It isn’t easy, and we certainly have a ways to go, but my husband and I are currently trying to overcome the “Trying Threes.” Talking to friends and reading other mom communities is helping tremendously, and knowing there are other parents going through what seems like such an insurmountable challenge is somehow comforting. Are you going through this stage in your child’s life, or have you gone through it already?

When D was going through the Terrible Twos people would tell me, just wait – it may get worse. “Worse,” I thought? How is that even possible? Well, now that D is older, more verbal and MUCH more independent he is certainly testing the waters. He is constantly talking back, pointing, wrestling, yelling, and oh my goodness, that evil look we get – the one where it looks as though he’s about to come at you with fists flailing. And unfortunately he doesn’t just act this way with my husband and me, he’s actually worse at daycare. I 100% love this kid with all my heart, but like any parent who wants to see their child thrive, am having a bit of a hard time with it. It’s almost as if I have to watch everything I say as to not upset him or throw him over the edge. I mean, heaven forbid if I pick out a t-shirt that he doesn’t like or I cut his bagel in half vs. giving it to him whole. It’s as if I just told him he could never play with his best friend ever again.

I could give you more examples of things D says or does, but I want to try and give you some tips that I’ve found helpful. There are more than three, but these three are working best for us at the moment.
  1. Love, Love, Love – as much as I would like to run in the other direction sometimes, I’ve found that if I remind him of how much I love him and give him big hugs, he tends to calm down. PLUS, who wouldn't want to give this crazy, cute little kid a big hug?
  2. Create a Distraction – I can tell when things are about to go sour, or get worse, so I’ve tried starting to tickle him, or make a silly face, or do a silly dance. He tends to start laughing and move on.
  3. Keep Calm – There have certainly been moments where I have raised my voice, but I’ve found that talking and trying to reason with him in a calm manner works best for us. At times, raising my voice has certainly worked, but for the most part he just smiles and laughs at me, which can be even more frustrating.

What tips can you share to help other parents get through these tough times?