The Terrible Twos had nothing on the Terrifying Threes in my house.
Both of my sons sailed through the second year with ease, but it was the older toddler years that were, ahem, challenging to say the least, with us.
I don’t think I’m alone in that, either.
Between tantrums and talking back, that was a tough time period.
Toddlers are testing their boundaries, whether they’re two or three years old.
They WANT to know what their limits are. Knowing their limits helps them feel safe to explore within the boundaries, so to speak. Don’t be afraid to set firm limits.
Knowing what to expect helps them cope, so a schedule, a bedtime, manners, behaviors and familiar activities can have a beginning, an end and a firm structure in place.
Sure, kids need free play; that’s not what I’m saying. Don’t let them set their own bedtime or wait until they’re too strung out because they’re ravenous to feed them.
Don’t let them continue with a bad behavior because it’s “cute” or it’s easier for you. It won’t be easier in the long run, I assure you.