Parenting is hard and there is no manual to tell us how to do it! You always here about the terrible twos, but how about those though 3 year old years that follow? Year 3 is hard too! Here are some tips to survive raising a 3 year old (and can help with 2 year olds too)!

A Parents Survival Guide to the 3 Year Old Years
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Routine is key. Not only does routine help children learn about time and developing healthy habits, it also gives them a sense of security.

Help you children by developing a morning routine and a bedtime routine. Have structured meals where they know what to expect and when to expect it. Have a consistent childcare routine, so they will feel secure with whoever they are with or have structured playdates, so the child is aware of the schedule. Routines do not have to be boring. You can schedule a family movie night, like we do each week or pick a date night for your son once a week.

Routines do not have to be bland to promote consistency, but they do establish security and safety in children’s lives.

Always have snacks! I admit it…today I forgot snacks! Big mistake! As soon as we arrived at our destination, I heard, “Mommy, I want a snack!” Oops! Mom Fail!

Physically, toddlers’ stomachs are smaller, so they cannot eat enough food at regular mealtimes, so snacks are important to make sure they get enough food throughout the day. They provide them with the healthy energy they need to make it through the day. Let’s face it, no one wants a hangry kiddo! They are absolutely no fun!

However, don’t just give your kids any kind of snack under the sun though; make sure you are giving them a healthy snack to replenish their energy and promote good eating habits. This can also be a good time to introduce new foods to your child because they can choose whether or not they want it.

Like I mentioned above, snack time is part of our routine. My kiddos get a snack in the morning and after their nap in the afternoon. They expect it, and they enjoy it!

Let them sleep. Research shows that 3 year olds need 10-13 hours of sleep. Sleep helps your child’s body be able to physically grow. Research has also been linked to children lacking sleep becoming overweight because often when they are not sleeping, we offer them something to eat. Sleep also helps your child’s body to fight off germs. It can reduce accidents and injuries because when a child is more rested, he is more alert, and less prone to injury.

Show them you love them. Physical touch is a way we tell our children you love them. We can tell them and we can show them by snuggling them and giving them hugs.

Hugs are even an important part of discipline. Giving your child a hug after you have disciplined him doesn’t tell him his behavior is okay (he will realize it is not because of the discipline), but it shows him that no matter what he does, you will always love him.

Surviving the 3 Year Old Year can be quite challenging, but by surviving it, you will build a stronger relationship with your little sweetie, and it will all be worth it in the end!

How di you survive Year 3?

14 Comments on Surviving the 3 Year Old Year

  1. Great suggestions! We do a lot of these with our 2 1/2 year old. I’m scared for 3 years old though! He’s so stubborn and smart already that I think we’ll have our hands full.

  2. Great list! I wish I could let my 3 year old sleep… but he is always up with the sun! And he has dropped his nap, so he is even more cranky lately. Guess its time for an earlier bed time!

  3. We are right in the midde of the 3’s. It is definitely rough. Snacks are a must! And it’s so refreshing to hear that you believe in hugs after disciplining! Our babies need to know that we still love them even when they mess up.

  4. I love all of these! I’m about to enter that terrifying threenager phase in another 3 months and I’m loving these tips since we do all of them currently! Hopefully it’ll run semi-smoothly! *A mom can dream right?* HAHA.

  5. Been there ..done that. Hubs and I were actually talking about these stages..I said..” They should have a “Mowgli stage” ..the year between 3 turning to 4 yrs old…lol ”

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  6. We take care of a little guy who just turned 3, and he’s such a fun kid, but yeah, his emotions can be a little over-the-top! Love those 3-year-olds!

  7. I loved your tips. I agree with letting them sleep and always having snacks. I cannot tell you how many times having cheerios and raisins in my purse has saved shopping excursions from deteriorating into how quickly can I leave here without being stared at?

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