Most people are familiar with the phrase ‘terrible twos’, however, most parenting experts agree that three-year-olds give their parents much more grief than two-year-olds. With that said, neither the twos nor threes are easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Of course, the journey through these years is worth the effort. However, knowing that doesn’t make being a parent of a terrible two or three-year-olds. Three-year-olds are so notorious for their tantrums, that many parenting experts call them ‘threenagers’ because their expressions of frustration are very similar to a hyper-emotional teenager.
“Two-year-olds get a bad wrap, but once you get a threenager, they come with an attitude,” says Australian parenting expert Pinky McKay during an interview with MailOnline. “No longer are they just saying no, now they’re negotiating like tiny lawyers.”
Another parenting expert, Dr. Justin Coulson, who is both an author and psychologist, says that excessive screen time does not help this at all. On the contrary, excessive screen time will only hinder your child’s emotional development and their ability to regulate themselves.
“There’s evidence that too much time in front of screens is having a negative impact, that when we start putting our threenagers in front of these screens, we create more temper tantrums, more self-regulation problems,” he said.
While McKay does assert that three-year-olds can be a tad more difficult, they are not impossible to handle. “Don’t take it personally,” she says when asked for advice. “Let your child have increasing control over things that are safe and don’t matter too much.” For example, of course, you have to make them wear a seatbelt or wear a helmet on their bicycle. So, things like allowing them to wear their favorite rainboots with their fancy dinner dress should be no issue. Pick your battles.
Last but not least, McKay suggests avoiding arguing with a teenager. “Don’t get drawn in and argue with your threenager, remember, you are the adult.”