The Terrible 3s

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2012
The Terrible 3s
4
Tue, 10-30-2012 - 11:18pm

A few years ago some friends of ours warned us that 3 is the new 2 and that at 3 their son was far more difficult than he had been at 2.  Now that our daughter is well into 3 years old we're seeing more than just a sample of that.  We're getting some rather unpleasant previews of the teen years.  We're wondering if part of it is attributed to her having a little brother on the way (due in early January), but dinner time and bed time are particularly difficult.  She fights us on every bite and then complains that she's hungry at bedtime due to barely eating her dinner.  

I was wondering if any of you have had similar issues with 3 year old girls and if so how you've handled it.  What works?  What doesn't work? 

Community Leader
Registered: 04-08-2008
Wed, 10-31-2012 - 11:48am

Hi dad1976,

I don't have a girl, but I do have a three year old boy and I can tell you that he is MUCH more difficult now than he was when he was two.  He's constantly having tantrums and everything has become a battle.  I wish I had magical advice for you... but really, staying consistent is the best thing I've found to work.  Offering reasonable choices (as they really feel the need to do everything themselves at this age!) helps too.  My son fights me most when I tell him what he needs to do but if I offer a choice, it becomes less of a fight (ex: you can have carrots or corn for dinner. Which one would you like?).  Good luck to you!  Hopefully others here will have some good advice to share!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2012
Wed, 10-31-2012 - 2:19pm
I do think the changes in routine have been contributing factors to my daughter's acting out. I went from being at work much of the day and home in the late afternoon-bedtime to being unemployed and at home all the time for a few weeks to going back to work with a longer commute that doesn't get me home until early-mid evening (about an hour to an hour and a half later than I used to at my old job). I've only been at the new job for about 2 weeks now so, being a Daddy's girl, she might be acting out a bit because I'm not around quite as much as she'd been accustomed to.
Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 11-02-2012 - 12:21am

My boys are much older now (sniff!) but I absolutely remember saying the exact same thing about it being the "Terrible 3's" instead of "Terrible 2's"! 

Lisa 

Community Leader
Registered: 04-08-2008
Fri, 11-02-2012 - 1:11pm

dad1976 wrote:
I do think the changes in routine have been contributing factors to my daughter's acting out. I went from being at work much of the day and home in the late afternoon-bedtime to being unemployed and at home all the time for a few weeks to going back to work with a longer commute that doesn't get me home until early-mid evening (about an hour to an hour and a half later than I used to at my old job). I've only been at the new job for about 2 weeks now so, being a Daddy's girl, she might be acting out a bit because I'm not around quite as much as she'd been accustomed to.

Oh, yes.  Changes in routine are hard for little ones this age.  They are such creatures of habit and any change to what they are used to can certainly affect their behavior.  Hopefully you'll see some improvement in coming weeks as she adjusts to this new routine.