As I mentioned in my recent live chat over on my Facebook feed (click here to watch!), many of the parents I work with and those in my free online community have experienced the almost overnight change in their child as the transition from two to three years old. It’s like a switch is flipped and our sweet, compliant little baby becomes a moody, defiant teenager-in-training.
And really, that isn’t far from the truth. Both periods of life are characterized by monumental growth and development and are accompanied by an innate drive for autonomy. The catch with “threenagers” is that they are still quite dependent on their caregivers in a way that true teenagers are not. They not only need us for physical nourishment and protection, they need us for emotional nourishment and protection as well (an argument can be made that the same is true for teenagers, but that’s a conversation for another time), and at the same time, they desperately want, and have an innate drive to seek, independence and autonomy. They are figuring out who they are, striving for independence and looking for ways to have control over their lives, while at the same time wanting desperately to know that they are loved, cared for, protected, and safe. And that inner war of dependence and autonomy-seeking is what makes this time so hard for everyone in the family.
So, how can we all come through this tricky time in one piece? Here are 6 tips that the parents I’ve worked with have found particularly useful.Read More