Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Parenting a three year old
I’m totally in love with this little tyke. She’s got big blue eyes and cute rolly knees. She’s still totally my little baby - mostly because she's the youngest and my last. But she can be so stubborn and defiant. She wrinkles up her little nose and clenches her teeth and says “I don’t want to do that momma!” or “I’m not going to” or flat out “No!” It’s gotten worse since summer started and our daily routines have changed. What do you do with a flat out NO? I usually say “You don’t tell me no, I was telling you to brush your teeth not asking you if you wanted too.” Or I change the subject and try again in a few minutes. Did I mention that on a daily basis she tells me that she doesn’t like kisses anymore? I kiss her anyway because I suspect she doesn’t mind them but she’s just finding yet another way to assert herself. I’ve been reading that three year olds are experiencing a lot of strong emotions right now and she is no different, so I talk to her about the feelings behind the behaviour but there are still consequences for not listening. I read this article on natural consequences and logical consequences that spoke volumes to me. It’s really a lesson on “pick your battles.” For example, if your child refuses to wear their jacket outside in the cold, let them go without it – but bring it along just in case because chances are they will ask for it as soon as they get out the door. The logical consequence would be if they refused to wear their helmut while riding their bike – the bike stays in the garage. She is so different from my mild mannered Madelyn. Tegan likes to experiment with noises, bang on everything, scream, climb and jump. She is an adventure. I can only hope that this phase passes soon because I miss my sweet, charming little girl. What do you do when your three year old tells you No?