One of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last three years is that parenting is a game of trial and error. What works for one child will not work for another. For us, discipline has been one of the biggest areas of trial and error and we are figuring out what works. For Grant losing privileges seems to resonate the most.
Recently we were walking home from a nearby playground. There is a path that cuts through some property that is mostly gravel and small rocks. Grant picked up the rocks and started throwing them. I asked him to stop. He did for about five steps then picked up another handful and threw it. Without hesitation I told him he was not going to get a Popsicle when he got home. For the next 20 minutes he whines and cried and pleads his case. “But, Mom! I’m hot! I need Popsicle to cool off.” Meanwhile, Maria enjoyed her Popsicle while Grant whined about his predicament.
Fast forward to the next evening while we were getting ready to walk to the playground again. Maria took it upon herself to remind Grant of what happened the day before. “G you need to obey so you get Popsicle. Do you hear me?” He replied “Yes, I need to obey. I can’t throw rocks.” I laughed to myself and reminded them both they needed to listen to me. We didn’t have any issues that night.
Many people talk about the “terrible twos” but I think age three is much more trying. When I discuss this with other parents they agree. The biggest challenge, I think, with two year olds is figuring out communication. Three year olds can talk and reason, which is helpful at times, but they are also testing the boundaries and limits big time. They are smart and creative and intense, which will serve them well in adulthood. We have to remind ourselves to take it one day at a time and this too shall pass. I also keep in mind the words of a good family friend with three grown children who chuckled as he said “Kids that age are going to do what they are going to do. You are just sort of there with them.”


One thought on “THE TRYING THREES

  1. I agree that the “threes” were much more trying and difficult. We are now at next trying time 4.5 knows everything ad independence. Being patient has taken on a whole new meaning

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