Trying Three’s

   This post 2 for the day, make sure you don’t miss post one:

Orange Cream Cheese Brownies.  YUM!

  You know how people always talk about the Terrible Two’s? 

 Yeah, our kids skip that and save it all up for the “TRYING THREE’S”.

  The sweet angelic babies of days gone by, take a temporary leave of absence. 

And in their place?


These volatile little people that get set off at the TEENIEST thing!

  We have a method we use for these Trying Three’s called:

“You Have 2 Choices”. 

(Brilliant name, I know.)


   This allows our 3 year olds to feel like they have a bit of say in their out of control worlds, while still allowing us, ultimate control.    {Muahaha MUAHAHAHA!}

   No really, all laughing aside, I am dead serious about this, every single blessed one of our kids has gone through this stage and it’s tough people.  It makes me weary just writing about it. 

“Avery Lyn! You have 2 choices…..”


“(Pointing to index finger) You may stop crying and play with us.  OR (pointing to middle finger) you may continue this crying fit in your room alone. Which do you choose?”

This is a tough decision…….



  But, they tend to pick number one and then proceed to shut it off. 


  On the occasion that they cannot get it under control, they are then removed to their room where they sit on their “Boo-Hoo Bed” until they are ready to turn off the water works and be happy.

  This has worked very, very well for us!  And hey, it works for clothing too!
“Avery, do you want to wear your black leggings or pink leggings with your sweatshirt today?” 

  She thinks she is choosing for herself, but she is just safely choosing within the boundaries we have set up for her.   It’s worked like a charm around here!

Now someone, PLEASE tell me what to do about FOUR:

Unnecessarily under
Routine circumstances.


So many tears.  And sniffles.  And the blubbering {sigh}, oh the blubbering.  (This too, is something big sis went through at age 4……)  

  Well, that’s it from here! Happy day to you and yours, I’m off to go see what the caterwauling is about this time………

  I’ve got a 3 and 4 year old, at this point, it could be ANYTHING!!!!  🙂


14 thoughts on “Trying Three’s

  1. YIKES! Good thing you’re such a good mama and have a great concept about discipline. I think it’s awesome how you give your kids choices! This too shall pass…not soon enough, yes, but soon. One day at a time!

  2. LOVE IT! This absolutely works in our home too. I admit though, I do feel sheepish {okay, so maybe a mastermind} and my hubby and I have a little giggle when he hears me, “Would you like three carrot sticks or twelve carrot sticks with your lunch? Your choice, sweetie.” ….our four year old twins get a sense of ownership from these choices…. while Mom and Dad get exactly what we want! {insert evil laugh from above} I feel your pain.

  3. Yeah, I thought that we had skipped the terrible twos with our Gavin – but it turns out, it’s getting worse as he approaches 3!! We also use 2 choices – and it does generally work brilliantly! And, it lowers my stress level when he’s having his screaming kicking fit in his bedroom with the door closed than right in front of me. Good to know I’m not alone….

    You speak to my heart once again Tonya Ferguson. :0) Thanks!

  4. Fours were hard at our house, I remember. Seems as though those little mouths got awfully sassy. But one of my worst years was when I had one in Kindergarten and one in 1st grade…..very, very tired children at the end of the day. It will pass and even though the days can seem very long, the years do melt away. We just went to a party at our 16 month old grandson’s daycare. His mom is at work so we got the privilege…how sweet all those babies are. And he said ‘grandma” as clear as day. Yay. Yesterday, I was driving with him and stopped kind of suddently for a light and I hear from the back seat….Whoa! Really, baby? Has someone told you about my driving? Blessings and hugs to all those young moms and sweet children today

  5. Love it! Bless you for writing so openly and honesty about how you guys “do” parenting. It’s a big encouragement ot me (as a hopefully future mama) and I’m just letting the wisdom sink in.

    • Its so nice to learn from others mistakes, er, trials? 🙂 You will be a great momma! And, a word to the wise: just keep cooking exactly as you do, and your child will have such a nice range of tastes! We are firm believers in “picky eaters are made, not born” and require our kiddos to eat whatever is served. (At very least a “No Thank You bite” of everything.) No short order cooks around these parts!

  6. And what do you do if your 3 year old WILL.NOTstay in that boo hoo bed?? Ive tried everything, including choices but when it gets bad and I tell him to go in his room, he flat our refuses to stay in there and I end up VERY frustrated. I feel like I’ve tried everything!
    Any one have any advice?

    • That is soooo frustrating!!!!! For us, that is the part where we’d go ahead and spank for disobedience and then still require them to sit on the bed until they were ready to change their attitude. As parents, our word HAS to be “gold”. It has to be enough to keep them in that bed, or God forbid, the first time obedience that saves their lives as we yell “Stop!” and they freeze rather than running out into the road. Our favorite saying around here is “Slow Obedience is NO obedience!” Here is post 1 of a 3 part series I did on discipline, maybe it’ll give you some ideas?! Read all 3 if you have time… Hugs! T

  7. I found your blog around the fourth of July and have enjoyed reading it almost daily since. As a part-time nanny for 3 kids ages 2, 3.5 and 5 (closer to 2.5, 4, and 5.5) who do not have a set schedule when mom’s home with them and free reign of all 3 levels of the house though they’re supposed to stay out of the parents room, office, weight room and furnace room, your stories are encouraging. Also, many of your strategies are similar to mine so have given me confidence to continue helping them grow in the I naturally teach. Thank you so much for sharing a snapshot into the life of you and your family. Hopefully, reading your stories will help me miss the kids less in 4 working days when I leave them 😦 I’ll be able to try your recipes now though 🙂

    • Wait 4 days until you are done for good, or 4 days a week you don’t get to see them?! I was a nanny! 5 kids. It was sooo good for me in preparation for my life now as a mommy. I hope that my girls have the opportunity to do this as well. I learned what worked, what didn’t work, what I liked, what I didn’t…..all while learning to grocery shop with kids, make supper and help with homework at the same time. I loved those kids like I imagined I would love my own one day! Thanks for the comment, I LOVE to hear from readers! 🙂 Hugs, T

      • Since January it’s been 4-5 days most weeks I don’t get to see them. I’ve been living with my parents just over an hour away the days not with the family. The schedule has been too part-time and inconsistent so now I am done for good in 3 days 😦 Going to miss them so much, already do after 2 days and very thankful for the experience as preparation for my own kids someday like you said. I have so much love for them and parents seem to have more and God has even more! Wow. So glad you took the time to reply. Hugs

      • What will you do now? Have you thought about Nannies Plus or one of those upper class services that place nannies with families. You will always have a special relationship with those babies. I STILL feel that way about the 5 I cared for, even though I have my own. 🙂

  8. First….Avery is simply irresistable….I am NOT sure what you’re talking about?!?:) LOL. And second….Ty is just keeping you on your toes. Hang in there…you will blink and they will be 10 and 11!!!!!!

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

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