It’s Hard Being 3: Confessions of a Threenager

So you’ve survived the first year, breezed through the terrible twos (well, kind of) and now it’s time to brace yourself for the delights of being the parent or guardian of a threenager.

Here is an alternative look at why the threenage years strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest of parents.

Hi Mum and Dad. Wow – I’m three. Growing up fast and it’s all a big adventure that’s going to bring out the best – and not so best – in me. So, let’s have a honest chat about what it means to be me right now and why, on occasion, my behaviour might seem a little – well – challenging?

  • I’m learning to talk: And it’s hard, you know, working out how to string sentences together. The world’s an exciting, stimulating but pretty intimidating place to understand. So I need to ask “why?” A lot! Why is the sky blue? Why does it hurt when I poke myself? Why do we eat food? Be patient with me – after all, you had to learn all this stuff once too.
  • Remembering is hard: There’s so much to learn – counting, colours, shapes, sizes… So if I get a bit frustrated on occasions, then it’s only to be expected, don’t you think?
  • I’m still discovering how this body of mine works: I need to concentrate if I’m going to master things like climbing up and down stairs, walk forwards and backwards, bend over without falling, maybe run and even start doing things like riding a bike. If I get grumpy when I’m concentrating, then don’t get cross, give me a helping hand.
  • Oh – and I need structure: Tell me something’s OK one day but not the next and I’m going to get really confused. Same applies to boundaries that don’t stay the same – I’m definitely going to question you or answer back if one day I’m allowed chocolate after dinner but the next I’m not.
  • No really should mean no: OK, I might kick myself for admitting this one. But if you say I can’t have that chocolate bar, but give in if I get a bit shouty, then boy-oh-boy am I gonna remember it next time I can’t get my own way.
  • Let me have a bit of choice: Because, you know, I might not like that pink dress or that flowery shirt that you think is so cute. I’m starting to develop an ability to question the world around me, and that means not simply accepting what you want me to do, but learning to make some decisions of my own. Or maybe I’m just being awkward – either way, letting me make small decisions is key to my life skills developments.
  • Humour me occasionally: OK, it might not make sense to you that I only like my toast cut into triangles and not squares, but here’s betting that you had some weird wants and needs as you grew up as well (and here’s betting you’ve still got the odd one or two now).

And yeah – I’m gonna have the odd tantrum along the way. Get used to it. They’re caused through a combination of all the above. I’m learning – my brain’s a big absorbing sponge and all this stuff is taking some getting used to. Let’s face it, when I’m 15 and we’re arguing – ahem, I mean, discussing – about a suitable time for me to come home you’ll realise that my threenage years really weren’t so bad at all.

So let’s learn and enjoy them together.

Now, about that chocolate bar…

These formative years are so important as your child begins to make sense of the world around them. Nido Early School centres are specialists in these wonderful formative years, with educators and industry professionals who are passionate in providing nurturing guidance as tots develop. If you’re in need of the ultimate quality care, then it’s well worth having a chat to find out why we’re one of the country’s leading childcare.