She might just be on to something here.
Threenagers are getting a lot of bad press lately, rightly so in some cases. Believe me, I live with one. It’s the terrible twos combined with the newfound vocabulary a Three-year-old has. Mine is incredibly demanding and prone to loud outbursts of crying if she doesn’t get her way. She is full of inconsistent behaviours. One minute she refuses my help with anything, the next she is clamouring for a cuddle.
I’ve been wondering though. Is it possible to put a positive spin on living with a threenager? Could they have something to offer us, adults, besides the need for a drink?
It wasn’t easy but I think I’ve come up with some of the lessons we could really learn from our little darlings:
Don’t accept no for an answer.
Olivia will battle you for a yes to her whatever her request might be. Even if you say no and offer a very reasonable explanation or alternative to her request, she will wait until you finish and then simply repeat her question. I try to dress it up as a compromise so that it looks like things are on my terms. But they’re not. I’m just giving in for the sake of peace.
The lesson: Don’t give up if you don’t get the answer you want. Keep asking and never weaken in your resolve. Don’t let someone fob you off with a half-hearted excuse. You can break them.
Make your voice heard.
Olivia is generally a quiet sort of little girl but not when she’s crying or wanting something. I guess her thought is, why talk normally when you can shout? At least this way people will hear you the first time.
The lesson: Don’t assume that people aren’t interested, they just need to HEAR you. So speak up.
Express your feelings.
Olivia will let you, and the rest of the street for that matter she isn’t happy, hungry or my phone/ IPad has run out of battery. Her wails and screams are that loud and overwhelming the whole house stops
The lesson: If you’re not happy, do as my little one does and let everyone know about it. Don’t bottle things up. At the very least, you could end up with a cuddle and a chocolate biscuit out of it.
Know your limits.
After a busy day of being an Octanants, Olivia will let us know she is ready for bed by refusing to eat her dinner, bursting into fits of pure rage for no apparent reason or not wanting to do anything at all. Eventually, it clicks: this kid is tired. Game over. She doesn’t even protest when we lead her upstairs for a bath.
The lesson: Know when you’ve reached your limits. There’s no point pushing yourself when your body needs to recharge. Take a break.
Who knew a threenager could be so wise? I might start looking at her in a new light. Let me just make sure I’ve got the gin at the ready.
How about you? Do you live with a threenager? What does yours try and teach you?