Please tell me it’s not possible.
We all know about the terrible twos. They are notorious for being difficult. The sudden independence, the tirades and tantrums, the battle of wills that a 2-year-old always wins. So why is everyone telling me 3 is worse?
Because there may be some truth to it. Over the past few months, as my son inches closer to the 3-year mark, he has become … well, difficult. He seems more intent on doing things his way. Forget what Mom tells him to do. Sometimes it’s like he even outright ignores me. And the demands … “get it now!” or “I said I want a hot dog!” or “No! I won’t go to school today!” What suddenly happened to my always perfectly sweet and innocent baby?
On babycenter.com, one of their experts answers the question “Is there such a thing as the terrible threes?”
Developmental psychologist Susanne Ayers Denhams explains that 2-year-olds are eager to explore and if they come up against a barrier (like Mom) they can react with intense negativity. Their developing identity also has them testing limits and with their growing vocabulary, sometimes they still can’t voice what they want in a way parents will understand.
She goes on to say that 3-year-olds can go through the same trials of growing. Cycling through phases is common (being at peace, getting frustrated or discouraged, going through life changes) so rough patches can really happen at any time. New discoveries can make a child angry and they can start reacting to demands put on them at home and day care. They can lash out if they are aggravated and it’s a common emotion at this age.
She also offers tips on dealing with difficult 3-year-old behaviors and tantrums:
-Stay calm and don’t take it too seriously.
-Encourage your child to put their feelings into words and be patient if he or she can’t do that quite yet.
-Figure out what’s bothering your child and attempt to resolve it.
-If all else fails, and you think it may be a caused by another underlying problem, you may want to consult with a pediatrician for advice.
We’ll see how this works out. Any other advice is welcome here! Let me know how life is with your toddler. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.