I love my Champuru Facebook ohana. I use my Facebook page to rant and rave, seek advice as well as give it. One of the things I shared was the volatility of a 3 year old’s behavior and sought advice on coping with the “Terrible 3′s.” My friend and awesome photographer, Lisa Hoang of Simply Baby Photography chimed in with some wise insight. As mom to three beautiful boys, she speaks from experience. I thought what she shared was so informative that I asked her if I could post her comment to my site. She agreed, so here it is. I hope you will find it as helpful as I did!
Some things that can help: check to make sure they’re not hungry or thirsty or tired. Give choices, but limit them- A/B is best. But be prepared to not give choices, because sometimes giving up A for B is too overwhelming. The trick is knowing when to choose which approach.
Routine. Consistency. And making transitions as easy as possible. This is a BIG one. Tell her the plan, repeat it, follow it. Give warnings- “3 more minutes in the toy store”, “5 more pushes on the swing”, etc. Don’t bribe, but give motivation- “We can go to the park once we’re done picking up”, “Let’s go home and have our animal crackers for snack time.”
Have a time where you say “yes” or let her lead you. Guided of course, but try it for an hour or so. Yes you can run in the sprinklers in your pajamas. Yes we can have cookies and milk. 3s hear “no” a lot, so it’s fun to let them do things, within reason, during “free hour” or whatever you choose to call it.
Slow down. Things happen fast, and if you can take a moment to let her absorb, process, and move at her own pace, do it. 3s do not like to be rushed, or have their routines changed. Hurry is a recipe for frustration and acting out.
Explain, but keep it simple. Too long and they stop listening. Keep repeating the same messages and they’ll get it.
Find other things besides “no” to say, and if it’s an acceptable activity but unacceptable place, remind them. “We throw balls outside. Do you want to go outside to play?”
Naps- if she fights it, offer “quiet time” with a single book instead. Or just go for a drive at nap time.
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.