Logic of a 3 year old can totally be illogical; which can puzzle you and may even drive you livid!
You may infer the above statement from some of the personal experiences, I have recorded underneath:
The other day I toasted a vegetable sandwich for my 3 year old daughter and cut it into small squares for her convenience. “Mumma you broke my sandwich, she cried in vain and refused to eat!”
I bought her a set of – fairy wand, headband and wings for pretend play; she got extremely thrilled and exclaimed “Mumma dress me up and later she drove me crazy; why I am not able to fly…I have the wings now?”
She pitched a fit because I wouldn’t give her a mango. I patiently explained that we do not have mangoes — offered her a banana, an apple, a pear, a pomegranate — but nothing else would pacify her: “I want a mango!”
If you’ve ever tried reasoning with a 3-year-old, you know the meaning of pointlessness. Toddlers are astoundingly inquisitive and enthralling. They’re also illogical, egocentric, and convinced of their own supremacy. But you can’t blame them — that’s just the way their brains are wired. Still in an early stage of cognitive development, toddlers think in fundamentally different ways from older children and adults. Fortunately, understanding how your toddler’s mind works can help you to endure, and even to enjoy this phase.
Listed under are some of the situations and ways to help you deal with a 3 year old tactics:
Scenario 1: Your toddler pinches his/her finger in a toy. You rush over to find a tiny red mark but no broken skin. You offer to kiss where he/she is hurt and try to pacify him/her, but he/she wails, “I need a Band-Aid!”
Parent think: “Let me try to control the situation!”
Child thinks: “Help me I am broken!”
When an infant plays with his/her toes or observes his/her wriggling fingers, he/she has no idea that these body parts belong to him/her. “But toddlers have figured it out: This is me, this is my body — and they love their body.
Toddlers make no distinction between the physical, mental, or emotional “me,” so every little scratch, real or imagined, is an insult to self. That’s why a 3-year-old will cry over every little occurrence. It’s as if their whole being has been wounded. Band-Aids offer concrete comfort and will make them feel better. Your best bet is to skip the reasoning, stock up on an ample supply of bandages, and take advantage while you can of their miraculous tear-stopping powers.
Scenario 2: Your 3-year-old watches as you put two scoopfuls of ice cream into his/her small plastic bowl, then two equal-size scoops into a larger bowl for his/her sibling. As you place the bowls on the table, he/she wails, “I didn’t get as much!”
Parent think: “But I gave you both two identical scoops!”
Child thinks: “She has more ice cream than me!”
Toddlers can’t comprehend that containers of different shapes and sizes can hold equal amounts of stuff. Children don’t develop this cognitive ability, known as “conservation,” coined by Piaget; until the age of 6 or 7. If you show a younger child two tall glasses filled equally with water and let him/her watch as you pour one into a shorter, wider glass, he/she invariably say the taller glass has more water. That’s why it’s pointless to try to convince your toddler that he has the same amount of juice as someone with a taller cup. To the toddler, bigger means more. You’ll avoid tears of (seeming) discrimination by identifying that with toddlers, equal servings aren’t enough you require even similar containers.
Scenario 3: You have 30 minutes to get your 3-year-old dressed, fed, and in the car. You start to take off his/her pyjamas, but he/she insists, “I will do it myself!” You watch as he/she struggles to get the t-shirt over his/her head, his/her frustration mounting. He/She refuses your offer to help: “No, I will do it!”
Parents think: “Grrrrrrrrhhhh!”
Child thinks: “I know I can do it!”
Whereas infants have no sense of themselves as separate individuals, toddlers are newly aware of, and eager to test, their independence. This impetus for self-sufficiency is a good thing, though it can be frustrating for the parents. You want your child to become self-sufficient, even though in the moment you want to get them out the door. If you can surrender to the reality that everything takes longer with a toddler — bathing, dressing, eating, walking — you’ll take pressure off yourself and your child. Try to start a little bit earlier and let your child do the parts he/she can do and help him/her with what he/she can’t. Boost his/her chances for success by choosing slip-on clothes (no buttons, snaps, or zippers) and Velcro-fastened shoes. What toddlers really want is the pride of accomplishment; so, look for ways to let them experience that.
Scenario 4: Your toddler sees his/her elder sibling playing with her doll and cries because he/she wants to play with the doll. You persuade the elder one to give your little one a turn; the elder one kindly hands over the doll and begins playing with his/her toy dinosaur instead. Your toddler drops the doll and reaches for the dinosaur: “I want dinosaur!”
Parent think: “I can’t handle this anymore!”
Child thinks: “I want to do what he/she’s doing!”
Toddlers learn by imitating, at this stage this is the primary means of learning. Which is why toddlers want what others have and do exactly what the other child/adult is doing? It’s through imitation that they learn language and social skills and how to manipulate their world. The next time your toddler melts down because he/she doesn’t want his/her toy but his/her brother’s toy, try to understand his/her tantrum as a desire to learn. It may help you to withstand the storm with more empathy and less irritation. You may also prevent some tantrums by keeping doubles of favourite (less expensive) toys, especially if you have close-in-age children or you regularly host play dates.
Scenario 5: Your toddler has been invited to a birthday party, scheduled for Sunday afternoon. You make the mistake of telling him/her on Friday: “Guess where we’re going this weekend? Anay’s Birthday Party ” Your toddler is elated: “Let’s go now!” You explain that the party isn’t for another two days. For the next few hours, your toddler asks every five minutes if it’s time to go to Anay’sparty.
Parents think: “Oh god, why did I tell her!”
Child thinks: “Mumma won’t take me to the party!”
Toddlers don’t understand time it’s something very abstract for them and their entire being exist in the present. They don’t have a concept of two or three days from now. So, to save yourself and your child frustration, always give short advance notice for upcoming events. E.g. after lunch or when you wake up in the morning is comprehensible amounts of time for your toddler.
For similar reasons toddlers disincline to hurry as they are to wait. The music class happening in half an hour can’t contest with the fascinating earthworm crawling across the pathway. If you’re not hurrying for an important appointment, consider sometimes going with your child’s flow. But in any case, try not to fright your child. If you say to your child, “If we don’t get your shoes on, we can’t go to the park,” be prepared to hear, “Okay,” as your toddler continues painting on his/her easel.
While it can be frustrating to have your easy-going baby turn into a tough-to-manage toddler, just remember that your child isn’t being manipulative but is going through a normal developmental stage as he takes on the world around him.