5 Reasons I Love the Terrible Threes

Yes, you read that right. Ok, so I know the Threenage years are tough – very tough – what with your three-year-old beginning to have a mind of his/her own (an irrational, illogical one at that!), strong opinions, pendulum-swinging likes and dislikes and of course, the tantrums.



The Threens are also a LOVELY stage in your child’s growing-up years. Here are 5 reasons why I love the Threes…

1. Three-year-olds can talk. A lot!
Remember the first time your little one said ‘mama’? Wasn’t it the best sound to your ears? Now imagine hearing new words, even sentences, from your little one every day! Words you didn’t think he would – or could – know. Or understand. Or pronounce.
To hear your child articulate something to you so well, to be able to have an almost adult-like conversation with them, and to communicate with them in proper language and not baby phrases is awesome. And makes you so proud!

Of course, hearing them mispronounce difficult words and send grammar for a complete toss is adorable too. Little Man loves reading The Lion King these days, but insists its Hakuna Tanata and not Hakuna Matata!

PS: Write down or record the cute phrases and pronunciations your toddler says. It will bring back superb memories when they are older!



2. They are more independent
Again, this can be a pain in the backside, especially when your three-year-old thinks and insists he can do EVERYTHING by himself; and takes triple the time to do it.
But… have patience the first 17 times (told you motherhood ain’t easy!) and you’ll be smiling the 18th time. Because life becomes so much easier when your child does basic things on his own. Like eating an entire meal without half of it being on his clothes; putting on and taking off his own socks/ shoes/ jackets; going to the toilet unaided. You are not needed for every little thing every second of the day. Breathe easy.


3. They are potty-trained
Taking off from point number 2, most three-year-olds are potty-trained. Or almost there. While the process was probably long and messy, the end-result is wow. No more tugging big nappy bags everywhere you go. No more making sure the restaurant you choose to eat at has a baby changing room. No more spending money on nappies hurrah.


4. There is scope to appease a tantrum
I am not in denial about a threenager’s tantrum. I know it is far more severe and nerve-wrecking than a two-year-old’s tantrum. In fact, I’ve previously written about the Seven Deadly Stages of a Tantrum and how to effectively deal with it.
But… there is a sliver of hope here too. Hope in the form of communication. When a two-year-old is fussing and tantruming, there isn’t much scope for reasoning and appeasement, because their vocabulary and understanding of things is limited. But a three-year-old has a far more advanced vocabulary and sometimes, you can manage to appease them with tactful communication. It is now possible to talk about what’s upsetting your child, and together, find a solution.


5. They are capable of emotions and empathy
Whenever I tell Little Man I am unwell, he asks me if I have taken my medicine.
If he sees me lying down when sick, he asks if I need to be ‘patted’ to sleep.
When he accidentally hurts me, he says ‘Oh sorry mummy!’
And best of all, he often gives me impromptu hugs and kisses and tells me he loves me, or that I’m the ‘best mum in the world’. #meltingheart
As a two-year-old, he never did any of the above. Not because he loved me any less, or didn’t care, but because he didn’t know the words to express his emotions or the emotions themselves.
A three-year-old feels others’ pain, others’ happiness, he feels love, he feels. And he expresses those feelings. And that makes a three-year-old more human-like.


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Life Love and Dirty Dishes


  1. nirupamaprv

    Point no5 is the best! T was always considerate, but actually hearing her say reassuring stuff is so amazing and endearing! And woo-hoo for the improved vocabulary of three year olds!

  2. Jakijellz

    I blimmin love this. We are three weeks away from little man’s 4th birthday (goodness knows what 4 will bring!) and I won’t lie – three has been tough!! We had a breeze with two, he saved them all for three. There have been times that I’ve felt like I am seriously losing my mind. But this post is the flip side of the coin. You are totally right with every point you have made. Over the last year he has grown into his own little person with feelings and emotions and he’s oh so caring and just loves his Mummy cuddles. That is never a bad thing!! Oh he’s going to have an extra big ‘huggle’ when I get home later. Thank you!! #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Awww that’s such a lovely comment! Thank you so much:) I’m sure the fours will be just as contradictary – and exciting;)
      Love love love the word huggle:)
      Thanks for popping by…

      1. Jakijellz

        Haha that comes courtesy of my little one. Feel free to adopt it! ?

  3. mummuddlingthrough

    Ah, so many things here I am nodding along to! I loved my first daughter reaching the stage she became my little buddy as opposed to being so dependent on me. Now that the mouse is two, we are just a year away from no more nappies, and leaving those tough baby stages behind for good.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Yeah, you’re right, they do sort of become our ‘friends’ with whom you can share jokes and laughs and chocolate (as if!!!).

