When our kids hit 3 years old we can start to see some new behaviors and attitudes come online. At this age children often want to exert their power and independence, and seem to find a new favorite word—“no!”

Back on the podcast to help a listener and any parents who are looking for help navigating what some refer to as the “threenager” stage is Dr. Emily Upshur.

In this episode, we’ll help you understand why this is developmentally healthy, what you can do during power struggles and outside the heat of the moment to reduce them, and how our own mindset can influence our child’s behavior.


Dr. Emily (00:00):

We also have to build tolerance to doing unfun things, and we have to sort of teach that. We have to teach tolerating the no and tolerating that. We have to do that.

Dr. Sarah (00:15):

A threenager is defined as a three-year-old, having traits similar to that of a teenager, showing lots of attitude, defiance, strong will, and a rebellious nature. If you put the word teenager into Google, the dropdown bar will reveal queries like “how to survive a threenager”, “what is a threenager”, and maybe most surprisingly to me, a lot of threenager birthday party ideas. So whether you use it as a term of exasperation or as a celebration of sass and newfound independence, there are some unique parenting strategies that are particularly helpful when parenting three-year-olds.


Back on the podcast to offer guidance and support to a listener asking for help. Navigating this with her son is Dr. Emily Upshur, a clinical psychologist and the co-founder of our joint practice, Upshur Bren Psychology Group in Pelham, New York. So stick around to hear exactly why this phase of development is marked by a desire for autonomy and control, and there’s a neurological explanation for that, and also for strategies you can use to support your child’s development while engaging in fewer battles and power struggles.


Do you sometimes feel like what you’re doing to try to support your child’s big feelings and dysregulated behaviors isn’t working or worse it’s adding fuel to their fire? This month, I’m excited to invite parents in New York State to join me in a new parenting group I’m running over the course of eight one-hour group sessions. I will help you understand exactly what is happening in your child’s brain and body when they’re acting out strategies for effectively parenting in these tricky situations, and how to be flexible and nimble in your parenting so you can adjust your approach and be attuned to your child’s needs at any given moment in time, even if you’re not going to meet those needs. We’ll be tackling everything from establishing secure attachment bonds, learning how you can stay calm when you are feeling triggered, addressing tantrums, power struggles and effective discipline strategies, and combating parental guilt and burnout. The group will be limited to eight families, so everyone will have plenty of time to ask questions, troubleshoot events from the week, and get personalized support from me during the group meetings. If you’re interested in learning more about this eight week group, which is ideal for parents in New York State of children between the ages of two to seven, email sarah@drsarahbren.com or go to upshurbren.com/contact to schedule a free 15 minute assessment call to see if this group would be a good fit for you.


Hi, I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast, I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and actionable parenting insights so you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.


Hey everyone, welcome back to Securely Attached. I have a listener question for us today. This is from, actually a former student from The Authentic Parent, which is my course for parents of 0 to 1-year-olds. Now her child is a bit older and she’s got some questions. So this person wrote in, I was curious if you have any resources or podcasts for defiance and attitude. All of a sudden we have a threenager on our hands who thinks he runs the show. Lots of nos, I won’t do that, et cetera. I know we have all been there, but so many of my friends are going through this and I thought I’d ask for all of us. I hope you’re great, loving your podcast. So to answer this question, to weigh in, I have asked our beloved, Dr. Emily Upshur from Upshur Bren Psychology Group to come and share your wisdom with us. Hi Emily.

Dr. Emily (04:21):

Hi everybody. Good to be here.

Dr. Sarah (04:24):

So you have plenty of experience with this threenager stage, right? You’ve got three.

Dr. Emily (04:30):

I’ve been through it three times, yeah.

Dr. Sarah (04:33):

Yeah, and I’m in it. I went through it once. I’m in it right now. So there’s a lot of empathy for this mom and everybody out there who’s got a kid who does these things. I, yeah, I mean, I think first I just want to validate it’s really hard at this stage when you are getting this much resistance and this much desire to be in charge. I mean, and we’ll get into this, I think, in our conversation today that it’s, it is developmentally normal. It’s even developmentally healthy. It just is really hard and frustrating to be on the parenting end of that relationship.

Dr. Emily (05:15):

You know what, I think what’s so funny because I think why it’s hard is because their competency doesn’t match their autonomy. And so it’s such a funny thing as a parent because you’re frustrated by that gap in skill and they’re trying to close that gap by asserting themselves. But it is difficult because sometimes the things they’re saying no to or that they want to do just they’re not able to do yet. So it makes it really difficult for us as parents to see it in their point of view, which is sort of illogical.

