My 3 year old daughter gets very frustrated when things don't work for her the first time. She seems to go from happy to crazy upset immediately. Is this a time-appropriate developmental thing? I think this is partly my fault because I don't have a great temper. How can I model better behavior for my daughter to improve her happiness?

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    It's funny how at 3 they can be crazy independent one minute, insisting that they can do it themselves, then melting down because they can't the next.
    – Meg Coates
    Jun 17, 2013 at 22:17
  • yeah. "M" does this. She fumes "I want to do it myself!!!" then gets so upset when she can't put her shoes on... sometimes she says "Can you help me to do it myself?" and we break the task down together into very small steps. I consider this a win. Jun 18, 2013 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's a normal developmental thing for that age. Basically, they have trouble planning for the future, which means if they can't accomplish something the first time, their brains aren't yet wired to believe it will come with practice.

Ironically, the only way you can really fix that is to practice. We've found singing the Keep Trying song from Yo Gabba Gabba helps ease the frustration somewhat.

  • Thanks Karl. I've been trying to model this better in my own experience. "M" seems watch us more closely than we think. I've also been showing her videos of how she learned to crawl and walk. Jun 17, 2013 at 20:17
  • +1 for the keep trying song. We actual use a handful of songs for walking, running, brushing teeth, eating, etc... Jun 17, 2013 at 20:54

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