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Raising thrilling three year olds

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Three is usually a time of endless curiosity, high imagination and huge learning. Get ready to talk as a typical 3 year old’s vocabulary expands to over 1,000 words, and begins to include sentences that are not becoming very audible. 
Here are some other practical ideas:

1. Get ready for imaginary friends

You may find that your child asks you to set a seat aside at mealtime for an imaginary friend. Kids with imaginary friends are more likely to grow up to be creative, cooperative, sociable, independent, and happy. 

2. Look for their lack social filters….but it’s amusing!


Your three year olds’ greater exposure to others and lack of social filters inevitably means one thing – embarrassment for parents. Don’t be surprised to hear you child shout out in a supermarket, “Why’s that lady got blue hair?” 

3. Screen the screens

Your three-year-old will, in all likelihood, become very interested in screens including the television, computer and mobile devices. They all have a place, but need to be used in moderation and shouldn’t replace active play.

4. Let them learn through play 

This age group often work out complicated emotions through their play with dolls, blocks and playthings. After a visit to the doctor your child might line up all her teddy bears for shots. Your child is assimilating the new experience, and play is a safe way to do so. It might help them handle any fears or apprehension so they feel more in control of the situation.

5. Model social scripts…..and manners

While your three year old is becoming more social take the effort to develop their manners. Model social scripts for your child. As this is a very social age, spend the time teaching and reinforcing good manners when he goes visiting friends and relatives. 

6. There’s a monster under the bed

Vivid imaginations and greater propensity for independence where they spend time away from you can lead to an increase in fears. Help your child cope and offer a practical solution such as a night-light or a special back rub to calm them.

7. Win the bedtime battles

Bedtime is a common battleground between parents and many three year olds. Be matter-of-fact and reassuring, stick to a routine and help your three year old fall asleep alone.

8. Help them bond to their family 

Involve your three year old in family traditions and rituals. ‘Can you help me prepare the table for dinner.’ 

9. Help them handle their frustrations

The struggle for independence continues for three year olds as their physical and verbal skills often don’t match their determination to ‘do it myself’. 

10. Start good habits now

This is an age of forming habits that stick. To make life easier down the track consider adding the following habits to your child’s repertoire – helping you every day, packing toys away, bed-time routine, staying in bed until a set time each morning. 

11.Stay with me

It’s common for three year olds to resist being left by parents, when only a few months ago they were happy to be left with a trusted friend or relative. Let them know they will be safe and reassure them that you’ll be back. Usually they settle very soon after you’ve made a quick exit.

12. Look after yourself

If you haven’t done so already make sure you have some regular time away from your three year old to recharge and refresh so he gets the best of you when you are with him. 

For more great tips to raise three year olds, and kids at each visit Parentingideas Club. The first 14 days are FREE.

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