Ask Dr. Donna: The Challenges of a THREEnager

January 18, 2022

Dear Dr. Donna,

My boy has just entered his threenager (three-year-old but acts like a teenager) year, and it is showing. He is testing every boundary he can."

Your newly turned "threen" is doing exactly what is expected at this age — dealing with developmental issues involving autonomy and independence, while in the midst of having lots of big emotions that can swing wildly. Like, say, being gleeful when getting a big cookie, only to dissolve into tears when it’s gotten smaller after having taken a bite or two. With the many “No, Mine” and “Me Do It” battles, by day’s end it can feel like you are truly dealing with an obstreperous teen.

Navigating the emotional roller coaster of a Three year old can be quite a ride.  So what to do in helping your "threenager" successfully move through this important developmental stage in becoming an autonomous self? 

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