The Importance of Validating Feelings of a Threenager (and Everyone)


The importance of validating feelings of a threenager is paramount. First, let me explain what is a Threenager.

A Threenager is a three year old toddler who acts like they’re actually a 13-year-old teenager.

They went from the sweet one year old to the terrible twos to their threenager year. Imagine a hormonal teenager with confused emotions. They go from being sweet one moment to angry the next…like a Sour Patch Kid.

Independence seems to be the main factor of the never ending tantrums and mixed emotions in both Threenagers and teenagers. They want to do things themselves, but sometimes they can’t resulting in an act of frustration. For example, they may want to put on their shoes, but they struggle. The more they struggle, the more likely they will act out their frustration in a form of a tantrum or meltdown.

The importance of validating feelings of a Threenager is key. You make your Threenager feel heard and understood. It’s important to remember that although they are acting with such great attitude, their tiny minds are only that of a three year old child who does not know how to properly express their feelings. However, do NOT minimize those feelings. To them, their feelings are grand.

A Threenager will more likely calm down once their emotions are validated. This really goes for everyone. Once validated, they will feel soothed and begin to calm down. This is when you can offer to help with the task or even redirect to another activity. The goal here is to teach your child how to cope with their feelings. Feelings are real. They come and go. Don’t let their frustrations prevent your child from trying the same task at a different time. We learn in The Beauty of Discomfort that challenges are also good for children to build skills. If they want to try to put on their shoes again at another time, let them. Let them learn even if the learning process comes with some discomfort. Teaching them how to manage their feelings will help them not only in the moment, but as they grow up.

Some coping skills to teach your child:

  • Take a deep breath
  • “Blow the candles,” which means to pretend your fingers are candles and blow them out one by one. This allows their mind to gain some clarity.
  • Have a calm down corner or area in your home
  • Scream into a pillow or stuffed animal
  • Use a stress ball or toy

Find out more about what it’s like to have a Threenager at home at Sit. Stay. Mom.


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Hi! My name is Stephanie Eyerly and I am a stay at home mom with a 20 month old baby girl named Mia. She is my everything and I want to give her the world! I enjoy seeing my baby girl laugh and maintaining our home our happy place. Before becoming a mom, I worked as a Case Manager with troubled, delinquent, and disadvantaged children who were in the Foster Care and Probation system. I am aware of how unfair our world can be, so my plan is to protect and advocate for my baby girl as much as I can. I enjoy playing, watching TV, and cuddling up to read a book with her. Writing also plays a big part in my life as a creative outlet. Besides writing for the amazing Corona Moms Blog, I also write for my own blog called Sit. Stay. Mom. at Family is very important to us and quitting my job to stay at home with her was the best decision I've ever made! Oh, and I also have an amazing husband who works hard and loves us very much!