The terrible twos were nothing in comparison to my son's terrible threes!

Do you ever go to sleep feeling like a really bad mom? I do and it's because sometimes it feels like all I do is yell at my children: Be careful! You're going to fall! Come brush your teeth! How many times I have to tell you not to do that? And the list goes on and on. These last few days I feel that I have yelled more than ever--especially when it comes to my 3-year-old son who seems to be going through a phase.

Out of nowhere, he throws himself on the floor in a tantrum, screams when I ask him something and seem to cry for any little reason. I clearly remember my daughter exhibiting similar behavior when she was three. Honestly, I've never really understood why people call then the terrible twos instead of the terrible threes because my son's twos were a breeze compared to this!

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Recently, when I felt I could take it any more, I called a good friend of mine and she advised me to ignore him as much as possible. And that's exactly what I did.

When he threw a trantrum because he did not want to put his shoes on so we could go out, I did not yell or say anything. I waited a little and then I told him I was sorry he felt bad, but that we had to go to a birthday party and so he had to put his shoes on to go with us. And then, I kept getting other things we needed, combed his sister's hair and made sure I had snacks and his sippy cup.

Santiago continued with his tantrum while I was doing all this, but when I was done buckling up his sister in the car and had returned to get the things we needed to take with us, he came up to me and hugged me. I picked him up, wiped his tears and kissed him. I put his shoes on and we left. It had worked!

I do not know if this tactic will always work--especially when we are in a hurry and he throws a tantrum--but for now I'm going to keep trying and hopefully it'll help all of us get through Santiago's terrible threes.

Image via Pink Poppy Photography/flickr

Topics: child rearing  discipline  on parenting