Why I finally understand the term ‘threenager’

Why I finally understand the term ‘threenager’

Every stage of parenting a small child comes with it’s own challenges doesn’t it? There’s the sleep deprivation and the general what the hell do I  do moments during the newborn days, the mission to keep your baby safe from table corners and stairs as they become mobile and, of course, there are the terrible twos.

It is no secret to you if you’re a regular reader that Leo was not the best behaved 2 year old, terrible doesn’t even come close when describing some of his tantrums. There were times where his bad behaviour left me questioning my abilities as a mother and there were also the times where I just simply couldn’t cope. I was mostly  prepared to spend those 12 months from age 2 to 3 navigating my way from one toddler breakdown to another, everyone loves to harp on about the terrible twos after all don’t they? What I wasn’t quite so prepared for was what was to come next, the threenager.  

Before Leo hit 3 I often wondered what everyone was on about, why are people comparing their 3 year olds to teenagers, surely there are no similarities there? I didn’t get it back then, but now I do. I totally get it.

Why I finally understand the term ‘threenager’.

Teenagers and 3 year olds both..love the word no – You think your toddler says no a lot? Wait until they’re 3. When a 2 year old says no usually with a bit of hard work and distraction you can get them to do what you’ve asked. Asking a 3 year to turn off Paw Patrol and tidy his toys up will be met with the same response as asking your teenage son for a cuddle in front of his mates. Not. Gunna. Happen.

Teenagers and 3 year olds both..can say hurtful things  – So I knew there would come a day when Leo told me he didn’t like me/hate me, it’s just one of those things. I wasn’t expecting it to happen when he was only 3 though over something as trivial as a biscuit. I thought the ‘h’ bomb would have been saved for his teens when I’ve told him he can’t stay out late or confiscated his *insert name of futuristic games console here* and I’ve, like, totally ruined his life.

Teenagers and 3 year olds both..have attitude problems – Raging hormones are ultimately the cause of diva-esque behaviour in teenagers but what’s my 3 year olds excuse? Seriously, my boy has such a bad attitude sometimes. He’s bossy, grumpy, angry for no reason and whingey all rolled in to one. Ask him to do something and you’re met with ‘I’m not doing that mummy, you have to now’.  I ask him to listen to me and he shouts back ‘No, you listen to  me!’. ‘I will not do that’, ‘Mummy go awaaay’ and ‘You’re a silly mummy, I don’t like you’ – all phrases I hear on a regular basis.

Teenagers and 3 year olds are..lazy – We can all remember being nagged by our parents as teens to get out of bed or to get out of the house for a family trip on the weekends, right? Well having a threenager is just like that, but worse because now you’re the one doing the nagging. Leaving the house with Leo takes hours, not because it’s hard work getting his coat or whatever on but because he simply doesn’t want to leave his beloved toys (phone/x box in the future) or shift his bum off the sofa. I thought 3 year olds where supposed to love exploring the world, not sitting around the house in their pants?

Teenagers and 3 year olds both..think they are the centre of the universe – Just like a 16 year believes the whole world revolves around them and there are no greater problems in the world than their own, a 3 year old also has this same kind of outlook on life. I could be dealing with a poo explosion from the baby, be busting for a wee myself and have a killer headache but none of that matters because Leo has smashed his Lego house and it must be fixed right this second. 


See, 3 year olds and teenagers actually do have a lot in common. It’s not all bad though, at 3 Leo is the most loving, funny, imaginative and kind little boy, he just so happens to channel his inner 13 year old quite a lot too that’s all!

Do you have a 3 year old too? Does yours have teenage tendencies as well? Are there any similarities I’ve missed out? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Claire
    January 12, 2017 / 8:25 am

    I have a threenager in the making, two years to go! Leo is gorgeous though, 85 makes it hard to be annoyed when they’re so cute doesn’t it?! #ablogginggoodtime
    Claire recently posted…My ‘new’ jobMy Profile

  2. Helen
    January 12, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Oo gosh! My daughter is almost 2 years old and I’m genuinely scared about what’s to come. All is good at the moment, despite the odd tantrum, but that probably means it all to come very soon. #ablogginggoodtime

    Helen x


  3. January 12, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    I hate to say it but I think they get worse when they hit 4! My son turned 4 in Nov and theres a definite increase in bad attitude and tantrums, seems quite common amongst our friends too. it takes forever to get anywhere in the mornings, I have to ask him about 50 million times “put your pants on! stop doing the willy dance! shoes on now!” #ablogginggoodtime
    Elaine @ Entertaining Elliot recently posted…The Annoying Things People Say & Do When You’re Pregnant!My Profile

  4. January 12, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    My daughter was a threenager! One day I put her on the naughty step and saidif she misbehaved anymore I’d take away *whatever thing she really liked then* she replied
    “Will I still have my food?”
    “Will I still have water?”
    “That’s OK then”

    I am dreading the actual teenage years #ablogginggoodtime

  5. January 12, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Currently raising a two year old and a four year old so not living the threenager dream right now but we survived it! Thank God because it’s just around the corner again! aargh!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 52My Profile

  6. January 12, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Oh I can definitely relate to this post! My eldest is 3 and a half and definitely smack bang in the middle of her threenage year! I think it has something to do with the ability to communicate more so they just literally say and do whatever they feel at the time. Whether it being feeling you to ‘stop talking nonsense mummy’ or ‘Idon’t want to eat on the table that’s silly’ there’s always something she says that has me dreading her teenage years!

    Amina xx | http://www.AliandHEr.com #ablogginggoodtime

  7. January 13, 2017 / 7:11 am

    Hahahaha! 3rd birthday in March and we’re already here! Your post really did make me laugh

  8. Becki Parsons
    January 14, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    We’re a month off 3 and I’m dreading it! X is pretty good with his talking so I thought we might avoid a lot of the tantrums but clearly I was deluding myself. Now he just screaming things like “You’re spoiling my fun!” at the top of his lungs, and tells me to “Chill out Mum” whenever I ask him to tidy up… #fortheloveofBLOG
    Becki Parsons recently posted…parkrun Diaries | Injured!My Profile

  9. January 14, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Yep – you’ve gotta love a ‘threenager’ – my boy only grew out of it when he hit 5 ish and then can still return to these ways when he’s tired!

  10. January 16, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Oh goodness I will have a three year old in august and I am scared. She defies me now so I can buy inagije what is to come! #coolmumclub

  11. January 18, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Is it bad that I laughed? Probably because I was never like the teenager described here and my kids didn’t go this threenager thing either. Do you know what? I’d never heard the term before I became a blogger and started seeing threenager posts! I do remember two of mine being quite whingey at that age and they cried fairly easily but the tantrums and obstinacy (if memory serves) not so much. There again I’m a ‘it’s my way or the high way’ mum and they know I’d throw an even bigger tantrum if they tried to say they hate me or I’m silly lol. If it’s any consolation I’ve got a 12yo so ask me how I’m getting on with the teens in a couple o fyears! #ablogginggoodtime
    absolutelyprabulous recently posted…Bloggers’ Cafe Episode 1 Has Landed!My Profile

  12. January 22, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    My daughter is 19 months old and we are already experiencing some Terrible Two behavior (temper tantrums)! I can’t even think about what might be in store when she’s 3…or 13! #TheListLinky

  13. February 17, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Haha great post! I wrote something similar as a parent of teens……including tantrums (yeap, they both do that!) and being so set on what they wear! thank you for making me laugh.
    This is also my favourite post of yours….#BlogCrush.

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