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How to deal with a 3 year old

How to deal with a 3 year old

Your view of the world is skewed to that of your child’s. While your 3 year old always wants to push the boundaries and explore new things, you have your own set of rules which may not be flexible enough. Here are some steps which will help you in dealing with your 3 year old.

Avoid the tantrum triggers

The safest way to deal with tantrums is to prevent them. More than often, this may seem impractical. However, there are many ways which can help you avoid getting into trifling fights and arguments.

When you know that your child must do a thing, do not provide options. For instance, instead of asking whether he/she wants food, say that it is meal time and give the food. At times, give options to your child. You may place options between brushing teeth first and putting on pajamas. When you give some ‘authority’, you can curtail the argument sessions considerably.

Whenever possible, keep the triggers at bay. For example, when there is an art activity, you can keep the scissors out of sight so that any probable fight over its use (and misuse) is avoided. On occasions, trick your child with distractions. Although tricking should essentially not work always, yet they yield productively quite often. You can try reading a book or engage in any of your child’s favorite past time preferences.

When you sense discomfort, try changing the surroundings. If the child is taken away from the source of temper tantrum, there are fair chances you will handle the situation without doing much.

Utilize your language power

Your child is now in a better position to express and understand language. Language can work as a platform to enter your child’s world. You are likely to experience more confrontation if your child feels you cannot understand him/her. Give a feel that you understand (or try to understand) his/her feelings and care for the needs. Tempting words can attract your child to indulge as per your direction without exerting any force or engaging in unwanted argument. When you use language to control your child’s behavior, your child will appear calmer, creating encouraging opportunities for suggestions or logical consequences later (when you need them). Do not think it immature to behave childish when dealing with your child.

Avoid yelling back

When you shout at your child. it increases the stress and derails you from your motive of training the child. You neither enjoy the moment. Feeling guilt after a crazy round of shouts and fights is not what you want. You cannot expect your child to behave an adult when you yourself are not behaving so. It will emerge a habit once you start shouting at petty issues. It can also be detrimental to your child’s confidence level.

Have more endurance

Your child will always want you to fulfill his/her demands. Going by your child’s psychology, you cannot resist any of the demands. Though you realize that all demands need not (and should not) be fulfilled, keep arguments to the minimum. Minor issues should not turn into tug-of-wars. Unless you are in control, your child cannot be controlled.

Before you act, analyze the situation. Avoid over-reacting. You may find it difficult to cope at public places but keep a check over yourself. Never allow the positive relationship between you and your child to suffer.


Strategy post-tantrum

Unless there is some serious activity, your child can easily be distracted from the approaching tantrums. Avoid yielding to tantrums. Once you start yielding to tantrums, there is increased possibility that more will follow. When your child settles down, do not reward him/her. This can give a wrong message.

Make your child aware of the acceptable ways of expression. Although a 3-year-old may seem too small to discuss, you can gain insight into the real problem on having healthy discussions.

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