Threenager- Anyone ever use that term before? It’s funny I had no idea what the term was until a friend posted about it on their Facebook page. I thought “ha ha what a cute play on words”…well, now that I have a three-year old, I TOTALLY GET IT!
Terrible twos…I didn’t think they were terrible. I mean my son would have a tantrum here or there, but overall not that terrible. I thought that I was lucky and had escaped it when he turned three. I felt like a marathon runner, and when he turned three we crossed the finish line like “YES! WE MADE IT! we are all good now!”…or so i thought…
Well, now he is three years old! I’m thinking now the fun begins! We will be able to do so much now…Yeah, the fun begins… but not necessarily for Mom and Dad, the fun begins for my son to see how far he can push us.
I have always considered myself a person with excellent patience. Anyone remember the show on MTV, Boiling points? I always said, “if I were ever on that show I’d do fine…I mean sure I’d get upset or disgusted, but wouldn’t ever blow up like some of those contestants”. Plus, I was also an elementary school teacher…you NEED a lot of patience to deal with 20 or so children and even more to deal with their parents… but my little threenager is really testing my limits. He is definitely making me review how I handle a stressful situation and how to react the right way. I’m sure that in the last 3 weeks since he has become a threenager I probably haven’t reacted the right way all the time, but I’m a work in progress too!
So far this is the way that I have been “handling” my threenager:
- Keep him busy. I try my hardest to not allow him to have too much free time where he can get into or cause trouble. I now get the whole –If a toddler/preschooler is quiet, they are usually up to no good…Whether it is making a mess, touching something he’s not supposed to or being slightly mean to his sister. Between school at home, playing outdoors, going for mommy’s workout walks, and his playtime with toys; all of this seems to keep him busy. I have also given him chores. He is responsible for feeding our dogs twice a day, clean up all his toys and books, and getting himself dressed (he still struggles with his shirts, but he’s getting it).
- Sometimes mom needs a break! When I have run out of ideas that will keep little man busy, I let him watch his favorite show or play on the ipad. I try not to use the TV or the ipad a lot. I do not want him to become obsessed with electronics. I want him to utilize them correctly. The games that I have on the ipad are all educational. They work with sorting, what goes together, sizing, colors…etc. Right now, he doesn’t know the difference between educational and non-educational games. I want to be able to keep it like that for as looooooooong as possible. We’ll see?!
- JUST BREATHE AND COUNT TO 10. If the situation is really bad, I literally breathe in a very deep breath and count, I try to make it to 10, but usually, I only make it to 6 or 7. This technique has really helped me reboot and reassess the situation at hand.
These are the helpful strategies that work for me. Do any of you out there have any others? If so, please comment below! I’d love to hear from you and have options.
If he misbehaves, he does have consequences. His consequences can be time-out (he has a spot in our living room he knows to sit in and calm down-if he is screaming at the top of his lungs, he goes to his room and when he is done he knows he can come out and apologize), losing a toy privilege, losing dessert, or losing a trip (aquarium, zoo, gardens).
If he s on task and having a fabulous day, he gets rewarded. Rewarded with stickers (he loves them), an extra game, a special sweet treat, or his favorite reward of all is ice-cream (we try not to use this one too much, but it works amazingly…I mean really who wouldn’t work for ice-cream, I know I would!)
This is where my inner teacher came out. when I had my classroom, I had a weekly treasure chest.Each of my students had to earn it! I am working on a responsibilities chart for him so he can begin being seeing his progress. Plus, I want to make sure he will understand it. I really think that seeing the stickers or checks or whatever we use for good behavior fill up, and being rewarded for great actions will help him make better choices and just be a three year old and not a threenager…
Till Next time!
*I am in no way associated with MTV or Boiling Points.