Dr. Sarah (05:49):

Yes, yes. And I think maybe even just explaining a little bit about where the brain is at this stage of development might be helpful because I think if you’ve listened to this podcast, you may have heard us talk about the prefrontal cortex and its development, but it’s the part of the brain that is responsible for a lot of these sort of planning, inhibition, rational thinking, problem solving language, asserting ourself and asking for what we need in a regulated and appropriate way, not a screaming and a no, and a stomping and a throwing. The problem is the prefrontal cortex is not done developing until we’re around like 25, 26 years old. So when you’re three, it’s really just starting to come online. It’s not that well developed and not only is when it’s fully active, not that well developed. So even when your child is totally regulated and has full access to their prefrontal cortex, there’s a pretty low ceiling, but it also goes offline very easily because the prefrontal cortex really kind of shuts off when a child is having a threat response when their amygdala, which is their threat detector, kind of pulls the fire alarm.


And again, that’s a very subjective fire alarm. So it might go off for something that you and I as parents might not have any rational expectation for that to set off the fire alarm peeling the banana.


But if you peel the banana when your three-year-old really wanted to peel the banana themselves, you all can. This is what a threat response looks like because we all know what that it’s a meltdown because they wanted to do it their way and you did it wrong, and the amygdala kind of pulls the fire alarm and the prefrontal cortex goes offline. So now they’re not able to say, they’re not even able to say, you did that the way I didn’t like it and I want a different banana. All they can do is just scream and kick at that moment.

Dr. Emily (08:03):

Yeah, I mean I think those are the examples of like, it doesn’t make sense to us that sort of feeling of this is a logical from the parent. And I think that’s when we sort of have to check ourselves a little and say this, we’re not in logical land here. It’s okay. We’re not in logical land. And I think the other thing that you said that I think is really important to touch upon, particularly it’s primed in my mind cause of this season is your kid might have some vulnerabilities to having these episodes. So being sick or just about to be sick, coming online to being sick, feeling a little crummy, maybe you don’t even know that they’re sick yet, and you’re seeing more of these behaviors, you’re seeing much more extreme reactions or they’re tired or they’re hungry. So it is important that we also take those sort of systemic things in mind when we’re looking at these reactions. Just like you’re saying, the science behind it will show you if you have even a little bit of a physiological vulnerability like that, your brain’s going to go offline even faster. So you might be seeing that this season it’s been really hard, kids are sick a lot. We’re getting back into routines and we might even see more peaks in those three major kind of behaviors.

Dr. Sarah (09:20):

And even when it’s like there’s definitely that piece of what’s our physiological state? How vulnerable are we? Do we miss a nap? Or maybe also at three you might be meaning off of naps. So there’s also that kind of time where it’s just a lot of more emotions and it’s interesting because it doesn’t just mean that they have more tantrums. I think what this mom was mentioning very specifically is the defiance and the attitude. So it’s not always just meltdowns and tantrums though. There is a lot of that too, but I think there’s also a lot of, I want to own my autonomy. I don’t want you to do that. I want to do it and I want to do it in a way that is probably inefficient and incorrect and messy and loud. And so we as parents, understandably get very frustrated because I think there are times where we get the resistance where perhaps we can slow down and perhaps we can let them tie their shoe 15 different times before they finally say, okay, you can do it.


But there’s a lot of times often when we need to go or there’s a sense of urgency on our part or something just needs to happen a little bit more swiftly and we cannot wait for them to do it themselves, or we can’t have a 20 minute fight to get out the door in the morning. So I think we, there’s a piece of that too just to validate how frustrating this is. What can parents do when it’s like we could talk a little bit about what we can do when there’s time? Because I do think that’s important to find ways to allow for this autonomy. I also think we have to find ways to balance that out because sometimes we’re going to have to say, I know you don’t want me to do this. I know you want to do this, or I know you don’t want me to do this, but we have to do this, so I’m going to do it now. And sort of tolerate the emotions that are going to come from that.

