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Anyone have a 3-year-old that is a delight and easy to deal with?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My DS will be 3 in January and I feel like I am hearing from lots of friends with kids that 3 and 3.5 is a gnarly and intense age. My DS has been a wonderful 2-year-old and I can't imagine him being a tough 3-year-old, but it sounds like it's inevitable that he'll be a hands full. Does anyone seriously have a 3-year-old that isn't a hands full? One thing to consider is that most of the people who've said this also added siblings during this time, which we are not (yet), so perhaps that has something to do with it?? Thoughts?

TIA
post #2 of 20

Sorry, but when I read your question I did laugh to myself. Um, Im sure there are people out there who didn't have any trouble with the 3's. I don't know any of them, and if I met them I'd try and find out there secret!

Fact is, when toddlers turn 3, there is such a huge change in independence and wanting to express themselves that it can be exausting. A friend of mine has a 7yo and a 4yo and when we were both talking about having a third, she said "I want another baby, but I don't want another 3 yo".

When my little guy was three I found the days to be long and frustrating. He challenged EVERYTHING. For example, this was a typical exchange:

DS "mom, can we go to the park today?"
ME: no love, it's raining outside.
DS: no it's not raining.
ME: yes it is, see all the raindrops coming down and hitting the ground, that means it's raining.
DS: no, it's not raining.
ME:
DS: I WANT TO GO TO THE PARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKKKKK it's NOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT raining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Previous to this, redirection worked really well...however, my three year old decided that nothing was going to distract him from being frustrating).
ME: Ooooh, look at the beautiful crayons we can color with.
DS: Crying, screaming looking outside. Will not answer me.


This was a fairly typical daily scenario. You're right about the second child, my dd was born 10 days after ds turned three. Although he showed no jealosy, I found that when he screamed and cried like this, I would get more frustrated with him because she'd be sleeping.

I can remember posting a thread titled "Does anyone want to lock themselves in their bathroom rather than deal with their 3 1/2 year old?"

I was serious. And, I got some amazing book suggestions, one of which is "Your Three Year Old" by Louise Bates Ames. I thought this was such a fabulous book, I bought the whole series on Amazon.

Anyway, three is typically a difficult age, but everyone is different and your dc may choose another age to show his independence and challenge your authority. The important thing to remember is that it's normal and most children go through it.
post #3 of 20
My dd is very nice and we get along great. All through her whole life. (She'll be 5 in a weeks.) We are two peas in a pod. This is not to say she's never had a cross moment in her life but she's generally easy going, plays well, and is considerate.
post #4 of 20

Ages

Our oldest was the easiest child on earth until she turned four. Four was difficult because she suddenly became very emotional. Five is better, but now the challenge is that she can be quite silly.

Our middle DD was completely fine until she turned two. She was a totally easy baby and toddler, two to was a rough year for her, and she's still our most challenging kid.
post #5 of 20
My DD was a very easy going 3 yo. Now she is 4yo and she has most definitely developed a stubborn streak. 4 has definitely been harder than 3. 3 was easy peasy in comparison. (she has a 5yo brother if it makes any difference)
post #6 of 20
My 3 yr old, who will turn 4 in January, has been easy so far. Easy baby, easy toddler and now an easy preschooler. Of course, her older sister is a very difficult child so she may just seem easy by comparison.
post #7 of 20
I think temperment has a lot to do with it.

My DD1 has always, since Day 1 (if not in the womb) been intense. Stubborn, hard to deal with, defiant, aggressive toward me, and just overall intense. 2.5 was HARD for us. She's just turned 3 and I see signs of it getting easier.

Now, for DH (who has the girls full time while WOH, nights) has always had an easier time with DD1. He says she's super easy now and it's the baby that makes him crazy. It's the exact opposite for me. So parental attitudes and baby/parent personality mesh/conflict also play a role, for us at least.
post #8 of 20
Oooooooh boy. My DD was a DREAM at two and hard at three, but FOUR now that has been the hardest BY FAR. It is still SHOCKING to me!

Having DS when DD was 3 also made things WAY harder, so I dunno. DD will be 5 in December, and although we've had a hell of a few weeks here, I think she is getting easier for the most part.
post #9 of 20


Sorry, I couldn't resist. Really, sorry, but see my thread titled "My DS has become 'that' child" currently at the top of the toddler page.

I truly hope that your DC isn't visited by the birthday fairy when they turn 3. They snuck into DS's room at 12:25 am on February 17, 2009 and turned my sweet baby into an obstinate 3 year old
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_My_Bubba View Post


Sorry, I couldn't resist. Really, sorry, but see my thread titled "My DS has become 'that' child" currently at the top of the toddler page.

