Learning To Be Good At Three

Having fought the battle for independence at two, three year olds change from rebels to joiners, they have broken away, and now they are more willing to cooperate.

A child’s mental development at this age has helped her to build ideas of an ordered, predictable world, and she is usually uncomfortable when someone tries to change the routines she has come to accept. Three year olds obey rules more or less by rote and even take pleasure and pride in following them.

There will still be plenty of times when you and your child will have conflicts. But in general three year old children are more cooperative and easier to manage.

At this age language development has given rise to a new spirit of cooperation. Now your child is better in understanding your explanation of right or wrong and is more responsive to the words. Now your words have much greater impact than before. Sometimes your child may fail in following your orders merely because they have interpreted them differently from what you intended.

Growth in language skills also enables your child to internalize her parent’s admonitions. Now she is becoming adept at putting social behaviors into good and bad categories. Now your child can well understand that hitting and stealing are bad whereas sharing and picking up toys are good.

With her expanding power of reasoning and understanding, she does not need to wait and see which action gets punished or rewarded before applying the appropriate moral label.

When your child is three years, she has a desire to please others. You should make use of this opportunity in developing habits of helping around the house and for teaching her simple table manners and other courtesies. When your child works around the house, she is deepening her identification with her parents and her receptivity to their values.

But all the while when you are appreciating and building on, you need to keep in mind that she is still socially and emotionally immature. They have little ability to see things from others point of view. This is the age when your child gets frustrated or lose control or may feel jealous and start behaving aggressively. She will probably come out of them sooner than she did at two.

geeta krishnan