Hiding in Closets: Life with a Threenager

Even the sweetest of faces have tough days. My threenager ignoring me.

Even the sweetest of faces has tough days. My threenager ignoring me.

Every morning she pads across my kitchen, plops down in the chair and demands a Pop Tart. I get a barrage of no’s and I don’t wannu  (thanks to Caillou she says it with a Canadian accent) as I try and bargain with her to go potty first. She brushes her ringlets out of her face and asks to watch Spongebob while eating her breakfast. Defeated, I oblige,  then run back to my room to hide in the closet. I generally wouldn’t like this type of arrangement but right now I’ve got a “threenager” – and I’m scared to death of her.

People tell you about the terrible twos. They don’t warn you about the traumatic for every frickin body threes.  She is a wonderful child. But her independence is wearing me out. I knew one day she would “rage against the machine” and totally do the opposite of anything I asked. I thought that would be more like 9 years from now but it seems I was wrong. She’s as sassy, sarcastic, and sneaky as any fourteen year old I know. I think it is more a phase than her true personality. And sometimes I think, it just MUST be me.

I never thought I’d be the type of person to hide from my kids. After all, I’m the parent. I’m in control. What I am learning is that – I’m not in control. She has become her own little person and I have to share in that control, giving up more of it little by little, each and every day. Some things SHOULD be up for discussion with her. Some things she SHOULD have a say in. I was not really brought up on that school of thought so it is foreign to me.  But no two children are the same. What worked for me might not work for her so I have to try something different.  If I involve her in the decision making she will be more likely to make the right ones.

I also have to make a huge apology to the parents I’ve looked at with my nose turned up and thought, “Why can’t you control your kids?” After several rounds of prying fingers from candy shelves and hauling out screaming children instead of my groceries, I do get it. And I’m so so sorry. But maybe if we try something different, our little ones will too.

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  1. Minute Made Papa says:

    Great blog MMM. I agree with everything and let us pray that our little threenager makes it to four! LOL.

  2. I think it just gets worse as they get older. My kids are 6 and 2 and I try to let them have some control over the things they do. I came to the same realization that I can not control my kids and it is more peaceful if I let them have some control. A really great blog to read is ahaparenting.com it is by Dr. Laura Markham. She gives out a lot of great advice and it’s all positive. I’ve learned that I play a big part in my kids meltdowns and that sometimes I can diffuse them by giving up a little control. I was also very judgmental before I had kids. Little did I know most people are doing the best they can and most of the time the child is just having a bad moment, they are not actually bad kids.

  3. hahaha yes I love the threenager title… I used to call it terrorist three;s…… Even with my education in Early Childhood education I can still tell you I floundered and had many days like this. Choose your battles and one tip I found helpful was always offer choices but offer choices that you are okay with either one she chooses… I. E. You may brush your hair now or after breakfast which would you like to do. Stopped by from SITS sharefest