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Spending time with your child at age 3, compared to age 2

(27 Posts)
Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 08:26:27

How did you find spending time with your child at age 3, compared to age 2?

I have a 2 year old, love her to the end of the earth but I do find the meltdowns and fact I can’t take my eyes of her for 1 minute exhausting and I live in constant fear of her hurting herself as her favourite thing to do is tear around the house at the speed of light banging and crashing into everything and anything!

Now I know all stages will have challenges, I’m not totally naive.

But did you find age 3, 4 any easier??

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Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 09:26:56


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LittleOverwhelmed Sun 22-Nov-20 09:48:04


All ages have their own challenges, but the toddler years are very intense (they need a lot of attention - or to keep them safe etc as well as entertained).

Is she destructive in her crashing around? Does she do it outside the home?

Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 09:50:53

I’d say excitable rather than destructive.
She does like to throw sofa cushions etc around and build dens it towers with them but that doesn’t bother me.

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Gunpowder Sun 22-Nov-20 10:03:07

They definitely chill out physically at three compared to two. They can concentrate on activities for longer periods of time and they understand a bit more about danger. They are great fun and you can have proper conversations. I think they become more argumentative though and unfortunately you often lose the midday nap!

Four is a really great age too. I love the preschool years.

Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 10:09:22

Already lost the nap!

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alltalknobaby Sun 22-Nov-20 10:18:41

3 is 100x more enjoyable than 2 IMO. As PP said they are able to concentrate on things better and will (sometimes) listen to instructions.

You can try replacing the nap with "quiet play time" although it might be a challenge at 2. Set a timer and ask them to play quietly by themselves for 5 minutes - build up to an hour eventually. Give them options that you know they can do alone - fuzzy felt, playdoh, colouring, looking at books, etc. DD is 3.10 and does this for an hour after lunch every day while I sort washing upstairs.

Buzlightyear1 Sun 22-Nov-20 10:27:18

My little one will be 4 in January. He is so much easier at 2 he was constantly attached to me. Now he loves time playing together but at the same time will go off and play by himself for a bit. He also talks non stop 😂 but it’s so much better as he doesn’t have the melt downs as we can communicate better.

Pepperwand Sun 22-Nov-20 10:34:40

My DC is 3.5, it is much, much easier than having a toddler. As a pp said all ages have different challenges but it's less frantic than the toddler stage.

We replaced the afternoon nap with sitting on the sofa under a blanket and watching a film at that time.

BiblioX Sun 22-Nov-20 11:40:48

Three onwards is a doddle compared to beforehand! Yes you get days of them whining etc but you. An hold proper conversations and do more. This weekend my 3.5 year old has collected stones from the beach to paint flowers on and arranged them in the garden, sat doing jigsaws at the dining table with me for an hour, helped me bake rock cakes, voluntarily tidied up (!?!), spent ages cutting out pretend food for her dolls and farm animals out of bits of recycling, fed the animals all their meals and washed up their bowls (her responsibility each day), played a complicated game of”Spinning Pegasus” she made up, watched an entire film with me...yes okay there’s been cross patches but it’s so much easier than before her 3rd birthday. Toilet-trained night and day, using cutlery well, an awareness of road safety/sharing etc starts making life so much calmer.

Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 12:34:12

Thanks everyone you are making me feel better!
I’m fed up with some of my friends who are all “it never gets easier, just different”.

I mean I know there will always be challenges (my friend with an 8 year old dd is starting to have to deal with friendship problems & emotional issues....) but I can’t wait to be able to walk down a road without fear of her jumping in front of a car and having a meltdown when I ask her to hold my hand.
Also fed up with most days not actually getting dressed in anything more than throwing on joggers and a hoody because she doesn’t like coming upstairs with me, grabs and ruins make up and I can’t even contemplate using hair straighteners with her around.

Love her to bits but I definitely feel like I’ve lost myself! I did notice my friend with a 7 year old has started looking rather fabulous over the last couple of years or so, just wearing nice clothes, make up and maybe even jewellery.

I don’t want to wish her toddlerhood away but I do find it tough.

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GiveMeAllTheGin8 Sun 22-Nov-20 12:40:48

2 year olds are a pain . My 2 year old is a non stop tornado. She’s been talking fluently since before she turned 2 but that doesn’t stop the tantrums confused

I have a 7 year old and it’s so much easier with her . I think it started getting easier when she turned 4. They can play by themselves which is a bonus !

It doesn’t help at the moment that there’s no toddler groups or play centers open and we can’t see anyone sad

Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 16:56:48

Yes the lack of organised activities is not helping! Sometimes it’s nice to have an hour or two of not having to think about what to do!

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Raindropsonrosesand Sun 22-Nov-20 17:16:29

Your friends who say it doesn't get easier have just forgotten what it was like grin

They are lovely and gorgeous at every age (I actually have a real soft-spot for squishy, funny, determined little 2yos) but they definitely get easier each year!

