Troublesome Threes.

I bank at Wells Fargo… and they have this nifty little feature with their cards – you can personalize them with a picture of your choice. Super fun…I totes love it! So when I would pay for things, sometimes the cashier would comment and ask how old B is. {of course he’s on my card!} Thinking back to last year… whenever I said he was 2… they always responded “oh…the threes are worse!” I didn’t think they were correct because I have always heard the term “terrible twos” but had never heard the term “terrible threes”. Well… I was wrong.

Bennett is a good kid. Really, he is. But… he definitely has his days, his moments, his frustrating times – for both him and us {mommy & daddy}. And I think his being good for a majority of the time makes the not-so-good times that much worse.

I have a little bit of a temper and have a bad tendency to yell. I have been working on that a lot lately because I do not want to have a home where yelling is okay. It’s tough. Really tough… but I do believe I am getting better. A big THANKS to Lisa at for sharing this article on yelling. Both Daddy P and myself read this and have since been trying really hard maintain patience and control the level of our voices. Daddy P is better at it than I am. 😛 I’m a work in progress, as usual.

Bennett’s main issue is he doesn’t listen. He ignores us and continues doing what he’s been told not to do. He pushes the limits constantly and really tests our patience. He knows exactly what he’s doing, too. Although things have gotten a bit better as our parenting has also gotten a bit better… it’s still a frustration. I’m sure part of our issue lies in the fact that a lot of times, we don’t follow through on our “warnings”. Since we have begun to be better at following through with the punishments, it seems his listening skills have improved. We will continue to “lay the law” and hopefully his listening will vastly improve. 


It’s tough to see the kiddo unhappy. I’ve noticed his feelings tend to get hurt more often lately. You tell him “No” and he starts to cry. It’s not a mad cry, it’s a “my feelings are hurt” cry. And whining… oh boy, the whining is sooooooooo frustrating!!!! And then there’s the grunting. B can speak quite clearly and has a pretty wide vocabulary. He should have no issues conveying his thoughts/feelings through words. Yet, he has sort of regressed and will refuse to speak words, but grunts. I don’t understand grunt-speak and that makes it frustrating for all involved. He also will say he is unable to do something, a simple task, that he is very well capable of. We are working on all of these current “issues” but haven’t found any magical trick just yet. If we do, I’ll be sure to share it to help keep the sanity of others out there. 😉

If anyone has anything to help us keep our sanity, please do share!!! 🙂 

Although this post has been mainly about the negative behavioral traits that B has shown us lately… he is still the biggest joy of our lives. Of course it can’t always be smiles and fun times… but a lot of times it is. A lot. 🙂




6 thoughts on “Troublesome Threes.

  1. Thanks for the article. I’m about to go read it! 🙂 Whenever I yell at Jack I ALWAYS apologize. Even if he did something to warrant it, I still apologize and tell him he needs to listen when I ask him to do something. The thing that frustrates me the most is a lot of the times when I do get upset over something he’s done (and even if I yell) he just laughs! I ask him, “why are you laughing? It’s not funny!” and he just laughs more! Oh man! There have been times where I’ve had to walk away for a minute. And other times he is acting crazy but being so cute and silly and in the midst of my frustration I just burst out laughing and we have a mini giggle session! I have heard from many that 3 is worse. For us, Jack is just so aware and understands so much. In one way it’s good because he can and does express his feelings through words and can tell us when he needs/wants something. And I can reason with him more easily. But when he doesn’t get what he wants and won’t listen…that’s when I want to pull out my hair! haha!

  2. First, thanks for the mention! And second, are these photos taken about the same time? I notice the same hat and jacket on B ;). Just goes to show how sad these kids can be one second, and so happy another! I’m glad you’re keeping the yelling/voice-raising in-check b/c I’ve already read that our tones of voices have an emotional impact on our kids — it stresses them out! I find that when I’m really trying to get J to do something, settle down, stop yelling, leave a store, whatever, I have to get down to his level. Literally on my knee to talk to him eye-to-eye. He knows I’m serious then. Also, being quietly patient. Like last night, he made me mad when he wouldn’t go upstairs for bath time. I was mad. But instead of yelling, I just walked away and sat quietly in the bathroom with the water running. Eventually, he came into the bathroom and took a nice peaceful bath. Good luck girl! They say the threes are worse, but only because the twos just last long in some kids ;). Oh, the grunting. I hear ya on that too!! Oh, the whining too!!!

  3. Oh, Mama! I feel ya! Presley is a handful! She tells me “no” all the time, doesn’t listen, is stubborn as hell etc., etc. etc. This age is tough. Presley has always been a handful though, so it’s not quite as shocking. Nothing has really worked with her. I try so hard to be patient and calm, but you know how that can go. Hopefully, she will grow out of this soon…

  4. I’m pretty sure none of my friends with kids warned me about the threes until it was too late (i.e., I had Gavin). I’m expecting it to be worse than the twos. One thing I remember reading somewhere (but cannot verify its veracity) is that kids can equate being yelled at as not being loved. So, parents have the tricky job of making sure their kids still know they are loved while also laying down the law. I always try to remind Gavin that I love him even in the midst of saying no. I’m not sure that it works (and I’m not sure that it fails to work), but I do know that I feel better saying no, knowing he knows I love him. (What kind of twisted psychology is that? ha!)

  5. lisa can attest that i’m a hardass mommy. crying doesn’t bother me in the least; when kayla cries because she’s in timeout or has had a privilege taken away after having done something bad, she can cry all she wants but she will sit in timeout and she will not get her [insert whatever toy/fav thing/privilege here] until the next day. if she continues with the bad behaviour, i tack on one more minute and take away one more privilege. there are times when it turns into a battle of wills and we both keep going. it’s those instances where i truly see my personality within her (we’re both so stubborn).

    at 4yo, exposed to all kinds of bullshit at kindergarten that she just has to try out at home, we’ve been struggling with our share of attitude and defiance. the defiance i can handle; the attitude i cannot because it’s SO FREAKING RUDE that it makes me SO MAD. but, we always follow through and kayla knows this. we always give her choices, remind her to make good choices instead of bad ones and when she’s starting to go down that path of bad decision making, we stop her and tell her that what she’s doing at that moment will not end well for anyone.

    it’s a never-ending struggle; that much i know but we also have to cherish the good things they do and tell them how good they’re being/acting/behaving/eating etc etc. i think we sometimes focus too much on the bad and don’t call enough attention to the good things they do; even the every day things like playing nicely on their own, using their manners, talking nicely etc. i use positive reinforcement more than discipline which has worked so well… until kayla started school arrrggghhh!!!

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