It’s fantastic to think you survived the terrible two’s, but sadly for most parents toddler tantrums can still happen frequently for a few more years yet! The good news is that now your toddler is three (yes THREE – can you believe it?) he can understand complex situations, so explaining to him what he is doing wrong when he is being naughty will be easier as his levels of understanding grow. Of course it doesn’t mean he’ll be less naughty, but it does mean he may be more able to learn from his mistakes…
With your little ones new level of communication comes new ideas about independence. Instead of relying on you to do everything for him, your toddler may start saying, ‘no mummy, I want to do it on my own.’ This is all well and good, but things like brushing his teeth and bottom wiping still need to be supervised until you are sure he is able to do it properly. How well a three-year-old speaks can vary from toddler to toddler so don’t panic if your child isn’t speaking as much as another child you know of the same age. Girls usually speak earlier than boys and have a bigger vocabulary in the early years (but don’t worry, boys catch up eventually).
Reading to your child at bedtime can help in many ways; first to settle them down for bed as it is built into their routine. Secondly it helps strengthen your relationship with your child as you spend quiet time together and thirdly, it help to teach your child basic speech skills. Children learn many things through books, but a three year old will start to learn colours, sounds, the names of animals and the sounds they make, the alphabet and rhymes.
Reading to your child can help to teach them to settle down and listen to a story without talking. This is quite hard for an energetic three-year-old to do, but the more you read the more they’ll get used to it. You will notice over time, that her attention levels will improve and instead of getting bored by page two, they are listening intently to what you are saying. If they do get bored quickly when you are reading to them, try reading short poems designed for kids. Spike Milligan’s nonsense poems are short and funny and can help to develop your child’s imagination.