How much you have been waiting for your child to exit infancy and become a pre-schooler! With the lullaby almost over and nappy changes all done, this may seem the right time to teach your child sweet rhymes, the various good habits and the eternal social skills. But as you start implementing the skills, you may realize that your child is not the same subtle and well-behaved bundle of joy you always talked proudly about.
Suddenly, you recognize that your child is making all sorts of tantrums and adopting clever tricks (some of which might be out of your imagination); moreover, you can be more perplexed by the thought that you have not taught most of these skills anywhere during your parenting sessions.
This is not something extraordinary that you alone are encountering. Most parents would agree at some point with you over their experience of their 3 year old. Today’s 3 year olds want to take over the world and have it dance to their tunes. It may not be a cake walk to manage your 3-year-old behavior which can be a blend of frustration, anger, stubbornness, hitting and even self-destructive responses.
While your child wants his/her independence, you want a balance within a desired disciplined parameter. There are some promising inclusions which you may want to make in your parenting skills to gain better control over your 3 year old’s behavior.
Tips to Understand Your 3 Year Old Behavior
Give the Liberty to Explore within Boundaries
At this stage, children have overwhelming curiosity to explore things around them. You may find your child restless even while watching television or playing the favorite video game. Imposing everything may deprive them of their curiosity to explore unique skills. It is important to set boundaries but give choices to improve your child’s decisive power. As your child becomes more responsible in making his/her own decisions, you can provide more control and authority.
Some children may want to pretend playing a bad guy or play with guns or weapons (particularly boys). As long as the child is pretending, it may be harmless. Play and violence are two different things. If the play remains restricted to fun, it can be okay. However, if play transforms into violence, like your child hitting people, getting really angry or poking people (or other children) in the eye, it is a bad signal. You have to restrict your child to differentiate between what is acceptable and what is not.
Love and Security are Important
Although 3 year olds may seem confident of their skills, you know they need guidance. The child needs to feel love and security while he/she treads the pathway to learning and developing. This is a crucial stage of development which should essentially be enjoyed by both of you.
While giving instructions, try to be calm and consistent. You may find it hard to be patient under some (rather many) situations but remaining calm can create a big impact on your child’s behavior. Keep a soothing tone while talking to your child. Avoid shouting and yelling.
Hug your child and bestow your love not only when he/she achieves a feat but also otherwise. Spend quality time, including play time, with your child to establish better association and understanding between both of you. Let your child know you are confident of his/her creativity and uniqueness.
Make Disagreement a Learning Chance
During early parenting, it is important that you establish zero-tolerance for physical aggression and improper behavior. But simultaneously, there should be room for disagreement. Disagreement is an expression of an idea and should not be limited to being right or wrong.
Teach your child the underlying essence of agreeing or disagreeing to something. This disagreement can speak about your child’s viewpoint and understanding about a subject. If you want your child to switch off the television and do something else, you may set a time-out period. Sometimes, humor can play good in turning disagreement into agreement.
Have Faith and Confidence
Parenting is not a one time job but a life-time of responsibility. Every day should bring in faith in you that you can accomplish the job even better than yesterday. It is like putting the coin in your piggy bank every day and then forgetting at the end of the day. You can only think of releasing the piggy bank of money when it is completely filled (that is when the time is right).
You need confidence particularly on the bad days when it is quite easy to surrender. Remember, the real test is on a tough day when your mood may not be the right to tolerate anything and your child seems bent on using his/her most disturbing tact or tantrum. Remember, parenting is a consistent skill and good parenting skills become better over time.