Over the last year of your child’s life you have likely noticed a tremendous increase in vocabulary and in the ability to understand what your child is saying. Your three year old will use speech, non-verbal communication and motor skills to navigate and modify their environment. Three year olds are fun, creative, imaginative and curious by nature. They ask a lot of questions and lots of “why?”
You may feel like you are living with little lawyers who always have creative (albeit not always reasonable) solutions to every problem. Children, at this age, are beginning to grasp the concept of consequences and a sense of right and wrong. Even though your little one has a lot more language, behavior at this age continues to often feel unpredictable. For example, three-year-olds have strong opinions and big feelings. Small choices such as “would you like to wear the train pajamas or the elephant pajamas” allows your child to feel that they have more agency and are included in the decision-making process. As a result, children will start to have increased cooperative play. This means they will play with another child rather than play with two different toys in the same physical space (parallel play.) Then, of course, you may hear, “ I want to do it by myself.” Three-year-olds are exerting their independence and can be more involved in daily activities like getting dressed and feeding themselves.