Most people told me that Age 3 is much harder than the infamous "terrible two's". Bennett is just a few months into his third year of life, and do I agree with that? Yes and no.
I will just go ahead and admit that age two was dang hard for us. Bennett is a very strong-willed, emotionally sensitive little boy. And his speech delay definitely doesn't help. So needless to say, toddlerhood thus far has been a huge struggle.
Since his third Birthday, however, something has changed with him. He's gotten.....dare I say, "easier". A lot of that could very well be that he's starting to talk more and in turn, he's understanding more of what we're expecting from him. Whatever the case may be, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him follow direction willingly, behave better when we are in public, give hugs & kisses on his own accord, and say things like "please" & "thank you" totally unprompted. It makes my heart soar to see him starting to be more respectful.
But here is why Age 3 is difficult in a way that Two wasn't.
At age Two, they are still on the "young" side of toddlerhood and their knowledge and speech isn't fantastic yet. But by Age 3, I feel like toddlers are really starting to "get it". You know what I mean? But the thing is, Bennett does not have a desire to learn. Like, at all. Of course, he learns by default, I mean, that just goes along with being alive. But he doesn't have any interest in reading, writing/coloring, or sitting down to do any type of learning activities. And even though I've tried getting more creative with ways to teach him, he is wise to my ways and refuses to participate most times. It's really really frustrating because at Three Years Old, we are struggling to teach him even the simplest of things, like discerning colors, counting to 10, saying his ABC's... things like that.
And frankly, I'm worried. I know that he's SO young and has plenty of time to learn and catch up, but I'm worried that my toddler will fall so far behind, that by the time he gets to grade school, he will have a hard time keeping up. He's still in speech therapy through the school district, and I have him enrolled in Pre-school this fall with hope that he will learn better from a professional teacher. It's just that he is so active and restless (possible ADD??), he just does NOT have the attention span to sit and learn, or retain information. And he goes out of his way to ignore you when you're trying to get him involved in a learning activity.
He. Just. Does. Not. Care.
So although overall, he's more pleasant to be around at age three, I think this year might prove harder than the terrible two's. My expectations are higher and so are other people's. And believe me, I know how important it is NOT to compare your child to other people's kids. But it's so hard not to do that. I want him to grow and thrive, and learn. And I want him to WANT to learn new things. You know?
This part of parenting stresses me out something fierce. It's so hard to know when something is "normal" and when you should start wondering if there is something else going on with your kid. Ya know? It's really hard to watch your child have zero interest in paying attention to you when it comes to the important things. I realize that in the grand scheme of things, he is only Three, after all. But I just want so badly for him progress and continue to take strides forward. I guess I just need to keep on keepin' on, and continue to do my best with this aspect of his personality.
Because dang, my kid is awesome. He has SO much potential and if I could just find a way to work with him more efficiently, he could do anything!
I love him so.
The next Mama Memoirs Link-up will be Thursday, May 30th!