If your child hasn’t grown out of the terrible 2’s or it appears 3 is going to be a more trying age, we’re here to help. While we don’t guarantee it will be sunshine and rainbows, we can help make the process bearable.
Love More Yelling is a knee jerk reaction for most parents. Though it can cause an immediate behavior change, repeated yelling can yield psychological harm over time. In stressful situations, turn to positive parenting which can increase certain areas of the brain.
Repeated yelling could mean it is time to consider new discipline options.
Understand Needs Recognizing your child’s needs is the axis to raising emotionally healthy children. Seek to identify the root of the tantrum or misbehavior and determine consequences appropriately. Understanding the underlying reasons for the outbursts and undesired behavior allows parents to better meet the child’s needs and instill healthy long term behaviors.
Pay Attention In an ideal 3 year old world, parents would devote every waking moment to their toddlers. When your young children crave your attention and begins to exercise rowdy behavior, put down what you are working on and give him or her your time. Giving full attention in small doses reinforces that you are interested and engaged and allows you to redirect their attention elsewhere.
Give Hugs Three year olds crave hugs, kisses, snuggles and affection. Though it can be annoying and at times inconvenient to stop what you are doing and hug your toddler. Remember this stage won’t last long. Say “I love you” often, even when they are in trouble.
Anticipate Behavior Recognize the offenses your children seem to make time and time again and intervene early. Encourage good choices and behavior and take back control of the situation.
Set Expectations The list of rules doesn’t have to be long or complex, but setting simple, age appropriate expectations can teach responsibility.
Teach Obedience Children are not born to be obedient. In fact, they often fight it. Praise and positive reinforcement can help to teach the benefits of obedience.
Praise Effort Praise more often than you correct. Focus on the effort more than the outcome, but be careful not to praise your child excessively. This can have an inverse effect on achievement, setting the bar too high and instilling a fear of failure.
Invest in Stickers Stickers are the end all, be all sign of cool for three year olds. Embrace their magic and create a sticker chart to track their progress sleeping in their own bed or using the potty.
Remain Consistent You don’t have to give harsh punishments or yell to be consistent. Continue to address the issues or behavior in the same approach and with the same punishment.
Work Together Talk with your childcare providers about the positive reward systems that are in place at school. Try to keep rules at both home and school as similar as possible.
Age three can be challenging for many parents, remember you are not alone. Talk to other parents, walk away and seek advice in situations. When all else fails, remember 4 is only a year away.