How to parent a threenager

If you thought you’d be reading a blog containing the holy grail of parenting techniques for a threenager I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. Or will you?
Parenting a threenager is the same as anything else with parenting; no one has the right or wrong answer. It’s all based on our personal experience and our own child/ren. But I can share my experiences and maybe something from my experience might help you. Who knows really?

Tristan has literally changed overnight since turning 3. We didn’t see this behaviour much on holiday because we were relaxed with no schedule or list of things that had to be done. But now that we’re home things have gone from fine to OMF (oh my fuck) in a very short space of time.
This was our battle this morning…
Me: Tristan let’s get dressed and go to gym
Tristan: I want to swim at gym
Me: Not today baby as we have to come straight home for a meeting
Tristan: stamps feet, slaps me with his dudu and cries. Turns his back to me. Then says “I will stay home”
Me: Stop smacking me Tristan it’s not nice. But ask dad if he can look after you while I’m at gym
Tristan: Dad will you look after me please?
Dad: Yes
Ok so all seems fine, right? Hahahahahaha!
Me: Bye Tristan, see you just now
Tristan: *crying like I’ve just broken his heart* but I want to go to gym (literally sobbing)
Me: Ok if you want to come you must get dressed quickly
Tristan goes to his room and we get dressed.
Tristan: I will wait in kiddies club for you to come back and then we swim
Me: no my boy, unfortunately we can’t swim today. I told you earlier
Tristan: *sobbing* goes and hides in his tent
I say goodbye and leave him there

5 minutes later I message Shaun and ask if Tristan’s ok; he’s literally fine and playing happily.

Yesterday I tried a different technique; talking to him when he was emotional telling him I understood and that it’s hard being a little boy with such big emotions. I was hugging him the whole time. Same response. Went away from me and 5 minutes later all had been forgotten about.

So what am I saying? 

We all know threenagers really struggle with all these adult emotions; it’s really tough for them and super confusing.
I’m trying (it’s not easy) to give Tristan a safe space to feel these emotions but know we’re always there to support and love him. Believe me it’s not easy and patience is NOT one of my strengths but this is a learning curve for both of us. I’m the parent so need to be his stable rock.

No I don’t have the answers and what I’m doing doesn’t stop him acting out when he’s emotional, but maybe in the long run it will make a difference.

I would love to hear about your experiences and how you’re handling your threenager. All comments welcome below.

Much love xx

This threenager t-shirt from Monkeybum is getting a lot of wear!


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