THE PHASE WHEN NOBODY'S ON TIME, EVERYTHING'S A MESS, AND ONE EAGER TODDLER WILL INSIST, "I CAN DO IT"
IMAGINATION IS REALITY.
Your three-year-old might suddenly become a self-proclaimed princess, pirate, or superhero. Your bedroom might turn out to be a train station, a castle, or both. But imagination may also turn scary. Fear may set in when, at a given moment, a monster can show up in the hallway, a snake can be under the bed, or a dragon can walk through the living room.
EVERYTHING CAN BE A GAME.
You motivate your preschooler best when you appeal to their desire to play. Whatever the task, turn it into a game; make it fun. When you're having fun, they'll have fun with you. And there is simply nothing more entertaining than the spontaneous laughter of a three-year-old.
THEY HAVE A NEWFOUND CURIOSITY.
Whether it's showcased in unrolling the toilet paper, pulling apart an older kid's LEGO, or the constant repetition of "Why? Why? Why?", your preschooler is eager to know how the world works. So when they ask you "Why?" for the second and third time, remember they're just looking for more of the knowledge they know you must have.
Life for your three-year-old can be confusing. It's okay to throw a ball, but not a rock. You can hug your friend, but not squeeze his neck. Your three-year-old is learning the rules for life and encountering some necessary discipline. The way you consistently meet their needs, engage their senses, and provide discipline will help them develop self-control.
THINKS LIKE AN ARTIST
You help them learn when you... ENGAGE THEIR SENSES.
WANTS TO KNOW "AM I OKAY?"
You capture their heart when you ... CULTIVATE THEIT SELF-CONTROL.
IS MOTIVATED BY SAFETY
You coach their moral abilities when you ... DISCIPLINE CONSISTENTLY.
THIS YEAR YOU WILL 'INCITE WONDER' SO YOUR CHILD WILL KNOW GOD'S LOVE AND MEET GOD'S FAMILY.
Your three-year-old has many questions. Some might be about creation, heaven, church, and the Bible ... and some of their questions might already be hard to answer. Don't panic. Just like other topics, answer faith questions as simply as possible. If they need to ask more, they will.
SAY THINGS LIKE :
"GOD MADE. GOD LOVES YOU. JESUS WANTS TO BE YOUR FRIEND FOREVER."
"HOW DID THE SAMARITAN TAKE CARE OF HIS NEIGHBOUR."
(Talk about what your preschooler learns at church.)
"ARE YOU SCARED? LET'S TALK TO GOD ABOUT IT."
"WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE."
(Repeat simple Bible verses.)
YOUR THREE-YEAR-OLD IS CHANGING
- Balances on one foot for 5-10 seconds
- Strings beads and cuts with scissors (the plastic kind)
- Walks upstairs with alternating feet
- Puts on shoes (Just don't try to correct them if they put the left on their right foot.)
- May struggle to understand "real" from "not real"
- Unable to take the point of view of others
- Lives in the present; has a limited memory of past events
- Learns by putting things into simple categories
- Increasingly easier to understand
- May struggle with some sounds: r, l, s, z, j, sh, ch, th
- Say over 1,000 words (but who's really counting anymore)
- May scream, through a tantrum, and show aggression
- Enjoys both physical humour and simple jokes
- Can express basic emotions when asked
- Can tell you what makes them happy or sad