5 Ways You Know You Have a Threenager

My boy turned 3 last Tuesday but for a couple of months now I have started seeing the Threenager appear. I can honestly say, this is the hardest stage yet. When he was a newborn, I went through the list of possible things that could be wrong when he was crying. More than likely I would hit the jackpot at some point. Then the not so terrible twos happened, they were okay too. I could use the naughty corner or the ignore tactics and it would be okay. Now we are in this Threenager stage and oh my, I am not ashamed to say sometimes I have no clue what to do with him.

5 signs you have a threenager

So how do you know you have a Threenager? Here are 5 distinctive personality traits we have experienced lately.

They suddenly develop an attitude –  They don’t just scream like a frustrated 2 year old. Oh no, they actually tell you what they think. I was happily singing in the car the other day and got told to ‘shush’ by Little Man and that he didn’t like my singing. How rude! We have also heard ‘I don’t want to’ so often I could be the one doing the screaming.

They are a fussy-not-fussy eater – ‘What did Little Man have for dinner today’ I ask at nursery. I get told all sorts of culinary delights, I get told what a good eater he is, I get told how he cleared his plate. I take him home, what will he eat? Plain pasta and cheese sandwiches!! What even is this?! He obviously likes the food he is eating at nursery but at home he looks at me like I have given him playdoh to eat.

You dread having to tell them it is bedtime – My perfect bedtime routine has become tricky to say the least. Little Man now uses every distraction technique going to avoid bedtime including some very dramatic crying. He has also become very good at studying everything in great detail in his bedroom.

They are fiercely independent – I love that Little Man is independent, don’t get me wrong but it is twenty four seven with often no rhyme or reason. I once carried Little Man across the landing into his bedroom, he got so mad at me, he walked back to the spot we had started from and walked across to his bedroom himself. Apparently I am not worthy to make that journey with him!

They call your bluff – This is the trickiest one so far for me. I used to
 be able to give Little Man one warning (‘Do you want to go in the corner?’) and it would do the trick. He would stop whatever it was he was doing. Now…now he says ‘yes Mummy’ and sits himself down. I mean, where do I go from there?!?

So there we go, a few Threenager traits. He has lots of amazing ones too and is turning into a lovely little boy but these five things do drive me mad. Anyone recognise any of these? Any advice would be greatly received!


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  • Stephanie (OurNextFewSteps)
    20/10/2015 at 14:11

    My little girl is only 5 months old but I worked in a nursery for a bit and I definitely agree they hit three and they’re suddenly more challenging! With the calling your bluff thing… if he chooses to sit in the corner carry on as if you’ve told him to even though he went willingly.. then go do something fun and point out that you’re doing it- if he want’s to then leave the step you can tell him to stay. But what am I saying…I’ll probably break when Isla is 3 and have a toddler going to bed at 3am and eating smarties for dinner LOL #twinklytuesday
    Stephanie (OurNextFewSteps) recently posted…Isla’s Five Month UpdateMy Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:31

      Haha smarties for dinner works for me 😉 xx

  • Sara | mumturnedmom
    20/10/2015 at 14:13

    Ha, I can completely relate. I have a threenager too! The independence thing is lovely, but when you have to start something again, at the beginning, because you dared to help… well, there just aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes! She definitely has the attitude, and don’t get me started on her calling my bluff! #twinklytuesday
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…The Prompt: Week 88My Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:32

      Exactly! Sometimes it takes too long for them to have a moan about it! xx

  • Verity @ Mumsnet Kent
    20/10/2015 at 14:37

    I can relate to all of these! My fournager (yes, I’m afraid it can carry on past three!) has also developed a good growling technique when unhappy!

    Like you said though, along with all the challenging behaviours he is growing up into a lovely little boy and I have to just remember how young and little he is when he’s in the middle of a strop!

