The change from two to three can be like the rising of the sun.
The “no, no, no” combativeness of the two year old has been replaced with an obedient little angel. What happened?
It would be easy to write the change off to growing up, but it is a little deeper than that and does deserve a bit of an explanation.
By three, kids realize that there are people in the world who are just as important as themselves and they want to work to make them happy.
Look at it this way – two recognizes the emotions of others, three wants to be involved with those emotions. It is really as simple as that.
Now the expressions of that involvement are vast and varied. It can be expressed in a new adherence to following orders so that “mommy will be happy.” Toddlers are going to be much easier to live with if you give them many opportunities to please you throughout the day.
Three year olds are able to explore the concept of self satisfaction. They will be pleased with their own accomplishments and expect you to support them in those accomplishments.
Never fail to do so. Self assuredness and self worth are being formed right in front of your eyes. Don’t fail to recognize it and be ready to participate.
Three year olds are more obedient. There will be fewer “no” answers, and more “yes” answers. Agreements are going to be easier to achieve. Not that there won’t be disagreements, but you won’t meet the same stubborn resistance you saw at two. [Stubborn kid]
Two year olds are marked by a self centered agenda — no one or nothing is as important as they are. Three year olds have expanded outward and like what they found. They consider the needs of others and will work to fulfill them, in their three year old capacity, of course.
As a parent, you should use these new found desires. Explain house rules and the consequences of not following them. This is the beginning of internalizing your values as a parent and as a family. Three year olds can begin to understand why things are and why they should be.
This is not just happening; it is a process and as a parent you should welcome, enjoy, and use to help your child grow into the next phase of child development.