Tips to Deal with a 'Threenager'

What is a threenager you might ask?

If your parent and you still don't know...either you don't have three year old yet or you are lucky enough to have skipped this fun stage. 

A threenager is where your child begins to act out, tries to be in charge, has tantrums etc..

Every time you child acts out, more times than not, they are just wanting to be validated. Always recognize their feelings and tell them to use their words instead of actions. If they are yelling, slamming doors, etc, try saying "I understand your angry, lets talk about why".

There is also they case they are acting out of jealous, which is what my little guy struggles with. He started to act out when I brought his brother home for the first time. Suddenly, instead of spending all of his time with mom, he was having to share. Instead of being my cuddly, loving little boy, he started screaming at the top of his lungs out of no where, slamming doors, and pushing his little brother. 

Now as most new parents remember, I was exhausted the first few days (more like weeks if I am being honest) but I regionalized his change in behavior and knew it was important to spend quality time with just him. 

Did his behavior magically change overnight? No. Do we still struggle with behavior out bursts? Absolutely. 

It is a work in progress but showing love and compassion towards his "threenager" behavior works better than meeting it with anger. 

I have also created a star chart to try to reward him for good behavior. It is also important to note that he is VERY motivated by sweets (something he inherited from his father). 

Everyday of the week his goal is to get to 10 stars. If he gets 50 stars by Friday, I take him out for a 'one on one' date to get ice cream or a milk shake. He gets a star for good behavior such as: putting toys away, listening, following directions. He loses stars if he isn't being safe to himself or others, doesn't listen, or hits others. 

If you have any other ideas or suggestions please let a comment. I am all ears! 

 


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