‘I do it myself’ – we’ve all heard it, and it’s a phrase that can elicit everything from a knowing smile, to a shiver of dread. At three, our kids want to be just like us – they’re that little bit more independent and don’t they just love showing it? If they don’t get what they want, well, then it’s Tantrum at three years old time. And three-year-old tantrums are a little more epic, shall we say, than the twos’…
Two-years-old, we now realise, were nothing compared to this. Once they hit three, they’ve acquired a usable vocabulary – and boy, do they like to use it. Okay, they might not always make sense, but let’s face it – when you’re in the supermarket and your child’s cooking up a storm, is that really the point?
Speaking of supermarkets, a three-year-old no longer accepts what you try to feed them. Gone are the days when your adorable toddler will happily consume what’s good for them. Now, at three, they become picky. They choose a food they like and they stick with it. If you’re lucky, they might settle on three foods they like (there’s that number again!), and woe betide you if you try sneaking anything else onto the plate!
Three-year-olds are great, but now that they’re potty trained (a minor miracle at the time), it means little accidents are an ever-present danger. Oh, and the toilets are never handy when you need them.
At three, kids want to dress themselves (slowly), attempt to do everything you do (very slowly), and quite frankly, when they don’t get their way – their Tantrum at three years old are on a whole new level. At three, kids can manipulate like there’s no tomorrow and bless them – it’s a talent they practice to the maximum. As for their motor skills? Improvements in that regard are usually best observed during a yelling and kicking-in-the-shins fit in the car park. Preferably a busy Saturday car park. Or maybe a quiet coffee shop…
In my opinion, the best way to deal with it is to have rules and boundaries in place that you need to stick to no matter what. Yes there will be times when it’s easier to give in, but one or twice won’t do much harm. Children at all ages feel secure when there are rules and boundaries, I know it’s hard to believe.
Stick to your guns, be as cool as a cucumber and let the storm pass. It could be embarrassing sometimes in public places, but think about what you want for your child and not what others think.
The early years can definitely be trying, but look at the bright side – it’s only a phase, right?