It’s your child’s third birthday and this is an exciting milestone. You can now officially wave goodbye to the ‘terrible twos’ and enter a world of curiosity and fantasy. Here at Active Kids Nursery Hove we aim to offer advice at important developmental stages in your child’s life.
Your child will now have a vivid imagination and will be incredibly curious. This will become apparent to you when they begin to make up stories with a mixture of reality and fabrication. Although your child’s stories may not exactly be true, you don’t have to point this out to them, they are merely exploring the difference between what is real life and what is fantasy.
Active Kids Nursery Hove on ‘the monster under the bed’
At the age of three, it is highly likely that your child will develop imaginary fears. As parents, I’m sure we all remember how terrifying the ‘monster’ under the bed can be. These fears can also be extremely upsetting for you as a parent as you cannot necessarily make them go away. Although it is easy for you to correct your child, telling them not to be so silly and ‘go back to bed’ this is not the correct way to deal with anyone’s fears. Instead why not encourage him/her to talk about what is scaring them. You could suggest they practice saying aloud ‘You are not a real monster’ as a better way to cope with these fears. As silly as these imaginary fears may seem to you as an adult, they are extremely real in your child’s imagination and can prove to be very distressing.
Active Kids on self-identification
Your child will now devote their time trying to be exactly like mummy / daddy. This is when your child will begin to heavily mimic you. You will hear him/her talking to her toys in the same manner you talk to them. While this can be amusing, it will also give you necessary feedback on your parenting and give you the ability to modify your behaviour accordingly.
At three years old, your child begins the process of self-identification. Your child will now know their age and understand what sex they are, but not necessarily understand that they will remain this way in the future.
He / she will pick up your habits (good or bad) and the language you use when talking to others. Children have the ability to overhear and pick up on things you are saying without you even being aware they are listening. At this age children are able to understand 60-80% of adult language. Why not get into the habit of spelling out words or phrases you do not want your child to hear. At three years old your child probably has not yet mastered spelling their name, so spelling words can be a safer way to communicate. Avoid insulting other family members in front of your child as he/she is likely to repeat this and may report back to them.
Tackling bedtime tantrums at Active Kids Nursery Hove
At three years old your toddler may now have outgrown their afternoon nap (much to your disappointment). If your child is now refusing to nap, why not suggest quiet time and let them pick a book you can read to them. Your voice will prove soothing to him/her and hopefully do the trick of putting your toddler to sleep.
Your child has now become more active and will tire themselves out either playing at home or at the Active Kids Nursery, so the occasional tantrum is more than expected. Fight the urge to yell back at your screaming toddler. Although scaring them into silence may work the first couple of times, a better approach is to keep your cool and ignore the outburst. Your child will soon learn that screaming and shouting gets them nowhere. Once the tantrum subsides, always make sure to reassure your child. Give them a cuddle and let them know that mummy / daddy loves them.
Bedtime may soon become more of a struggle. At this age your child will now begin to test your patience and exercise control. Try and stick to a familiar routine while allowing them to make decisions for themselves. Give your child the choice of pyjamas he/she would like to wear, maybe they would like to pick a favourite toy to take to bed with them. Giving your child a choice will make them feel valued and hopefully more willing to cooperate.
At three years old, your child will begin to follow instructions and carry out simple tasks. You will be surprised at how much your child will want to participate in chores and help out at home. When asking your 3 year old to do something, don’t give them the option to decline, instead tell them what you want them to do in a friendly but firm manner. ‘Eat your dinner please’ instead of ‘please can you eat you dinner?’
Just remember, your child is an individual and not all children will develop at the same rate or in the same way. So don’t worry and enjoy this special time.