10 Reasons Age Three is More Terrible Than Two


1. At two, they can barely talk. At three, they never shut the hell up.

2. At two, they cry. At three, they throw temper tantrums so epic, you become convinced that they are possessed by the devil.

3. At two, they’re happy to eat anything you present to them. At three, they eat only three foods (usually consisting of a starch and processed cheese).

4. At two, baths are a ten-minute event, the result of which is a clean child. At three, baths take over an hour, and result in a drenched bathroom, sopping wet mommy, and 16 used towels.

5. At two, they wear diapers that can be changed on your watch. At three, they’re potty trained and the world revolves around their bladders and bowels.

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6. At two, they are distracted by a box of Gerber Puffs at the grocery store. At three, they want to dictate your entire food list.

7. At two, they let you dress them, looking innocent and adorable. At three, they insist on picking out their clothes, looking like pint sized versions of mental institution inhabitants.

8. At two, they don’t like to get dirty. At three, they thrive on it.

9. At two, you can do things for them, saving infinite amounts of time. At three, they must do everything by themselves, taking FOR-fucking-EVER.

10. At two, manipulation is the last thing on their minds. At three, they own you. And they know it.

Related post: 20 Reasons My Two Year Old Had a Hard Day

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)

From Around the Web


Ice Age Avalanche hack 4 months ago

Otherwise it’s likely to take us an excessive amount of hours to improve our car.

Amanda 5 months ago

Waiting till you hit the f*cking fours!! 3 is a cake walk compared to 4. You are welcome for the warning.

rebecca woodin 5 months ago

Best article on this issue out there. I literally LOLd every point. Now to find one on 4s here… lol

Living Room Lessons 7 months ago

Looking for something to do with these crazy 3 year olds?! Check out http://www.livingroomlessons.com for fun and educational, at-home activities for preschoolers.

irene marshall 7 months ago

I am a gigi of a 3yr old girl and take care of her for my daughter 7 days a week. She is an angle with me but is Evil with her mother. I dont understand why this is??? My daughter can scream at the top of her lungs at her and refuses to listen. Any advice both driving me crazy. I feel like im raising 2 3 yr olds!!!!

    rebecca woodin 5 months ago

    I have a 3 year old like this. My mom thought i was exaggerating at first lol. Nope shes satanic for me!

DC 8 months ago

i teach 3 year year-olds, and if they have parents who talk about them that way, calling them “pricks,” it is no wonder they behave that way. Study your child development and interact with them effectively, and you will not have these problems! I have 3 kids and all were an absolute joy at these ages. If you can’t handle these early years, good luck with the teen years, and see what calling your kid a “prick” then will bring you!

Kimberly Shelton 8 months ago

Thank God what I have been thinking about seeking pediatric psychotic care for my 3 yr old is actually normal for his age. Lol

Paulette 8 months ago

My son is 18 months and already trying to do things a 3 year old does so I am not looking forward to him turning 2 or 3

join 8 months ago

its the Terrible Two’s and the Bring You To Your Knees Threes!

JoAnn DePalma 8 months ago

3s are worst than 2s amen

yusra domingo 8 months ago

Its so Damn true you think you over the 2’s but then the 3’s are so much more dramatic and OMW its hectic.

Chris Russell 8 months ago

I always said that..raised 5…

Madison Hedge 8 months ago

Shut up

I’ve got q two year old

Just hush

Sheila Raymond 8 months ago

Oh how very true.

Latoya Jones 8 months ago

I have 4 in one on the way

Sue Simon 8 months ago

That was true for us!

Abigail Camacho 8 months ago

Lol!! You can only hope she’s ahead of the curve and not practicing for when she’s 3.

Marie Sanders 8 months ago

ha ha, that’s cute… now try a 14 year old… 😛

Rebecca Mecham Bagley 8 months ago

I LOVED 3 with my kids! LOVED it!!! It was my favorite age. Though, I loved 2 as well…either I’m really lucky or just crazy…LOL!

Steve Martinson 8 months ago

They learn to lie at 3.

Heidi Adams 8 months ago

I mostly enjoyed the 2s and 3s. Now, 13s I am not enjoying so much. Why does everything have to be an argument? Didn’t we settle that when he was 3?

Melanie Dh 8 months ago

Might want to consider how folks struggling with mental illness might feel about #7.

Geraldine Petrak 8 months ago

Depends on the child.

Alli Roberts 8 months ago


Ola Manning 8 months ago

What?!? I asked when my son turned 3, “terrible 2 is history, what’s next?” 😀 I believe 3 is more terrible than 2 😀

Holly Speach 8 months ago

Ok maybe this sounds bad, but every time I see this posted, I think how creepy that little boy looks. It’s like he’s right out of a scary movie!

Mickey Gerber 8 months ago

I’ve always said the terrible twos means it lasts two years. Such funny and true posts!

Julie Owen 8 months ago

The terrible two’s means when it starts, it lasts for two years. Not necessarily at age two.

Sandy Dozier Lillard Adams 8 months ago

Wait until they are four; they will begin trying to control and manipulate you.

Jessica Ploch 8 months ago

Age 3 stinks

Lisa Creson 8 months ago

My boy was an angel at 2. I thought ‘terrible twos are such BS’. Then he turned 3, and all hell broke loose.