Dr. Emily (11:23):

Yeah, I mean I think there’s two parts of this, right? We’ve talked a little bit about this developmentally appropriate autonomy, which is really important. And I think the other side of that, which is we want to bring on board and slowly start to integrate is we also have to build tolerance to doing unfun things. And we have to sort of teach that. We have to teach tolerating the no and tolerating that. We have to do that. And in how we approach things, we think of doing that in different ways. We always want our children to learn about themselves. So we start with labeling that feeling just like you just mentioned in your example, I know you really don’t want to do that, and you validate that. You label it that makes you feel really upset, angry. And then we say, and I get that nobody wants to do things they don’t want to do or it’s hard to not do the the way you want it, but then we say, you move on, sort of like you say, then we say, oh, but we still have to get to school on time, so I’m going to help you go to school.


I know you can handle that. So I think that that’s the piece that is the building of the tolerance of the other side of autonomy. It’s exactly what we do as an adult is we might not want to go to work, but we tolerate it and we have to go to work that day. So we want to teach those two things that are happening on the opposite sides of the same coin.

Dr. Sarah (12:52):

And I think to compliment that, right, there has to be that boundaries and predictable follow through and in a warm, validating way, you don’t have to, sometimes we yell at our kids when this happens, that’s typical and normal and we lose it sometimes, that’s okay. But the most effective strategy to help move a kid through it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t lose it because they might get really upset when we say, I’m going to put your shoes on now, or I’m going to put your shoes on when we get in the car. Sometimes I do. That’s actually a, don’t underestimate the value of a car seat when they’re strapped in. It’s a lot easier to get those shoes on. So a lot of times I don’t have power struggles with my kids over shoes if they don’t want to put them on, I say, fine, don’t wear shoes. I’ll put them on when we get in the car. And then when they are strapped in and we get to where we’re going, and they are our captive audience, I put their shoes on.

Dr. Emily (13:44):

I love that.

Dr. Sarah (13:45):

And then be done with it by then. They also have forgotten that they didn’t want to put their shoes on. So it’s not as big of an issue.

Dr. Emily (13:50):

Yeah, I love that. Because I think one of the things I always, always say to parents, and I think it, it seems simple, but it may, it’s impactful, is you’re not a bad parent if you give your child an out, you help them save face. And yes, that’s actually a really important quality. And sometimes we regress a little in our parenting. We might use a little distraction. We did with our top two year old. We’re like, oh, look, shiny object over here as we get out the door. So we try to help them save face instead of digging into, well, you said no, and let’s talk about that. And we really get engaged in that power struggle. I think it’s so important to save face and to say, to sort of help them with that by either using a little distraction or ushering them through it a little quicker. Or just like you said, I think it’s a great idea to say, that’s not a power struggle. I need to put your shoes on in the car. That’s great. Let’s go. And just like you’re saying that that helps ’em save face. You’re not digging in right then and the iron is cold by the time you ask, they need to put their shoes on. Okay, it’s colder then. It’s not so much heat in the relationship or in the dynamic at that moment.

Dr. Sarah (14:57):

Yeah, and I think that’s such a good important point. This idea that our kids, viewing your kid as a whole human being with these same drives and motivations that we have helps. I think with that compassion, if I make my kid feel like they don’t have any control or any power because I’ve just slayed laid the gaunt list down and said, oh, this is not happening today. There’s a pretty good chance they’re going to dig in harder because now they feel small and they don’t want to feel small. We like to feel, we like to feel big. We like to feel seen. We like to feel like we have autonomy. And when we feel like that’s taken away from us, we tend to dig in harder. So this is the gasoline for most power struggles. And that’s not to say that we have to, that we can never pick.


Sometimes we have to have the power struggle and we have to sort of assert our authority for sure. But I also think we can be creative and we don’t have to win it all the time in order to maintain our authority. And I think some parents get a little tripped up because they think if they’ve set a limit and then they back down that they’ve undermined their authority. And I think how you back down from a limit is very important. Throwing your hands up and being like, oh, fine, forget it. You know what? You do it yourself. I can’t handle this anymore is very different than what I realize. This is too hard right now. I’m going to change my mind and we’re going to do this. We’ll put the shoes on later. And so it’s like you are still deciding how the pivot is going to go versus your child feeling all of a sudden they’re way too powerful because they won the battle, but in a really icky way.

