I have heard many parents say that three is harder than two. Now that we are 4 months into age three, I completely agree. Not only does a three year old have the tantrums of a two year old, but they also have more reasoning skills. They can therefore wear you out physically and mentally.
We spend a lot of time talking about rules and things like pay attention, look where you are going, focus, etc. I don't want to spend my days barking orders- I am sure that isn't fun for Abby. So, instead, I try and get down on her level and explain to her why she can't do certain things. I try to be consistent in my wording to make it stick with her.
In many ways it has stuck, because today in the car Abby sat and rattled off all the rules she is trying to remember. She told me:
- Only Mommys and Daddys say no, little girls says yes m'am. We don't say no to our friends
- Is blank a bad word? She is certain that she shouldn't say a bad word and is finding out which ones those are. She said her first bad word (D@mn it) a few weeks ago. Honestly we have no idea who taught it to her. Marcus slips on occasion, but that isn't a common word for him.
- When our friends are hurt, we don't cry about ourselves. We ask them if they are okay.
- We don't love on Momma at the table. We eat at the table.
- We have to stay in our bed until the sun comes up.
- We listen to Momma and hold her hand when crossing the street so that we don't get run over.
- We don't show our panties.
- We only say poop when in the restroom. We can't say poop at the table.
- Daddy is my best buddy. Not Momma, she isn't my friend. She is my Mom. (I actually like this one because I've had to tell her I am not her friend and that I can say NO to her!)
- We have to eat all our dinner to get dessert.
- Boys are stinky.
She also is throwing our words back at us and we have to remind her that Mommy and Daddy have different rights than Abby. Reasoning with her limited thinking can be tough! I understand where the phrase "I am the Mom and I said so" comes from. I can't always give her a logical explanation!
With all of that being said, I know these years and the time in learning how the world works will make her an outstanding young lady and I am certain she is worth it!