Stopitwiththefireworks Sun 22-Nov-20 17:37:10

@Raindropsonrosesand that is what I need to hear grin

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Neolara Sun 22-Nov-20 17:50:14

Three year olds are hilarious. They regularly say completely bonkers stuff. They will probably also be potty trained (hurray!) and you may be able to drop the buggy which can make life a lot easier. They also be coming out of the completely irrational / tantrum stage, which is also a huge relief.

Clockstop Sun 22-Nov-20 17:53:21

I loved 3. Such a great age, so much learning to be done, so much curiosity, but able to take directions a lot better.

Stopitwiththefireworks Mon 23-Nov-20 10:45:37

Thank you everyone flowers

I don’t actually mind nappies - it’s the tantrums I could live without!

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riddles26 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:08:37

I have a 2 year old and just turned 4 year old.

You're friends are right in that it has new challenges but some of the things I love about my eldest over the past year - she is able to articulate what she wants, she holds focus for a decent period of time to do activities together - we do cooking, baking, painting, lot of crafts, stitching, colouring etc, we have lovely conversations when we go for walks together, enjoys proper movies and tv, understands basic safety so knows when she needs to hold hands, can be watched from a distance at the park. The comments she comes out with are so entertaining too, I often wonder what nursery know about home!
However, the tantrums can be insane and I find her temperament so much harder than ever before. The smallest thing can set her off and it is so difficult to calm her down without losing my patience.

2 year old is easier where tantrums are concerned (but I could have been lucky with terrible twos) but the need for constant supervision is beyond exhausting. I find activities so much more exhausting with the endless mess for a grand total of 30 seconds of fun before he loses interest. As others have said, it doesnt help that so many places are closed too

absolutehush Mon 23-Nov-20 11:46:34

Oh I needed this thread. My 19 month old is relentless! Almost to the point that I have been worried about ADHD but a) she's still tiny and b) I have no scope for comparison

I enjoy her but the wilfulness and attention span (or lack) is too much sometimes

Rosesandchocolates Mon 23-Nov-20 12:34:47

Reading with interest as I feel your pain! We are moving soon and I’m so worried about making the house DD proof.

She was an awful baby, which in a way we are lucky because anything was better after that and it built lots of resilience for the 2’s. smile

I’m looking forward to being able to do more activities like art and crafts when she’s older but at the same time I kind of love some of the cute/ annoying two year old shenanigans (as much as it is relentless sometimes).

workingfortheclampdown Mon 23-Nov-20 12:43:19

It's completely different once they start being chatty then they never shut up - it's company, albeit with you still doing things for them. Much more fun for you, and don't underestimate the impact of them managing toilet visits and short walks on their own - so much less hard work and more time to enjoy doing things together.

Stopitwiththefireworks Mon 23-Nov-20 18:43:06

@Rosesandchocolates we moved last year to a really really old house that’s not child friendly at all - think a multi level garden with loads of big stone steps, solid hard floors inside, old fashioned glass doors that we’ve had to nail wooden boards over ....we’re currently trying to line up builders for the renovation but Covid has slowed things down

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Ratatcat Mon 23-Nov-20 20:25:22

I’ve got a 20m old and a 4yo. With my eldest I really noticed that she became much more civilised in 6month chunks. I remember feeling like 21/2 was a massive marker re language and understanding and by 3 she was quite sensible. But, I’d say her emotions have intensified. At 3 we had door slamming, emotional outputs etc. She became far more complex. While at 2 she’d strop because she didn’t want to sit in her high chair, at 3 it was because her friend couldn’t come round or she was sad and didn’t understand why. Now at 4 she can be genuinely good company. It’s a pleasure to take her to a cafe for example rather than the unpredictable mess that the younger one could be. Over half term the two of us went to the pub for lunch and she was impeccably behaved. She is a whirlwind still but that is personality not age.

I sometimes find myself wishing the baby years away for my youngest and then I feel bad. She is lovely but very stubborn. She has massive strops if she can’t do something but won’t let me help her at all.

EssentialHummus Mon 23-Nov-20 20:33:53

3.2 year old here and it's very different to a year ago. She can watch TV for longer (which sounds ridiculous but she has an attention span and can actually enjoy a programme rather than spacing out in front of it), can go for a long-ish walk/scoot without a buggy, understands how to go play by herself for a bit (not foolproof but she usually will for anywhere up to 30 min), can understand "first we'll do this, then we'll do that" which has cut the meltdowns right back, understands that good behaviour leads to rewards, heart-meltingly affectionate and constantly wants to shower me with kisses.

Honestly, I was ambivalent about having another one a year ago. Now it's all systems go grin.

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