reuben running in a field

Three-nager; The Terrible Twos Were Easier!

5th February 2017

My three-nager hates me!
OK, he doesn’t hate me but we are definitely going through a rough stage.
In my honest opinion, the terrible twos were easier than the three-nager year and we’re only 4 months into it!

I have read stories of how other parents would describe their children’s tantrums and I would smugly think to myself “My Reuben doesn’t do that”.
Yet here I am, writing about how he is now doing the same!

Three, what an age!

I get it. I really do.
He’s three.
He wants to do things that he can’t quite do and he is frustrated.
Handling that frustration is new to him, something to be learned.
So he shouts, he screams and as I am the one at home it’s directed at me.

I’m the adult.
I know why he is like this, I know it is a stage and as he learns it will become easier for him to control but why is it so hard?

Don’t make me share Mummy.

Reuben has always been great at sharing, but he has a love of cars.
A particular car is (apparently) his favourite at preschool and he wanted to bring it home.
I tried everything to get him to leave the car there of his own accord;

“It’s not yours Reuben, you should let someone else play with it”
“You can play with it again when you come in on Monday”
“You can’t take it home Reuben as that would be stealing, like Burglar Bill and you’re not like him are you?”

I was met with a constant scream of I’m not going home. I’m staying here. I want the car.
What do you do? 
After thirty minutes I resorted to leaving Jessica with a member of staff and carried him to the car followed by a chorus of “he’s tired”, “it’s so unlike him” and I completely agreed. It was a one-off.

reuben asleep in the car

I don’t want to go home Mummy, I don’t want to live with you.

This one hurt. I don’t want to live with you.

We were at my Nan’s house and my sister was there with Little Miss L and he loves her to pieces. He loves playing with her.
When it was close to going home I gave the “five more minutes Reuben and we have to go home” warning in the hope that he would co-operate. “OK Mummy”. Perfect!

After the five minutes I’ve said we need to go home. Cue screaming, crying and shouting that he wasn’t coming home with me.
I calmly packed my things away and repeated that we were going home. More screaming, this resulted in my Nan and my sister looking completely horrified and me crying in the hallway.
I had to carry him to the car again so that we could go home.

This time it was me “he’s tired”.

He’s Tired

This is exactly when it happens.
He is absolutely fine until the point that he is tired. As he is dropping his nap (not my choice) he’s adjusting and it means he is tired more often than not every afternoon. This is when he cannot control his emotions.

If he isn’t tired and he is about to do something that he shouldn’t I can give him a look, he will stop and think about what he is doing and then sit down with me. These times he will talk about how he feels and what has made him feel that way if I ask. But in the afternoon there is no stopping him, talking to him, reasoning with him.

It’s Just a Phase.

I know this is just a phase and that most children go through this to some degree.
I know hope that many other parents, like me have really struggled with how to deal with the situation.
I’m trying everything I can to get him to talk to me about how he is feeling when he has these ‘episodes’.

I’m the adult.
I need to show him how to handle his emotions and this is probably definitely the hardest phase I have been through so far.

Have you been through similar? Is just a preschooler phase?
Do you have any tips?

I really would love to hear your thoughts and/or stories, it might keep me sane!

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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