Most parents may already be familiar with Terrible Twos behaviors, but do you know that dealing with a three-year-old child can also be really challenging? At 3 years, most children are extremely disobedient and destructive, hence the term Horrible 3. If you think the tantrums will stop after two years, then you are mistaken as three years old can really be overbearing.
Well, you need to help your child go through all the developmental stages as growing up is a continuous process. Most of these deviant behaviors actually stem from the fact that these children are increasingly becoming more independent, expressive and aware of their environments. Here are some tips for handling Horrible 3.
- Be engaged with your child
One of the tips of sailing through this phase is to be totally engaged with your child; giving him attention whenever the need arises. Children can really be sensitive and they turn to be frustrated when you seem distracted when they need your attention. The best way to give your child attention is to make a daily routine that includes your child’s mealtime, nap time, playtime and study time. By doing so, you will discipline yourself to give him undivided attention at just the right time.
- Stay calm
Dealing with a child in the Horrible 3 stage is not the easiest thing to do. But you need to always stay calm, so you can correct situations in the best ways possible. You will be making matters worst by yelling at your child. The trick is therefore to stay put and communicate to your child in the most effective way. Remember that at 3 years, children copy a lot, and they will probably learn to be violent if you are verbally abusive to them.
- Time out
Sometimes, you have to figure a way to punish a disobedient child, so that he can do better next time. Time out has been proven to be an effective way to make your child calm down and just chill for some time. However, you shouldn’t do this too often as you run the risk of making it ineffective.
- Be consistent
Children typically learn by repeating tasks. This is why it’s important for you as a parent to set up a positive routine and continually try to follow them even if your three-year-old is trying to resist. Set clear rules and be consistent in making your child follow them. For example, insist on washing hands after using the toilet and make sure you help your child follow this routine. Trust me, he will get used to it with time and will start doing it effortlessly.
- Talk to your child
Although a three-year-old is still in the learning stage, he is able to use understand and repeat words. That’s why it’s imperative for you to always talk to your child so that he can in turn learn to talk to you rather than communicate with actions. For example, you can tell your child ‘baby, I understand you don’t like this toy, but destroying it isn’t going to help. It’s better to say ‘mummy, I don’t want this toy’.