Dr. Emily (16:48):

I, and I think it’s attunement right then, right? You’re looking to help your child get into a better head space. So you’re looking to say, okay, well maybe the red shoes today, ooh, I can distract you with a little bit over here. And that does really help diffuse the interaction without totally avoiding that, with helping getting out of that power struggle, but not avoiding the teaching moment. Because as we talk about those hot moments aren’t teaching moments, they’re not a time when we want to engage in that kind of learning experience for a child because they’re so activated. So in that emergency brain type of place, they’re not in, as you said earlier, in that prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking center. So it’s okay to sort of skip over a little bit of that just to get to a calmer place so that then maybe you do revisit and we can talk a little bit more about maybe what you do in the aftermath as well.

Dr. Sarah (17:48):

Yeah. And so I think in the moment we’re going to validate, we’re going to name the feeling we’re going to follow through on what the limit is or redirect or use some type of strategy to move their focus off of the power struggle. And we’re going to also kind of in our own parent-mind be deciding how big of an issue is this that I want to, how important is this? Is it a safety issue? Then I’m going to have to hold the limit. Is it move them through the schedule of the day issue that I’m going to have to hold the limit? Is it about health or cleanliness or something that is definitely unequivocally my job has to happen, then yes, we’re going to hold the limit if it’s not like, I don’t want to put my jacket on, and so you’re going to be cold. There’s like these natural consequences that’ll happen that you don’t have to be the person that convinces them, learn it that way, then let it go.


And even if you’ve set a limit, you can change your mind without necessarily throwing up your hands in defeat and feeling as though you don’t have, you’ve lost your authority. But then outside of the moment, like you were saying, I think afterwards you can do things like a debrief where you’re going to go review with your kid what happened when they’re calm, when they’re relaxed, when they’re connected. I like to do it when I’m reading books with my kids at night. I go back and say, Hey, this morning was really tough getting out of the house that didn’t feel good, did it, huh? Okay, what happened? What could we do differently? And so you’re doing some collaborative problem solving with a three-year-old, you’re going to be offering a lot of the solutions, not them. With older kids, I think they can come up with some solutions on their own for how to make it better next time. But then I also think there’s a lot of stuff that we do before the heat of the moment or before these power struggles as we’re more of prophylactic preventative measures. Do you have any ideas for how we could reduce the instances of the power struggles from the first place?

Dr. Emily (20:11):

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s interesting. We think of kids in this developmental stage as wanting so much autonomy. That’s actually kind of a little scary. Sometimes. It’s a little bit of a push and pull. You want your independence, but woo, then you’re really on your own. So I always think it’s really nice during this developmental stage to have one-on-one time with each parent or each kid. I think it’s a little bit of a fill me up kind of thing. It’s an autonomous thing, especially if you have other siblings in the mix. Rich might be contributing to some of this going on. It’s really nice to also have a little bit of a autonomous big kid activity with your parent that you’ve not done before. I think that that helps to really create really solidify the attachment and really create a new shape of this autonomy and this growth and give it a new frame.


And I think doing that in a routinized way is always, any traditions or routines is a great way to do that with kids. So maybe you think of a new little tiny thing that you can insert into your schedule. You know, go and your child now goes with you grocery shopping, and they’re now the ones who get to push the cart. Or there’s some stuff like that that gives them a little bit more of autonomy, but in a positive, connected relationship way that allows you to be able to say, Hey, you can also be autonomous in this way. That’s connected to me. And it feels good. It’s not just a rebellion or sort of what your listener was saying an obstinate way.

Dr. Sarah (21:50):

Yes. And I think too, giving a lot of authentic choice is helpful because that’s something that we can sprinkle in throughout the day and it might feel very trivial to us. But these decisions are important to kids in a good example of an authentic choice. And by the way, when I say authentic choice, I mean pre-selected options chosen by you presented as a multiple choice, and either of the options are acceptable to you. So it feels like the child is making a choice, and they are. But you are already containing that choice in a way that works for you.


And it’s not open-ended, sort of closed ended, which is helpful for decision making because for little kids, decision making is hard. So if you say, what color plate do you want versus do you want the blue plate or the green plate, that’s a much more accessible choice for them to make. And it feels very good because it’s easy. It’s an easy win for them. They feel good because they got to pick something, but they also feel good because the choice was actually cognitively not that challenging for them to make. I think sometimes we don’t understand, we underestimate how overwhelming an open-ended choice can be for a three-year-old. And so it can actually cause a little bit of stress for them, and they’re not going to articulate that they’re just going to store it in their body until it comes out later. And so I like authentic choices.


