You might think you are out of the clear after year two, but beware that you may be entering a similar phase that is like the terrible twos, only heightened. The new term “threenagers” is a way of accurately labeling a toddler that is going through their third year with the attitude of a teen. And you thought you had at least a decade until you had to deal with a teenager…. Here are some signs that you are dealing with your very own threenager:
1. You hear a resounding “no” anytime you ask them to do something
From a request to wash their hands for dinner to cleaning up their toys, the N-O word seems to be on repeat at all times in your house. The only time that you hear a yes is when it has to do with the TV or chocolate. Go figure.
2. You have come to realize it is their way or the highway
When your child finally gets around to the chore that you requested them do, they will only do it their way. Forget any suggestions on how important it is to carefully pour their cereal, since they will not listen and, as predicted, it ends up mostly on the floor.
3. You have to help them with multiple daily wardrobe changes
Suddenly your tot seems to have strong opinions about what they want to wear and it changes hourly. Getting out the door in the morning is a constant struggle, because just when you think they found an outfit they like, they will change their mind again.
4. You have a few main dishes on rotation
For breakfast it is always Cheerios, for lunch it is either PB&J or turkey (both without the crusts), and for dinner only chicken nuggets or spaghetti is acceptable for your toddler’s palette. You tried once to suggest lasagna, but that did not go over very well at all.
5. You realize naptime is non-existent
You long for the days that your toddler used to fall asleep, as if on cue, at the same time every day. You wonder if it was all just a dream as you watch your child have their daily meltdowns that now replace their rest time.
6. You are constantly being talked out of time-outs
You never realized how convincing your tot can be until they began to talk themselves out of spending some quiet time in their room. It is hard to constantly say no to their sweet faces, especially when they say “you are the best parent in the whole world.”
7. You have to let them do everything themselves
The new-found independence of a toddler can be downright exhausting, but sometimes you just have to let it go and let them do it for themselves without assisting them first.
8. You have developed a effective game plan for dealing with meltdowns anywhere
Shopping markets, friend’s houses, and the kitchen floor are all places that you have learned to fine tune your reaction to temper tantrums. You have also developed a tolerance for high-pitched screaming, though it is clear in public that everyone around you has not.
9. You have gotten in shape from chasing them around all day
There are have been times when you feel that you have not stopped being in motion since you woke up in the morning. Your toddler seems to have endless energy and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
10. You have pulled out bribes more than usual
You know bribing your child with chocolate or an extra hour of TV time is not ideal, but sometimes when you are at your wit’s end, you do what you need to do.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com