Never Tell Your 3-Year-Old
I have 5 kids, all except one are now over the age of 3. And with having this many kids and going through this age with them this many times I have learned a few things that you should not tell them at certain ages.
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
This will bring about questions. Lots of questions. We all know that children love asking questions, but this statement brings even more questions than normal. You will be asked why, what you have to do in the bathroom, and if they can go with you. They will stand watching you and ask what you are doing, what’s that noise, and why it smells. (Yes, we all have to take a crap every once in a while.) Then they will run away screaming that mommy is pooping, so you might as well just blast your business to the entire family before you even go to the bathroom in the first place.
“I hate so-and-so.”
Your child will find a way to seek out this person and make sure they know that their mommy does not like them. If they aren’t able to find this particular person then they will make sure to tell everyone they come in contact with who their mommy hates and eventually it will make it’s way back to said person.
“We are poor.”
This could go one of 2 ways with a 3-year-old. First, they don’t really have a sense of money so they may have absolutely no reaction to this whatsoever. The other outcome? They could cry hysterically because this means they can’t have any more toys or chicken nuggets from that place with the yellow arches. They could tell everyone they see that their mommy is poor and can’t even buy them some fries or an orange soda, all the while crying their eyes out. You’ll probably get some pretty mean glares because you’ve got a burger in your hand and ketchup running down your face. In reality you just told your kid this because they already devoured their kid’s meal and drink along with your fries and drink and you refuse to spend any more money at that place just so your child will stop crying and inevitably ruin their dinner. (In all actuality you are not poor, obviously.)
“Your poop stinks!”
Of course this is something you say to your 3-year-old especially if they are still in diapers/pull-ups or you are still having to wipe their butt. They’ll ask you what it smells like and not believe you when you tell them it smells like something that was digested and spit out their hind end. They think it smells like pretty yellow flowers. Go on believing that insanity kid…go right ahead.
“I’ll throw all your toys away if you don’t clean them up.”
This has backfired on me so many times that I’ve lost count. I will threaten to get a trash bag and throw everything away unless they pick it all up and I will get that look. You know the look. The look of defiance. The look that says they know you are lying through your teeth. So I get the response, “Okay, I’ll help you.”. Ugh! Not what I was going for there. But I guess either way, I got them to pick up the toys.
“If you behave I’ll buy you X.”
A great tactic to use, bribery. It works, sometimes, at least until you go to get them whatever you’ve promised. Then they’ll decide that’s not what they want and instead they want something that costs $50 or 2 things instead of one. This can also backfire and turn into a disaster if you happen to forget that you promised them something. Then you end up having a riot on your hands and you wish they just would’ve acted a fool the whole time instead of acting like an insane maniac now.
“You’re going to have a baby brother.”
Sadly they won’t want a brother. Instead they’ll ask if they can have a sister, which is obviously out of your control. Or they could just tell you they don’t want a brother or a sister which means having that new baby is going to be double the fun.
One of the worst things you could ever tell a 3-year-old. They’ll want to go out and play in it right that minute. Even if it’s just flurries and there’s nothing on the ground, you’ll have to bundle them up in 15 layers and by the time they’re ready to walk out the door they will suddenly have to pee. So you rip those layers off as fast as you can and rush them to the bathroom to do their business. Then you have to bundle them back up only for them to be outside 5 minutes and realize it’s cold, they’re done playing, and they want to come inside and have hot chocolate (with little marshmallows).
“You got something in the mail.”
It had better be a card with some money or a toy in a big box. If not then you’re going to have a very unhappy kid when they realize it’s junk mail or a reminder that they need to come in for their yearly dental cleaning.
“Your birthday is in 2 weeks.”
For the next 2 weeks every single day you will be asked if it’s their birthday yet. They will ask if it’s time for their PJ Masks party and cake. And they will ask if they can open presents. (So hopefully you’ve got that PJ Masks party and cake already planned.)
Bonus: “It’s nap time.”
Seriously, just don’t ever say this to a young child. If they understand you and know what “nap time” means then when you say it they’re going to throw a fit. Like throwing themselves on the ground, crying and screaming uncontrollably, snot and tears streaming down the face kind of fit. It’s not fun for anyone, so just avoid those words.
In Other Words…
Having a 3-year-old can be some of the most fun and entertaining times in your life. They come up with the craziest things and have the most imaginative minds you’ll ever see. But they can also hold a grudge and be ferocious when angry. So always watch what you say to them, you never know what they might say or do next.