    The ‘this too shall pass’ mantra and chocolate digestives (for me) also help!
    Verity @ Mumsnet Kent recently posted…Soothed by Humphrey Berney’s Slumberland *Competition*My Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:32

      Oohh nooo fournager?!?!?!?!?!? xx

  • Miranda
    20/10/2015 at 15:33

    Wow! Haha I recognize some of these. Especially the distractions at bedtimes. My three year old will come out of her room, very quietly, and when we finally see her standing in the hallway give us a huge smile and say she just wanted some cuddles. We know it is a ploy to stay up later, but how can you resist that???
    Miranda recently posted…Our Homeschool Week–10/12 to 10/16My Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:33

      Ahh yes Sam now asks me to lie in his bed for a bit…all a ploy to stay awake longer but how can I resist? xx

  • mummyofboygirltwins
    20/10/2015 at 15:36

    Spot on!!! Exactly the same here – I have two of them! 😉 Love this. Lottie and Harry argue with me over everything and harry has started having a right attitude! Where did those little babies go hey?? Ha ha ha 😉

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:33

      I know, they aren’t little babies anymore!! The attitude is frightening hehe xx

  • Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar
    20/10/2015 at 23:27

    Oh my, yes! All of this! I personally don’t know if I will survive the threenage years, lol! Visiting from #TwinklyTuesday.

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:34

      Nor me, I am not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! 😉 x

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)
    23/10/2015 at 22:10

    Arrrrgh…yes! I am so with you on this one. From the moment Zach turned three almost a month ago, he changed instantly! We never really had the terrible twos but hell we have a threenager. He is impossible sometimes and that anger scream. What the heck! He also told me to stop singing in the car earlier on! This is the hardest stage so far! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
    Lisa (mummascribbles) recently posted…Turning 33 and having an identity crisisMy Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:36

      Yep the hardest stage!! I always thought terrible twos were the worst but they were a breeze compared to this! xx

  • Pickinguptoys
    24/10/2015 at 19:14

    Oh my gosh – yes to all of these!I totally have a threenager too.She’s so independent it’s not funny sometimes lol x #justanotherlinky
    Pickinguptoys recently posted…Throwback Thursday – 22nd OctoberMy Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 19:36

      Yes the funniness wares off 😉 xx

  • Maddy at The Speed Bump
    24/10/2015 at 19:53

    Oh goodness, my little one is 18 months old and chock full of attitude and sass right now – I’m DREADING the threenager stage, she’s going to be a total little Madam! I hope the threenager stage passes soon for you!
    Maddy at The Speed Bump recently posted…Moments that melt my heart…My Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      24/10/2015 at 20:33

      Maybe she is getting out of the way early?! xx

  • Charlotte
    24/10/2015 at 22:11

    HAHA I have never heard of a “threenager” but I definitely have one – what did you eat today at nursery? fruit, vegetables, healthy, tasty food… gets home: only ever wants fish fingers 0_0 !! great post – so true
    Love Charlotte #justanotherlinky

    • Mummy in Training
      28/10/2015 at 08:18

      It’s a nightmare isn’t it? I guess because their friends are eating it, they will! xx

  • Smallstuffandme
    25/10/2015 at 12:42

    This is spot on! My daughter turned 3 almost 2 weeks ago and this all sounds very familiar, send any advice my way too please!

    • Mummy in Training
      28/10/2015 at 08:18

      I haven’t advice but I feel your pain 😉 xx

  • Beth
    29/10/2015 at 17:28

    Can totally relate to all of these! I have a 3 year old…. but I also have a 5 (nearly 6) year old and she can be worse with her attitude!
    Beth recently posted…Blogger, Plumber, Teacher, Engineer, We Are Just HumanMy Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      01/11/2015 at 15:19

      Eek so there’s worse to come?! xx

  • Something Crunchy Mummy
    30/10/2015 at 09:50

    Love this and it’s all so true!! Thanks for linking up to #justsnotherlinky xx
    Something Crunchy Mummy recently posted…Our Day At PuzzlewoodMy Profile

    • Mummy in Training
      01/11/2015 at 15:21

      Pleasure lovely xx


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I’m Rachel, a 30 something Mum to 6 year old Little Man & 2 year old twin girls (one with us & one in the sky).

I’m an anxiety sufferer, list writer and secret chocolate eater.

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