Every single person who has or had a three year old knows what I am talking about.
In the past few months I found myself exhausted, praying to God to give me strength and patience so I can cope with my child behaviour. I mean, don’t get me wrong. She is a very good child but in the same time she drives me up the wall with some of the things she does and specially with the fact that most times it seems like she doesn’t listen to me one bit. It is so damn frustrating and upsetting as well, specially as I notice how she remembers bloody well things I have said.
I got angry and so tempted at screaming and shouting, feeling completely defeated by a little human who seems to know how to push my buttons and make me look like an utter idiot.
I try and explain to her nicely things she’s done wrong. I try and make her understand it is not ok to shout or stamp her feet just because someone said no to her and also it’s not ok to just say NO to most things she is asked to do. I have seen her pushing her friend for she probably done something my daughter did not agree with. I felt embarrassed and infuriated. I took my child on the side and asked her to calm down. I asked her why she had pushed her and to apologise (she refused). I explained to her that we do not react like that in our home and it’s not ok but seemed to me that I was actually talking to myself. My daughter just kept getting annoyed because I asked her to apologise.
AM I SUCH A BAD EXAMPLE TO MY DAUGHTER?
Seeing all these I started looking at myself and analysing the things I was doing. Was I giving her a bad example? Was I such a bad mother that my child started behaving in such manner? Or was she copying other children in nursery?
For weeks on end I felt an utter failure and became so aware of all I was saying and doing. My anxiety was telling me I am wrong, I am the one responsible and therefore, the one to blame for not seeing the signs of her starting to behave the way she does recently.
This weekend we went for a birthday party and I started chatting with some of the parents present at the venue. They all had concerns regarding the same things. It put me at ease a bit realising I am not alone in my struggle but also made me think: ” What if nursery is to blame for all this?”
WHEN ALL SEEMS LOST, THERE COMES THE HELPING HAND
Scrolling through hundreds f blog posts and articles I discovered that it’s not anyone to blame for how a three year old behaves BUT it is our responsibility o be there for them and show them the way.
My daughter wants to do all by herself. She is expressing her independence getting me annoyed especially on those early mornings when she wants to dress herself and I am late for work already. But you see, she is going through so many major transitions and has no notion of what I say. She is finding herself and it’s my job to encourage her instead of put her down. (I only wish I remember this at all times)
SPECIALISTS EXPLAIN IT ALL SO SIMPLY
- A THREE YEAR OLD IS LEARNING HOW TO MANAGE THEIR EMOTIONS – they might be able to identify their feelings with words but are not developmentally ready to control their emotions (they just laugh when something is funny and also can cry uncontrollably when something upsets them)
- THEY WANT INSTANT GRATIFICATION – a three year old will just do whatever and whenever they want. I mean we say NO and they will ask WHY and they still do whatever you just said no to and they can also just hit another child just because they are annoyed
- THEY’RE LEARNING HOW TO SOLVE CONFLICT – they act on impulse and do not understand the difference between appropriate ad inappropriate conflict resolution skills. We, as parents have to show them the proper way to express emotions and resolve problems with others (even if it is for a million times a day)
- THEY’RE DEVELOPING A SENSE OF HUMOR – you have to admit that your three year old loves to make you laugh and it is absolutely adorable. Yes, she finds it hilarious to fart or burp and she’ll laugh uncontrollably thinking she just done the funniest thing ever.
- THEY’RE LEARNING EMPATHY – I mean, my daughter pushed her friend because she got annoyed but in the same time she cried for days on end because her friend was ill and went to the doctor. She also gave me so many cuddles and kisses because I told her I am not feeling well. She cried so much one day because she thought she hurt me while we were playing pretend and bless her, it took me a long time to make her understand that it was all a game and she did not actually hurt me.
- THEY’RE LEARNING TO PLAY WITH OTHERS – and it is so adorable. I can see my daughter and her friend doing their little plays and games together and being cheeky when they do certain things together. She also wants to play with me at all times and interact in ways she wasn’t doing it before.
So, you see, your three year old, just like my three year old, is growing to be his or her own person. It is scary but also exciting and funny and beautiful. It’s such a joy to hear her telling me all about the things she likes and dislikes, about how funny her friend looked like wearing a donkey costume or how upset she was because someone didn’t play with her in nursery that day. And most of the times it’s absolutely hilarious seeing her get frustrated because it took her ten minutes to put her clothes on BACKWARDS
It is so damn hard but I need to remember that she is growing up and I have to show her what is appropriate and what is not, I have to teach her how to solve conflict and also let her struggle with certain things (like getting dressed) so che can learn on her own and grow up independent and strong and able to talk about her feelings
HANG IN THERE
YOUR THREENAGER IS ONLY GROWING UP and is so scary for them as well