Ya Don’t Control a Three Year Old! But You Can Broaden His Horizons

Our grandson is three. Yes, there it is. I’ve admitted it out loud. As anyone with a three year old knows, he “rules” your world. When you’re dealing with a three year old, you need to get down like a three year old and experience the world like a three year old. And in case you were wondering, “Ya Don’t Control a Three Year Old!”


But it could help if you saw the world through a three year old’s eyes…

First of all Three year olds basically see you from your knees to your belly button, and all that that entails. Ex. They see your wrists and your hands and your butt. They see your knees and maybe your calves, if they look down. In fact they probably do look down enough to see your feet.

Parents with Toddler

You should try this! Get on all fours and hold your head just high enough to bring you to the height of a three year old.


I just did and I can tell you this, “There is a world of wonderful mischief at this height.” Yes, indeed! If you look carefully around at this height, there’s the coffee table and all that sits there. There’s the side table and all that it holds. There are numerous drawers, filled with amazing things, toy shelves and toy boxes, not to mention the cabinet that holds everything under the sink. If you have a pet, chances are that he’s down there too. At three you can climb right up to the kitchen table but with all the good stuff down at three year old level, there’s not much need to climb… yet!



  • If you try to tell a three year old not to explore those avenues, he or she might look at you as if you were a butt head and proceed without caution in pulling the place apart. Is it his or her fault? “NO!” Three year olds are only working with the resources they’ve been given, doing the best they can, to figure out what that thing-a-ma-jig in the bread drawer is.


  • Three year olds can probably open those wind out windows, that were built to be pretty, in a house that did not anticipate the “invasion of the three year olds.” If your three year old does this, you should get down again to three year old level and look out at what he or she sees. Why from this level, he can almost reach out and touch the branch of that tree which is too high from the outside. From this level he can see that the car he is driven around in actually has a roof top that matches the rest of the car. He can touch the top of his play car that lives in the back yard, and now he realizes that he could probably touch the top of the real car that Mommy and Daddy drive, if he could only get that confounded window open. This is rocket science for a three year old but he is not fearful of any challenge he faces. He is invincible!


  • At three years of age, your lovely child can probably get into the garbage can and if he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, I’d venture to say that he can explore all the used up but profoundly curious items it contains. This may or may not be advantageous to you, but when you find the floor covered with the morning’s coffee grounds, a used and awfully smelly diaper that you gave little thought to tossing there, on your way to the high chair with little baby brother or sister, a smattering of blueberries and corn flakes, a banana peel, napkins and sludge from the sink drain, just take a minute to think about how exciting these rare finds can appear to be to a three year old. Why, just about now, your three year old is discovering how he can feed the world with all that stuff you wasted. And he can feed the dog too. The dog actually likes when three year old feeds him from the garbage.


  • If you want to distract your three year old from the nether world, give him or her a new perspective. Recently, I’ve introduced our three year old to my back. The world of piggy back has so much untapped potential. If you thought you had breathing trouble before, wait ’till he or she latches onto your neck for dear life.


  • I’ve also raised him to the heights of the kitchen table where a little hot water, and a little cold water can change the colors of his cars… LOL! This is fascinating for a three year old. Exploring together gives you a birds eye view of how and what she thinks, and why she thinks the way she does.



  • Broaden his horizons by singing happy, repetitive songs and reading books with repetitive lines. Your three year old will be singing and reading right along with you.


  • If you haven’t tried getting down to a three year old’s level yet, you should do so. Here’s the bottom line. Once he’s finished exploring and playing with his toys, there’s not a heck of a lot else to do other than explore the things in his field of vision. So don’t get mad! Don’t get angry! Don’t fret! Instead, get down and see the world through his eyes. Don’t get up too fast. There’s a lot down there that you’ve forgotten about ever since you turned 4!

How can you be proactive and help your three year old (son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild) reach his or her potential? Love to hear your proactive thoughts.

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4 comments on “Ya Don’t Control a Three Year Old! But You Can Broaden His Horizons
  1. Linda says:

    I advise to introduce and experiment with many different kinds of activities. Find out what really peaks their interest and then run with it. When my grandson was about 3 or 4, I took him to a park that was adjacent to a beach. After the normal playground activities I gave him my camera and was totally amazed bythe pictures he snapped. I was sure he would become a photojournalist someday! He snapped the ocean, the shells on the beach, after arranging them in a unique pattern. He snapped couples walking along the beach, children on the swings and all kinds of photos. When I developed them and showed him, I think I was as surprised as he was of the simplicity, yet beauty and innocence that was captured in those photos. In addition to a wonderful day spent with my grandchild, I like to think that I introduced him to what has become a favorite hobby, and who knows, perhaps a long successful career someday.

    • Mary Biz says:

      Love the camera idea. I am always amazed at how our little guy can navigate not only the apps on my iPad, but how he can find his favorite apps while they are hidden in folders. Kids are amazingly smart and if we just give them the right tools, those little darlings make us look like fools. LOL
      No, really, give them wings and watch them soar. 😛

  2. JoAnn Ferraiuolo says:

    Spent Friday afternoon on the grass with my two year old angel Annabelle. Playing “Ring Around the Rosie” she decided we would do it Annabelle style! I should stay on the grass and she should run around the yard singing the song and then jump on me when “we all fall down”. I was shorter than her! Her imagination taught me a new game and the hugs were priceless. Yes she had much more fun down on the ground with Grandma than playing with an expensive toy.

    • Mary Biz says:

      Yeah! And to see the world through her eyes has got to fill you with awe. Funny how we enjoy their antics with a crispness we didn’t recognize when our own kids were so young. How fortunate for us that we get another chance.

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