name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : 5 Ways to Handle a Threenager


5 Ways to Handle a Threenager

We are just a few weeks away from THREE. I cannot believe this little bit is growing so fast! And if you have met her, you know she's a tornado of energy and curiosity. We test each other daily, but she is my little buddy. I love her feistiness yet want to scream at times, too. Each day is a new adventure, and I am still learning as I go.

She is showing signs of defiance and has quite the personality. Her strong will can be a struggle for both us (though I do love how tough she is) as we go about our days. I feel as though I need to be mentally prepared each morning and teach her the right ways to use this boundless energy. Here's how I plan to handle this threenager - her sass, her toughness, and all that comes with the fun.

{1} Set A Routine

I know you've heard this tidbit before, but for this busy one, we need structure. Though I don't follow a clock, I do complete the same process most days. Get up, watch a show and eat breakfast, dress, and go. Lunch is in the same period of time then praise the Heavens, a nap. By naptime, we both need a break.

Of course, we venture off routines here and there, but there are some non-negotiables when it comes to these needed breaks. Bedtime is a routine too, and she knows how the process goes.

And just like any routine, you have to find one through trial and error. Since she didn't sleep well from 5-7 months old, we've experienced all the things that do/do not work. But, since my little diva is quite the rambunctious one, she needs to know that we have times for certain things. I can't do a free-for-all with her or my house (and sanity) would be a chaotic mess!

{2} Encourage Independent Play

She does go to school two days a week, so on the days we are home together, we play everything from puzzles to coloring to tea parties. However, there are times I want to see her imagination at work! She is different from my son in that she will let go of me at this age and play on her own. But, one thing I've learned from her is that you need to keep one eye on her or this play could include painting her own nails or locking me out of my phone. We are working on what proper play is :)

{3) Prioritize the Temper Tantrum

These are definitely increasing as we approach three. For example, this week, she put on her Elsa dress-up shoes but couldn't get them to fit. Because they were on the wrong feet. During her extreme frustration, she began to throw the shoes. I sat down with her to explain the problem and offer a solution. Imagine how well that went. After once again showing her and still being upset, I walked away and let her figure it out on her own. Staying right there in that time would only frustrate her more. Eventually, she saw the light and skipped on her way in her correctly placed shoes.

I have to prioritize what the tantrum is all about. If it's something like the shoe catastrophe, I will try once then move over to let her find resolution. She is pretty independent and will get more upset if I try to help. Of course, if she's in any danger (which is often with my climber/Evil Knieval), I step right in and correct whether she likes it or not. Stopping a tantrum is hard and tiring, but I know when to step in and when to jump right out.

{4} Monitor the Mom Emotions

Oh, how I need this reminder DAILY. The shoe episode made me loco too - just put the shoes on the right feet, child! But, I have to talk patiently to myself then give that patience to her. No way is this easy, but if I get angry, then the fit lasts longer. My kids are 5 years apart, and I feel as though I blocked my son's tantrums from my mind. Now that I am in this stage all over again, I am relearning new ways to work it - especially since she is so different than he was.

{5} Show the Love

When they get it right or figure out a solution on their own, tell them how proud you are and remind them of what they did. Just as the shoe saga, once she got it, we celebrated just a bit. She knew how to fix the problem, but she just wanted to be mad. Story of a threenager, right??

And even when they don't throw their fits, and you see something worth praise, definitely show the love! We are regressing a bit in potty training, so when it goes well, we talk and I remind her that she is more than capable. Small victories every single day mixed with the crazy. That's parenting.


Each day with my little love brings new adventures and new discoveries about each other. God gave me this one for a reason - she makes  all my gray skies blue. I love learning about her and seeing her grow - even if some days I feel a mess in toddler land.

What are some helpful ways you handle your threenager? Share the love, mamas!


  1. Yes! Love this! My kids are two years apart and I feel like I handled my emotions so much better when it was just my son and I. Now I have a 5 year old son and a 3 year year old daughter and boy-oh-boy, talk about patience, talk about grace, or lack thereof! Haha! It's definitely something I need to work on. I love my babies soooo much and I want them to have the best memories from their childhood!

    Seriously, I loved this article. Great ideas and suggestions. Good luck with your threenager! ;) (BTW over here from the Naptime Nation FB page)

  2. This is wonderful and I agree whole heartedly with all of it. We are almost out of the threes but my son for sure took being a threenager to heart. I have a one year old too and am so much more prepared for what may be thrown out way with him and his threes. Haha.

  3. Love this term threenager!! 😍😍I know it's a busy time - keeping them busy and showing the love!!! I've raised two beautiful young ladies .... Time flies!!!

  4. Number 4 is my daily struggle. My forever life lesson is patience and it's something I really struggle with when we have places to be and things to do. I love the reminder that we need to keep our emotions in check in order to help them with theirs


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