How to survive the crisis of three years


Your child is three years old. Or maybe only two and a half? He is no longer the kid who ran after you along the paths. He begins his own big-small life. However, not all parents are ready to face the difficulties that arise during this period.

Some attribute the bad behavior of the baby to the newly appeared kindergarten, others say that this is a bad mood or genes.

In fact, everything is easier. The child has a “crisis of three years”, which is an important stage of growing up.

As a rule, the crisis begins in children aged 2.5 to 3 years. But it is difficult to accurately indicate the time — it all depends on the individual characteristics of the child. In some children, the acute period passes in a couple of months, while others do not even have a year.

crisis of three years

How to understand that a child has a “crisis of three years”?


Whatever you say, the child will do everything differently. You offer him what he loves, and in response you hear “No!”.

How to be? Try to give the baby a choice, ask: “Shall we go up the hill or swing?”, “Do you want to invite Vanya and Misha or Alena and Tanya to visit?” When the question is framed in this way, the chances of hearing a “no” in response are almost zero.


When a child is stubborn, he does not deviate from his decision, even if he himself is not happy with him. This is because the baby does not want to lose at all. Thus, he defends his goals as best he can.

How to be? Don’t pressure the child. Let yourself understand that he is wrong, let the natural consequences of his decisions come.


Three-year-olds often start to protest when they feel that their position in the family is somehow different from other family members. For example, an older brother or sister can stay up at nine, but not a baby. He’s about to protest!

How to be? You need to tactfully explain to the child in a language he understands that he is an equal member of the family, but everyone has his own duties and rights.

«I’m all by myself» or «Mine!»

Self-will is very sharply represented at this age. The child wants to do everything, everything, everything himself, even if some task is beyond his power. As a result, the process usually results in a quarrel or even a childish tantrum. It is also typical for children to appropriate even what does not belong to them — this is part of the development of the world around them.

How to be? If you see that the child is not in danger, allow him to do something himself. Even if it turns out crooked, the baby will be very happy, and you can later unobtrusively help him and fix things a little with his permission or even an independent request.


It manifests itself in the fact that your child is suddenly sick of everything that used to bring joy, even the way of the family as a whole. He begins to oppose himself to his loved ones.

How to be? In this case, try to yield to the baby where possible. When it comes to small things, do not force him to do what the baby does not like yet.


Your child is eager to explore the world. In this desire, he can refuse the usual things and even people. Breaking dolls, saying hurtful things to loved ones is a characteristic behavior of a three-year-old.

How to be? You shouldn’t punish your child for doing this. The best way out is to either ignore the hurtful words, or, if the baby understands what is happening, gently discuss with him what happened and give an example of how hurtful it can be to hear such words. Remember that harsh phrases from a child from the series “I don’t love you!” — just his first way to express anger or resentment towards you. Of course, this does not mean at all that he really does not love you. Teach your child to express anger in a more environmentally friendly way, keep an anger pillow at home that you can pound, or ask your child to draw what he feels. Express understanding and support.


During the crisis of three years, children often try to subjugate everyone who is close to them. The child tries to achieve his goals anywhere and at any time. The same applies to the expression «Mine!» and attempts to appropriate everything and everyone, even those that do not belong to him.

How to be? Psychologists advise giving in to the child in small things, but at the same time clearly delineate the boundaries of what is permitted and be able to say a very clear and firm “No”.

It is important to remember that prohibitions should not be overdone. Yevgeny Komarovsky, a pediatrician, claims that the words «No!» and «No!» should not be constantly at the hearing of the child, as in this case their value is lost. Such words, according to Komarovsky, should be rather a signal of danger or a reference to the inviolable family rules at home. In addition, if mom says “No!”, then both grandparents and dad should support her position, as well as vice versa.

All of the above is not necessarily present at once in a child during a crisis. But, often, whims still result in tantrums. In this case, Komarovsky recommends that adults demonstrate indifference whenever possible. Children are well aware that such a tantrum is a means of manipulating their parents.

Remember that the child is not required to clearly and evenly fit all of the above «standards» of the age crisis. He may be two or four years old when that comes. He can walk and talk, and can only say a few words by this age. Everything is individual.

The main advice for all parents who want to go through this period calmly is to compromise with the child and not insist on your own, but to offer the child options. Do not be overprotective, but allow the baby to make mistakes. Then, with your love, you will definitely get through this difficult period for everyone.


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