He's a "Threenager!" 10 Ways My Preschooler is Like aTeenager

Just in time for Edgie's third birthday, I heard the term "threenager," and everything I've experienced over the past decade suddenly made sense. I've never really believed in the "terrible twos." For us, they've been more like the "awful 18 months" and the "frightful threes."

Which makes sense, because at 18 months our children are walking and learning to talk and discovering more about their worlds. This can be frustrating, resulting in epic meltdowns. Two kind of levels off, then - BAM - three hits and we're in a world of hurt again. Our kids think, Yeah, I've got this! They can do so many things, and they are rapidly learning and discovering. But there are limitations - oh, there are BIG limitations.

And again, epic meltdowns.

We're experiencing that here. Edgie, who has typically been sweet, loving, gentle, and mellow, is turning into kind of a little monster. But when I compare his behavior to that of a typical teenager, I guess it's not so shocking after all.

  1. They really don't want you around at all . . . except when they neeeeeed you. Independence is the name of the game for both teens and threes. They want to be free to explore their world without interference from you. Unless they are scared or hurt or unsure, then a Mom or Dad's shoulder is pretty comforting.
  2. They can do it themselves, thankyouverymuch . . . unless they need you to fix it for them. Whether it's putting on shoes or making an appointment, they think they can do it until they get frustrated and just want you to take over.
  3. Oh, the sassiness and backtalk! "No" was kind of cute at 18 months. Then you could always make a game out of something and get your toddler to comply. But threes and teens have a way of saying no - and meaning it!
  4. The temper tantrums. Look out when things don't go their way! The foot stomping, the door slamming, the throwing of items - I get this. I slammed and stomped my way through a lot of angry outbursts as a teen. (I even put a hole in my bedroom wall.) When I put Edgie in Time-Out, I frequently hear him stomping up to his room and slamming the door. It's best to let them - the three and the teen - just ride it out.
  5. Fascination with the opposite sex. Don't get me started on this. Edgie was absolutely smitten with a little girl in his camp last week, "Look Mommy, Zora's here!" Friends are important at any age, but curiosity about those who are different than them piques at these ages.
  6. You're the best friend they want nothing to do with. One moment, they adore you and need you and want to cuddle with you and tell you everything. The next, you're nothing. They want their older brother or best friend or Dad (or Mom).
  7. They are sure they can conquer the world! Or at least the tornado slide. Or staying out until an hour past curfew. Whatever it is, they see it as a challenge they're willing to face head on. Forget what their parents said!
  8. They have an opinion about everything! Whether it's their clothing, the food you're serving, or how something should be done, they want to do it their way. And they will, no matter what you say.
  9. Why, why, and why not? Oh the questions, the endless questions!
  10. No matter how big they think they are, they still know they are your little girl/boy. And they like that security.

Do you or have you had either a three year old or a teenager? Am I right? What would you add? 

Everyone has an opinion. Check out another 7 Signs that you have a threenager. 

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