Do you want green bees or green beans or peas with your chicken tonight? Or do you want the paw patrol or the firetruck pajamas? These are things that are, and I would sprinkle these in as much as possible, especially if you are getting a lot of power struggles and a lot of defiance and willfulness, because I really think that is a bid for feeling autonomous and not feeling as though that need is being met. And that frustration, that sense of feeling thwarted is probably leading to a lot of the dysregulated behaviors. So we can soften that by filling up that sense of autonomy as much as we can by giving lots of choices, like you said, giving lots of small jobs and responsibilities, lots of special time with us. These are all really great ideas.

Dr. Emily (24:21):

I think it’s so important to make it a responsibility or something that’s a yes. We say no all day. We say, no, don’t do that. No, do that. You know, can’t do this. And I think it’s a great thing for us as parents, as an exercise to think about what we can say yes to or how we can frame it as a yes. And I think giving those it’s, I think it, it’s such an important point to say limited structured options, that’s a really helpful thing. It’s even hard for adults to make open-ended decisions. So I think it’s a really great thing to structure it, even for as children get older, giving them two options to choose from that you think are appropriate really does help them learn how to make their own decisions going forward. And again, feel more autonomous.

Dr. Sarah (25:14):

And another thing too that’s sort of similar to the authentic choice kind of thing is asking them to solve a problem. So for example, if my kids’ cup is right on the edge of the counter, right on the edge of the table, and instead of me being like, Hey, Sadie, your cup is on the table, it’s going to fall, move your cup, you’re going to bump it off the table. I might say to her, I might get close, so I’m not calling across the room, but I might get close to her. I might say in a quiet voice, make eye contact and say, Hey Sadie, your water cup is right here by the edge. What might happen if you bump it? And then she’ll probably say, oh, it will spill. Or, oh, it’ll make a mess. And then I might say, what can we do? And I guarantee you she is going to move the cup on her own. So you’re getting them almost all the way to the finish line, and then they’re crossing it themselves with the solution to the problem. And that feels so good to little kids because they feel really, really powerful there and really, really creative and seen.

Dr. Emily (26:32):

I think that’s a really great point. And I also think bringing them almost there to the finish line is such an important piece because it does build that competency. But also a lot of our parents that are probably listening to this have three-year-olds, but they probably have another little kid right behind. And there’s also opportunities to help your three-year-old gain some autonomy by helping your little sibling. That’s another way, and I love the way you say bring it to the end though. Cause you don’t want them to do the whole thing, right? Zero to the end finish line is just, it’s too big of a task. But you can help them. How do they help their younger sibling play with a toy or build a tower and you can sort of help set that up and they get to be the teacher in that situation.


They get to be the yes person. They get to be the person who gives a little bit of that structure. Just another way of building autonomy as you mentioned, and sort of sprinkling those opportunities throughout the day and into their natural lives. It’s so important that these are things that happen day to day and in your normal routine. And we sort of just enhance those things that are already happening. So it doesn’t feel so overwhelming as a parent to do more, do more. Yes, we can really refine what’s happening in the interactions that are already occurring.

Dr. Sarah (27:51):

I think that is so important. Don’t add 10 more things to your to-do list to fill your kids’ bucket. Fill your kid’s bucket with 10 things you’re already doing. Just include them in the process so that you are very much being efficient with your efforts because it’s not short-changing them. They want to fold socks with you. They want to put the forks on the table. This is something that gives them a huge boost of confidence and belonging and ownership over something. And when we meet that biological drive for autonomy in ways that are productive and collaborative and help the family flow, we will see less extreme demands for autonomy in ways that interrupt the family flow. So the kids need to feel autonomous, they need to feel powerful. They need to feel like they have agency. If they are not getting it in ways that work with the family, they will demand it in ways that don’t work with the family.


So I think if we just see that resistance as a sign that, hey, my kid’s developing totally on track, this is part of their personality development, their sense of self, it’s important. It’s feeling kind of icky right now. So how do I kind of counterbalance it with things that would feel better but still meet that drive because our kids have these biological drives and we, they need, that’s how we develop. This is part of human development. So work with your kids’ brain and body and biological hardwiring, work with it by understanding what it’s telling you and you will have a lot less friction.

Dr. Emily (29:43):

I, and I think you’re right. I think staying in the moment is really important. I think what I hear about in our practice and with in clinical situations are it’s so important to not go too far ahead. Oh, my kid is going to be a disaster forever or they’re going to be a horrible teenager. I can’t handle this. I think it’s so important to keep it where it is. This is just like we’ve been saying a developmentally appropriate thing. It doesn’t mean anything about the future of your child or how they might choose their plate going forward. This is really something that’s happening in the here and now. And I always try to encourage parents to not get too worried about future-oriented behaviors based on this three-year-old developmental trajectory. It’s going to come and you know what? It’s also going to end. And these are just ways that we can sort of smooth it along.


