Digital Dad: HELP! I have a Threenager

We have a ‘Threenager’. I know this because the ‘Terrible Twos’ have not gone away but Thing 2 is now three and still a nappy-loving, independent, ‘I’m not changing’ three-year-old at that. I need help.

He’s a great kid, a sweet kid, a very funny kid, a polite and outgoing kid but all when he’s not throwing tantrums or roaring at the top of his voice because he didn’t get the green cereal bowl. When he’s the latter he’s quite simply a nightmare.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t say this but there’s only so much one can take from a screaming kid at 6am (“Daddy I’ve had a good sleep, I want to get uppa”) followed by intermittent fits of rage and dirty protests throughout the day. I first experienced the full wrath of this during our camping trip. He was demanding with an extra dollop of demanding on top. He wore me out, more so than the self-inflicted 3am bedtime and the 6am wake up.

He’s a great kid, a sweet kid, a very funny kid, a polite and outgoing kid but all when he’s not throwing tantrums

Before we had kids I was led to believe that the terrible twos and the teenage years were the worst. I think now that this was the brainchild of some spin doctor/PR guru because I fear that these stages are just going to blend into one. I certainly hope this isn’t the case but before I go any further let me stress that Thing 2 isn’t unmanageable; he’s just difficult to manage. He’s the one that will usually kick off whenever we’re out and about i.e. parks, restaurants, cars, parties, shops, shops, shops, etc . Needless to say, we’re huge fans of online shopping.

The Tantrum

I just don’t want to be that person who lives in fear of how to cut my son’s sandwich or where I should sit on the couch. And before you say it, I’m no pushover (maybe this is where Thing 2 gets it). I don’t suffer fools gladly and I’ve re-varnished the naughty step several times over the past few years, so there.

I certainly hope this isn’t the case but before i go any further let me stress that Thing 2 isn’t unmanageable; he’s just difficult to manage.

Being a father to three young boys is tough. It’s tiring, it makes you weary and zaps you of any energy and patience you have, especially after a long day’s work. Sometimes it’s just easier to give into that roaring child rather than slug it out (not literally of course). I’m not a stressful person, I’m not a shouter, I’m rarely angry so when I pick my battles – I’m usually calm. I keep my sense of humour, I explain my reasoning and more often than not we sign a peace treaty.

Therein lies the problem: I’ve never wanted to be a politician but at the rate, I’m going I’ll have signed more treaties than Trump. And no, I’m not one to offer a ‘sweetie for a treaty’. If you’re wrong you’re wrong and you don’t get rewarded for being wrong.

Tantrum Child

I’m well aware – and many people have said same – that Thing 2 is just exerting his independence and his developing mind is unable to process complicated emotions. And like most things, there’s a flip side to every coin. As independence blooms so to his confidence, vocabulary, maturity (kinda) etc and that is great. I don’t want Thing 2 to be a shrinking violet but I don’t want him to scare off Violet either.

I’ve never wanted to be a politician but  at the rate I’m going I’ll have signed more treaties than Trump.

As I said above, he’s a sweet kid. He’s mad as a brush. He does and says the funniest things, he’s as good as gold in preschool and he loves playing with his brothers and snuggling up to Mummy and Daddy. He’s normal apart from when he’s not normal. It’s very annoying.

Am I worried about it to the point where I’m constantly reading up about how to deal with a Threenager? No. Am I worried about it to the point where I think we need to see somebody about it? Absolutely not. Selfishly, I’m more concerned about how I feel and will feel about him if he continues to be the ‘problem child’…he’s just a lot more work than the others.

He’s normal apart from when he’s not normal. It’s very annoying.

Coincidently, I was recently sent an email about books that teach kids how to handle tantrums and help them to better understand their feelings. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read them all (yet) but I thought I’d list them for you nonetheless in case you find yourself in the Oval office giving ‘sweeties for treaties’.

If you too have a Threenager or have any tips, tricks or advice that you’d like to share feel free to comment or get in touch below.

Kids Books To Help With Tantrums

Books To Help With Tantrums

Little Monkey Calms Down

Courtesy of Amazon

Little Monkey is having a bad day. After a major melt-down, he goes to his room and uses some coping techniques to calm down.

Ages: 2 – 4

My Mouth is a Volcano!

Courtesy of Amazon

This book, in which an excitable boy named Louis wants to share his ideas all the time but whose mouth tends to erupt in a volcanic spew of nonsense, serves as a clever, approachable way to teach kids how to filter their thoughts and why listening to others is just as important as talking.
Ages: 5 – 8

Soda Hop Head

Courtesy of Amazon

Lester is a kid but everyone calls him “Soda Pop Head”. Most of the time he’s pretty happy, but when things seem to be unfair his ears gets hot, his face turns red and he blows his top! Lester’s dad comes to his rescue by teaching him a few techniques to “loosen the top” and cool down before his fizz takes control. “Soda Pop Head” will help your child control his/her anger while helping them manage stress. It’s a must for the home or classroom.

Ages: 4 – 8

Mouse Was Mad

Courtesy of Amazon

Who knows the best way to be mad? Bear stomps. Hare hops. Bobcat screams. Mouse? He just can’t get it right. But when he finds the way that works for him–still and quiet–he discovers that his own way might be the best of all.  Linda Urban’s story about self-expression and managing anger is both sweet and sly, and Henry Cole’s cast of animal friends is simply irresistible.

Ages:  4 -7

How Do dinosaurs Say I’m Mad?

Courtesy of Amazon

Brimming with humour, this sparkling new book handles a timeless children’s topic with wit and wisdom. Romp and stomp! Roar and slam! Almost everyone gets angry. But how can young dinosaurs also learn to calm down, take a time out, and behave?

Ages: 3 – 5

Llama Llama Mad at Mama

Courtesy of Amazon

Does any child like to go shopping? Not Llama Llama! But Mama can’t leave Llama at home, so off they go to Shop-O-Rama. Lots of aisles. Long lines. Mama is too busy to notice that Llama Llama is getting m-a-d! And before he knows it, he s having a full-out tantrum! Mama quickly calms him down, but she also realizes that they need to make shopping more fun for both of them.

Ages: 2 – 5

Rude cakes

Courtesy of Amazon

Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this book a very rude cake who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents gets its comeuppance. In the end, even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.

Ages: 2 – 5

Enjoy.

DD

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