Wow, amazing how 13 is so very similar to 3 1/2 years old!
I was thinking about this the other day and finally got time to go and look it up for you!
Everyone talks about “The Terrible Twos” but hold on to your pants folks because if you haven’t had a 3 1/2 year old, you haven’t seen anything yet!
I remember when my oldest (now known as the easy child) was 3.5 years old. He was, at that time, an only child and being the oldest we had nothing to compare to.
I used to belong to an online parenting group and I remember wailing about his behavior, trying to figure out what the heck had happened. Hadn’t I survived parenting a 2 year old? Hadn’t the “Terrible Twos” already gone by and left us all still standing? Then someone gave me this little bit of information and while it did nothing to change the behavior, I’ve often found that understanding it is half the battle so if you are in the throws of the 3 1/2 year old stage, or coming up on it – book mark this page or print it or something – it may be the only thing that stands between you and sanity!
This is a quote by Author Louise Bates Ames from the book “Your Three Year Old – Friend or Enemy”
In fact, Three is a highly “we” age. The child likes to say “let’s,” as “let’s go for a walk, shall we?” The sense of togetherness or “we-ness” seems to make him depend on the adult and makes him lean on him or her, though he also enjoys the sense of sharing. The very child who has been so independent earlier may now ask his mother: “Help me,” “show me.”
Three is a conforming age. Three and a half is just the opposite. Refusing to obey is perhaps the key aspect of this turbulent, troubled period in the life of the young child. It sometimes seems to his mother that his main concern is to strengthen his will, and he strengthens this will by going against whatever is demanded of him by that still most important person in his life, his mother.
Many a mother discovers that even the simplest event or occasion can elicit total rebellion. Dressing, eating, going to the bathroom, getting up, going to bed – what ever the routine, it can be the scene and setting for an all-out, no-holds-barred fight. Techniques and tricks formerly useful can no longer be guaranteed to work. The mother’s equally resistant response may be tempered by knowing that soon, when he is Four, her child will have developed a self concept strong enough so that he can sometimes conform, and also that he will sometimes enjoy going out of bounds and saying and doing things he knows full well will not be permitted. But even when out of bounds at Four, he will usually be much less difficult to manage then now, at Three and a half.