(He’s 4.5 now, and I would say 3 was the worst of it).

Elaine Armitage 8 months ago

Oh help!!! :-0

Candice Wilson StOnge 8 months ago


Teresa Bradfield-Anker 8 months ago

Sooo true!

Donna Quinton 8 months ago

No one tells you the “terrible twos” lasts two years! Between 4 and 5 you can start reasoning with them. It does get easier after this…

Margaret Rodgers Barthe 8 months ago

And you need to remember every moment….because too soon they will be “grown up” and you will wish for two or three or four again!

Amanda Reszkowski 8 months ago

This could not be more true.

Mandy Engelbrecht 8 months ago

two was great, three was a nightmare & 4 not much better – now he’s nearly 18 & somehow we both survived & love each other still

Jenn Dixon 8 months ago

My mom babysat for years and used to say it was terrible two, but god-awful three.

Erin Block 8 months ago

I. Am. Terrified!!! Lol, After reading some of these comments I’m thinking I’d like to run away (or slip into a coma) until Miss 2.5 is well clear of 3!! She has been ‘challenging’ for about a year now….god help me!

Tsitsi Chiwashira 8 months ago

I feel so much better after reading the comments….lol

Tracey Bailey 8 months ago

Haha Yep! I’ve inly referred to my little guy as the spawn of satan once though. He’s sweet enough to make up for it (most of the time)!

Adrienne Doyle 8 months ago

Lmao at #9… Soooo true!!! It’s all true! LOVE my babies though

Bec Evans 8 months ago

I have twin 8yr olds, in my opinion I would take an army of 2 and 3yr olds any day over the dramatics and attitudes of 8yr olds

Priscilla Girardot 8 months ago

I think I might be one of the few who feels like things have gotten a million times easier since birth. Aiden was a colic baby and the most stubborn child I have ever met. Not kidding. He’s such a sweet angel and would flip into needing an exorcism in 2.5 seconds. It was crazy. Once he hit three he completely changed. I also think my parenting changed as well. He was my first and I’m naturally a passive person. I learned the hard way, be stern and consistent or prepare yourself for the worst of all. Now he is four and approaching five soon and I can honestly say life with him is 100% easier. He listens to me (most of the time) and actually enjoys being a good helper & listener. Thank you to the heavens above! Haha. We had another after Aiden with hopes we’d get the exact opposite and we did! Hallelujah! Vanden is a walk in the park compared to his brother. Aiden definitely prepared us and now we can handle anything. I had my tubes tied after Vanden and I do not regret it, lol. Two boys is more than enough for us! Wishing you all luck

Jennifer Piedra 8 months ago


Kylie Wright 8 months ago

Soooooo true!!!!!

Traci Brignoni 8 months ago


Francesca Lao 8 months ago

OMG this is scary…..lol

Lindsey Aylward 8 months ago

I find four to be much worse than three.

June 8 months ago

I think it depends on your perspective & expectations. I didn’t read all the comments, though one or two I did horrified me!
My mother, (who would now be 84) a former elementary school teacher always said 3 year olds were delightful as they are so curious about their world & hungry to learn.
I think we need to change our thinking around children sometimes, they are children, with growing minds, not mini adults plotting to make our lives difficult. I am sure my mother found every age interesting as that was the way she thought, her expectations were positive.
I don’t get why some people have children & are then in such a hurry for them to grow up, can’t we enjoy them at every age?

Lisa Giles 8 months ago

Anyone who says the terrible twos are the worst, obviously gave away their kid before they hit 3.

Nova Kane 8 months ago

I’ve always said this.

Luci Johnson Craig Grubbs 8 months ago

Spot on! My youngest is turning 4 soon and I am hoping he will more relaxed!

Autumn Huddleston Murray 8 months ago

Yes!! 3 is my least favorite age and my youngest is fast approaching the tyrannical 3 phase!! Every little thing sets off a huge fit of rage.

Nymarie Ramos-Gonzalez 8 months ago

I only remember my oldest going through this age. It started at 18 mos. (he would bash his head against the tile floor in the kitchen!) but I swear the day he turned 3, it was over.

Natalie Hendrix 8 months ago

Lord help me now.

Aleccia Lin Shaffer 8 months ago

A friend of mine has written a book about this very subject called “Three Year Olds are A**holes”.

Her name is Sarah Fader, for any interested in keeping her upcoming word on their “to read” list. 😀

Lynn Butler 8 months ago

When my son was two he was an ANGEL, I could not believe how good he was…then he turned three….

Rachel Wickern Packard 8 months ago

My dad always says, “those who say terrible twos, hasn’t had a three year old.”

Krys Hackett-Soss 8 months ago

Agreed – it’s a rough age for sure!

Rebecca Louise Herbunot 8 months ago

Not one age is worse than the others. Every age comes with its own set of challenges and frustration. Stop trying to compare

Missy Gibson Hightower 8 months ago

I always said terrible twos but terrifying threes lol

Melissa Myers Arklind 8 months ago

He hasn’t had those baby puffs in a long time. I forgot all about those, he use to love them. ☺️

Melissa Myers Arklind 8 months ago
Sherri Broeking 8 months ago

Amen, sister!! All three of mine were worse at age 3.


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