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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