  4. Rhyming with Wine

    I have to admit that I loved my eldest turning three. It’s like she changed overnight from a baby to a little girl. My youngest is now 26 months and I’m not wanting to wish his childhood away but I’m kind of ready for him to be three and to have two little people running about the place (without a flippin nappy bag for the first time in over 5 years!!) Lovely post and that first meme is outstanding! 😉 x #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Thank you and hurrah for no nappy bags! Hello again handbag;)

  5. tinmccarthy

    I love this blog post concept!


  6. Island Living 365

    Awwww, you have convinced that having a threenager is actually lovely. No more potty training -yaaay! I also love your last point about no perfect children or perfect parents. Awww. I feel all soft and fuzzy now, even though my threenager is hitting me over the head as I type 😉 #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole

      Hahaha… they have an uncanny knack of melting our hearts just after irritating the hell outta us, correct?! Every. Time!!!

      Thanks for reading…

  7. Life Love and Dirty Dishes

    Awww. My youngest is three in march so I will try to remember these! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  8. mydangli

    What a great list, I yet have all this to ‘look forward’ to, my little one is only 10 months, and I can’t wait for him to start talking! It’s so amazing to follow his journey and I will do my best to remember to focus on all the positives when we indeed hit the Terrible twos and threenager land. Thanks for sharing! #globalblogging

  9. Lucy's Locket

    I saw that quote about raising hypothetical children the other day. Loved it! I have all these things to look forward to! Good tip about writing down phrases, by the way 🙂 #GlobalBlogging

    1. Nicole

      Thank you. Yes, write/ record… you tend to forget otherwise!
      Enjoy the times to come:)

  10. thetaleofmummyhood

    We are in the middle of potty training and I can’t wait until we have properly cracked it, it will definitely make things easier!


    1. Nicole

      Good luck and here’s to nappy-free days and outings!

  11. Chilli Regina

    Another great post! No.5 is my favourite. It’s really heart-melting to see and hear your kids care for your wellbeing and express their feelings of appreciation.

    1. Nicole

      It is a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?! Thanks for reading…

  12. Sarah Howe @runjumpscrap

    Totally relate to this. We rarely have a tantrum now, the independence is lovely and I feel I have a little companion. It’s hard work but lovely. Now I have a newborn so here we go again!! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    1. Nicole

      Little companion… you said it!

  13. Brandi Puga

    This is a great list, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by how difficult a threenager can be and forget how amazing they are too 🙂 #GlobalBlogging

    1. Nicole

      Thank you. Yes, it is a tough stage but a beautiful one, nonetheless…

  14. Silly Mummy

    Yes, these are all true. & it is definitely easier to talk my three year old round from tantrums than it is the two year old. Think that’s partly their personalities too though – suspect 2 year old will stay that way! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you again.

  15. One Messy Mama

    What a great way to look at it! This is such a positive view.. haha! Yes, my kids NEVER stop talking 🙂 and they are so caring… This is such a great reminder to look for the good amidst all the chaos and tantrums 🙂 Great read #globalblogging

    1. Nicole

      Thsnks for the lovely comment:)

  16. Helena

    Reads like the terrific threes. Thanks for sharing your experience. #bestandworst

    1. Nicole

      Terrific Threes, I like the term:) thanks for popping by…

  17. The Mum Project

    Awww I can’t wait until my son can say full sentences and go to the toilet on his own! Soooooo excited. So being a threenager doesn’t sound too bad then eh? ; ) Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

    1. Nicole

      There are definitely positives to this difficult age:)

  18. The Lighter Side of Three – Mom Of Two Little Girls

    […] really stood out though, 5 Reasons I love the Terrible Threes .  I won’t rewrite it, but go check it […]

  19. pam lorimer

    Yes! Totally agree i love the character that is evolving from my 3yo. More fun to balance he chaos! #marvmondays

    1. Nicole

      Well said – more fun to balance the chaos (and the strong opinions and tantrums) lol. 

  20. Petite Words

    This is great, talk about silver lining it (: #MarvMondays

    1. Nicole

      Lol yeah, silver linings indeed. Thanks for popping over…

  21. Becki Parsons

    Awwww I needed this. My little one turns 3 this weekend. He's quite advanced with his language so we used to be able to defuse a tantrum with toddler logic, but that's gone way out of the window now. That said, after a pretty epic meltdown the other day where he kicked me and got sent to his room, he gave me a big cuddle and said "I'm really sorry Mummy. You're my best friend. I wont kick you again, it's not nice." 

    He kicked me again the next day. We'll get there… #marvmondays

    1. Nicole

      Aaaah, bless him. It's so heart-warming when they say sorry – they look so darn cute even then!!! 
      My LO tells me sorry for whatever naughty things he's done that day – when we're in bed. And promptly does the same thing again the next!!! Guess we're all in the same boat:) 

  22. My Petit Canard

    Aww this is a really nice post. I've never flipped the whole threenager thing on its head like that and you make some pretty good points. I agree, there are definitely some lovely things about this age and stage. Fab post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

    1. Nicole

      Thank you! Yes, it helps us keep sane through this demanding stage, realising that there is so much cuteness and love too!!!

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