For anyone following my stories, you will discover I write about children in general from time to time, and my grandchildren in particular. I have a lot of interest in a variety of subjects, not the least of which is children.
These past two years I have become quite interested in foster children—the government-subsidized program for their care, foster parents, the involvement of courts and police in the rescue of abused children, in addition to the many stories about how some parents treat their children.
Fortunately, mine is a situation whereby my grandchildren are raised in a very loving, caring home and atmosphere, and I can participate in that rearing from time to time when I’m so privileged to have them for a visit.
At this particular time, the most challenging grandchild is the one I call Prince William, who’s not yet 3 years old.

When he walks in the door, he has a long list of things he does every time he comes and seems to want to do all at once. I try to accommodate him, but it’s not long before he tires me out. So yesterday, he came up with a new twist to keep me going.

When he wanted me to play cars with him, I told him I needed to sit and rest awhile. Then he said, “just 5 minutes!” I argued with him, but he persistently insisted on “just 5 minutes.” Finally, I gave in and joined in car playing. Every 5 minutes I would ask him if my 5 minutes were up and for the next hour, he kept responding, “not yet!”
For the rest of the afternoon he kept using this same psychology on me—from playing outside, to going for a walk, to pretend cooking. He would preface everything with, “please just 5 minutes.”

By the end of the day, I was worn out, and all I wanted was a bath, massage, and the couch to watch TV. I concluded not only was I not smarter than a 5th grader (as the TV Series goes), but that I had been outwitted the entire day by a 3-year-old.

When his parents picked him up, I fell asleep with the words, “just 5 minutes,” and “not yet,” ringing in my ears, thinking he could probably teach a class on applied psychology as he had so effectively practiced on me all day.
I initiated a method of discipline after passing the naughty corner routine, replacing it with a star chart. I place a gold star on his chart when he is very good and a red star when he balks or says or does something I disapprove of. This worked well for awhile.

Now he’s into reverse psychology—giving me a red star when I don’t do as he wants me to do.
He is a very loving, sweet natured child, but his persistence and insistence is quite interesting to me. After rearing children many years, I realize I still have a lot to learn.

But one thing is for sure, they will rule or be ruled in their formative years. 


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0 Responses to Use Of Psychology By A 3-Year-Old (Issue 4)

  1. Isabella Robbins says:

    That was an awsome story about my littel brother

    Your grndaughter



  2. Tracy Carson says:

    I have a 3 year old daughter. I just read your amazing article. I had a huge laugh at the reverse psychology of your 3 year old grandson.
    My daughter is the same and has been like this since she could talk. I have never met a child like her, she can totaly manipulate a conversation with an adult, at the end of the day they are cute but exhausting. Like your grandson she is very sweet and lively, does the same things when she visits her nannas, and your grandson is the only little person I have heard of like her. She confronted the director in pre kinder, a couple of times, and the director told me the same. She was actually amazed herself that she had such a conversation with a child . She thought it was very funny though. All kids are so different but your grandson sounds so much like my daughter. we love em. yours Tracy

  3. Freedom Lady says:

    TO TRACY CARSON< Hi Tracy, so appreciative of your interesting e-mail. I re-read this 4th issue, and got a big laugh out of the reminder of just how shrewed Prince William still is. A lot of time has passed and he has expanded dramatically in his knowledge. He visits often and I spend a lot of time with him, teaching him and he teaches me. He like having a grown-up science professor, a southern farmer, a broadway comedian, and a best buddy all rolled into one. I have written a number of articles about him and have readers who follow his stories.
    Sounds like you have achallenging child. Remember that brain is developing at a rapid rate til 8 years old, so before 8 pour everything you can into that mind which absorbs like a sponge. Nurture that genious.
    Prince William is a very loving sweet-natured child but with a lot of determination. He has his way most of the time, but well aware when I say no and put my foot down he respects boundaries now. Hes very neat and organized. Tells me hes a good decorator and really does have an innate sense of design. He really is a very un-usual child. Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading my articles.

    Anne Cleveland Editor in chief