

They can also have conversations and ask questions about the world around them. Three-year-olds are little independent mini people. They are ready to learn, and you are their teacher. Enjoy this challenging stage with your three-year-old, mama! It goes fast.



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