And I love the way you say, fill up that autonomy bucket. Let’s see if we can do that in a positive way as much as we can and balance that stuff out. But we’re still going to see some of the other abstinence and the defiance and that type of thing. And for us as parents, it’s really, all right, this is what’s supposed to happen. I’m going to build my tolerance to this just like I want them to build their tolerance to having to do things they don’t want to do. And I think that that’s really important and we stay in that moment and not get too wrapped up in making it bigger than it is then I think that can be really helpful as well.

Dr. Sarah (31:13):

And that brings me to this, listen, I zero judgment to any parent who has called their kid a threenager or a terrible two. But if you notice that you are frequently using, kind of, pejorative labels for our kids that are totally societally passed down to us, this is very common to call our kids this. And I’m not shaming anyone who uses those germs, but if you can intentionally notice when you’re saying things negatively about your kid or you’re framing their behavior in a really negative way out loud in front of them, or even just internally to yourself, you might notice that it can create a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Right? Because how we think about our kids dictates in a big way how we then feel and how we then behave. And so when I have my child in, if my child’s behaving in a way that’s frustrating to me and I say, oh my God, they’re such a threenager, this is so annoying.


I’m very likely to feel annoyed, frustrated, angry, irritated, and I’m going to show up behaviorally in a way that reflects that probably. But if I can check myself and say, oh wait, hold on, this is developmentally appropriate. This is a sign that they’re trying to figure something out. It’s a pretty tricky, tricky moment for them. I don’t really love the way this feels either, but I can see what’s happening here that’s going to drastically shift my emotional reaction. I might feel mildly frustrated. I also might feel curious. I might feel compassionate for them. I might feel more neutral at best, maybe just neutral. But that’s going to inform how I then show up in my parenting and how much access I have to my most effective parenting tools. And so I just as a friendly reminder that the way we talk about our kids, either to ourselves and certainly in front of them, can really decide what path comes next. So try shifting the language that you use and thinking of it less as like a negative label versus a what’s happening in this moment? Can I describe the behavior? Can I describe the feeling, not the kid? And I think that that will help us all feel less frustrated in the moment as well.

Dr. Emily (33:34):

And I think to bring that full circle, it keeps us in our prefrontal cortex, right? Yeah. I think that keeps us in our part of our brain that helps us self-regulate and exactly what you’re saying, utilize our most effective parenting tools instead of going into our emotion brain and sort of getting, staying in that place and staying in that more disorganized place. If we can really change that narrative, it is a little bit of a self soothing. It really sort of calms our system and allows us to stay in that prefrontal cortex, which helps us plan and organize and self-regulate and use our best tools that we have available to us.

Dr. Sarah (34:12):

Yeah. I love it. Well, I think we covered all the things that we wanted to cover to answer this question. If anyone has more questions and you want to submit a question for us to answer on the podcast, you can DM me @drsarahbren on Instagram, or you can email me at info@drsarahbren.com and we will have another question for you guys soon. Thanks for coming on Em.


At the beginning of this episode, I talked about a parenting group that I’m running this month for parents in New York State. Over many years of treating patients and offering parenting support, I’ve noticed some common themes emerge much of my one-on-one therapy and parenting support consists of helping parents set developmentally appropriate expectations, learn how to accurately decipher their child’s cues and understand how to work with their child’s brain and body and nervous system to make parenting easier.

(35:11):This eight week group ideal for parents of two to seven year olds will meet virtually with me for one hour every week to learn strategies for supporting your child’s emotional, social, and cognitive development, and to have a chance to ask questions and address the specific issues you are working through with your own child and family. If you’re interested in participating in this group, email me at sarah@drsarahbren.com or go to upshurbren.com/contact to schedule a free 15 minute assessment call with me to see if it would be a good fit for you. Thanks for listening, and don’t be a stranger.

I want to hear from you! Send me a topic you want me to cover or a question you want answered on the show!

DM me on Instagram at @securelyattachedpodcast or @drsarahbren

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86. How to mindfully parent a threenager: Navigating power struggles, limit testing, and excessive no’s with your 3-year-old