Friday, April 17, 2009

3 as I see it

I had a revelation today about Princess and her state of mind and development. Just due to the general nature of things that have gone on with her, I have read a lot about the age 3 and what is proper development for that particular age, from a book my pediatrician recommended, "Your 3 Year Old: Friend or Enemy" by Ames & Ilg to generalities on BabyCenter. What I found out is that 3 year olds often go through a period of a return to babyhood followed by a period of strong willed outbursts. It is perfectly normal for a 3 year old not to have the strong-willed outbursts, but it is also perfectly natural for particularly strong children to have this period of development. During this phase of babyhood, kids often regress in their potty training behaviors and begin to pee and poop in their pants, stop wanting to dress themselves, and generally stop complying with activities that they have learned to do but could not do in babyhood. Usually the baby phase is a state of equilibrium and happiness, while 3 1/2, the tough phase, is a state of disequilibrium and testing boundaries.

So here's 3 as I see it for Princess. She has had no clearly defined baby phase or strong-willed phase. They have been intermingled, thus a lot of disequilibrium and testing. Three as I see it is like 12 or 13 is to adolescence. She is insecure and uncertain of wanting to move ahead as a kid. She's hoping she can go back to babyhood. This has been very tough for me to watch, because my Princess, until now, has been mostly confident of herself and her abilities. All of the sudden she needs me to take care of her again, and that's okay, but until I had this revelation, it did not seem okay. It was stressful and worrisome, not to mention my parenting confidence went way down. Growing up is hard to do! So if you have a 3 year old and he or she seems more distant than before, and he or she has started regressing or needing more attention, it is normal AND hang in there, baby him or her while you can, because they grow up fast, AND things WILL change.

Okay, so maybe this post is just a pep talk for myself...

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