I truly hope that your DC isn't visited by the birthday fairy when they turn 3. They snuck into DS's room at 12:25 am on February 17, 2009 and turned my sweet baby into an obstinate 3 year old
I DID see your thread!! And that's partly what led me to post this thread!!! That and the fact that a friend of mine yesterday was telling me how tough 3 was and another friend and another friend, etc. My mom always tells me that three was her favorite age for us and that she cried when we turned four, so I feel like maybe it'll be like that for DS - but then again, she also remembers that my brother and I slept through the night from day one (which couldn't have happened)!

Thanks for all the other posts too It's interesting to hear that some kids have earlier or later "hard" ages. It makes sense though
post #11 of 20
I hate to say, my first daughter was such an angel for me. We skipped over the Terrible Two's completely.

And then she turned three! AAAACK!

My second daughter is 27 months now and even MORE of an angel than her big sister was. So I'm almost wondering if I should be scared!
post #12 of 20
DS has a very easy-going personality, so he's been "easy" compared to many other kids his whole life (he'll be 5 next month). For us, 4 has been the hardest year, but again, it's relative -- DS on his hardest 4yo day is a piece of cake compared to stories I've heard/things I've witnessed with friends' kids.
post #13 of 20
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post #14 of 20
Can I hijack your thread just a teeny tiny bit? I am wondering if anyone had a barely two year old already exhibiting the three year old characteristics, and then by three or four, be done with it all? Or am I doomed to have an even harder time then I am now? DS1 is already showing signs of more and more desired independence. Hes also already showing signs of being able to listen and negotiate. Just wondering.
post #15 of 20
DS has been a pretty mellow kid. He is almost 5 now, and I would say 3.5 to 4.5 were the hardest - but it wasn't THAT hard. Just a bit difficult. But when he was doing something that bugged me, I just kept in mind that he was 3.5 and the behavior would pass. It kept me mellow and it did pass. I'm quite intense, so maybe I was just grateful to have a mellow kid. DD is nearly 3. She is much more intense, and she has been a snooty little princess lately, which I don't find very appealing, but again it isn't anything that horrid. I am grateful.
post #16 of 20
My DS is only 13 mo but my niece is 3.5 yo. She is a wonderful little girl, and easygoing most of the time. She has her 'moments' like any kid, of course.
post #17 of 20
I posted on the "that child" thread about my DD's tantrums but at 3.5+ and expecting a sibling soon she still has her delightful moments. She filled up my water bottle yesterday. We also went out to dinner Friday at a fairly nice yet still had a kids menu and crayons resturant and she was great. There is possibly a bit of reporting bias for the 3 year old drama.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Can I hijack your thread just a teeny tiny bit? I am wondering if anyone had a barely two year old already exhibiting the three year old characteristics, and then by three or four, be done with it all? Or am I doomed to have an even harder time then I am now? DS1 is already showing signs of more and more desired independence. Hes also already showing signs of being able to listen and negotiate. Just wondering.
My DD is getting better everyday and she just turned 3. She was a hissy-fit waiting to happen when she was between 19 months-2.5ish. She now has a much easier time communicating her needs. Although she does do the "dead-girl flop" and lays down in a crucifix position(that just started a few months ago). She really is getting to be much better, we don't have to do time outs as much(that ended up being my only discipline option with her). She is much easier going in many terms, I mean there are days like the PP about saying NO, and wanting to do what she wants to do, but mostly she is better. She will negotiate now, you have to tell her what the consequence of her behavior is and she usually will stop because she doesn't want a time out or to get her toy taken away, she also helps clean up her toys and just is more agreeable. I mean she is 3, so there are moments where she drives me to the brink of insanity.

She'd been kinda ahead of the curve in a lot of aspects, especially social ones like behavior in public and such.
post #19 of 20
In response to the question about twos acting like threes. My dd is 28 moths. She has always been highly verbal, and she is going through those three year old behaviors big time right now. She just started about a month ago. Tantrums when she doesn't want to leave, won't be redirected. Just what other posters above have mentioned. It is maddening!! In her defense, she seems to have gone through a big mental leap lately, judging by the way she has started participating in life lately like her own little independent person. Dh was telling me about a field trip with her 2 year old preschool class today, and he said she kept trying to talk to the other kids and interact, but none of them seemed able to do that so she talked mostly with the adults. I suppose that mental leap, coupled with her physical limitations is what is causing the problem, but sheesh. I can't take her some days! I'm also newly pregnant and am really REALLY tired, so that doesn't help matters...
post #20 of 20
My DD was a lovely 2 y/o and a delightful 3 y/o. Now she's 4 and has exhibited a lot of...ahem...challenging behavior. The other night my DH said to me, "This IS a phase right? This will end, right?" My response: I certainly hope so.
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