Dear Mama of a Newly-Three Year Old (A Letter To Myself)

Three year olds: AND SO IT BEGINS…

My son, Simon, has been 3 for two whole days, and I feel like he has literally changed overnight into a person I don’t recognize. As an Early Childhood Educator and a career nanny, I know what the experts say about three year olds. I felt like I was prepared for this transition. “Bring on the threenager!”, I yelled in defiance.

TWO. DAYS.

It’s been two days, and I already want my sweet and loving boy back! Last night, after a particularly difficult night of refusing to do EVERYTHING and throwing himself on the floor in tears because he “wasn’t tired”, I sat down (in tears myself) and wrote this letter to myself. Maybe it will help you, too…

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Dear Self,

“It’s not personal- it’s developmental” is a phrase we use often in our house, right? It takes a lot of self-discipline to not lose your shit when your kid is losing his. However, losing your shit is a sure way to not only create distance between you and your son, but to push him into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode (which is why children laugh in our faces, flat-out ignore us, or scream back when we yell at/scream at/spank them). The MOST important thing you can do for his well-being and development is to figure out how to stay calm yourself in the midst of his ridiculousness. The first step to staying calm is to not take his behavior personally (because it’s not!).

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