I am so excited to announce that Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds is NOW AVAILABLE!!

Get turbo charged insight into child development!


The e-book available at the following sites.

Paper Copy

A paper copy is available at:

If none of these options don’t work, the best I can offer is to contact your favorite book retailer and recommend they buy it through Amazon’s Expanded Distribution.

Misbehavior is Growth: Three Year Olds

From the Author:

I was thrilled to receive feedback from first readers of the next MIG that it was:

  • “INCREDBILY” useful
  • “Transfixing”
  • “Enjoyable”
  • “Like a friend pep talking you”
  • “Moms come to you for your problem solving techniques”

I hope you find this book useful and inspiring as you go on your parenting journey!

Three Year Old Developmental Milestones

The “Hills” of Child Development Age Three

I am excited to have done some intensive analysis for Misbehavior is Growth: 3 Year Olds. In addition to my popular Observant Mom stories and many activities to nurture the growth, I did more analysis, down to the day, on child development, for the three year old book. It is integrated seamlessly into the work. I try not to weigh the reader down with details. But I think it will give you some extra, turbo charged insight.

What I noticed is children tend to go “up” into fantasy play to learn a skill then come back “down” when they apply it to reality. I call this a “Hill of Child Development” Typically a hill consists of 1-5 milestones. I write about it here for age three: The Hills of Child Development Age Three.

I am excited for this, because you can identify developmentally significant behavior easier. When a young three year old thinks rooms can float, something significant is happening. When they see monsters in their closet, something significant is happening. Further, a cascade of predictable skills will follow. When they get frightened like this, their fantastical thinking, which was serving a developmental purpose, has gone too far. It’s time to come back to reality.

This is a chart with the hills for age three.

Misbehavior is Growth

The idea behind Misbehavior is Growth is that children’s demanding behavior during their developmental stages is an instinctual call to adults to help them at developmentally critical times. I want to see a cultural change. Instead of saying, “It’s a stage ignore it!” I want people to say, “It’s new mental growth, invest in it!” From MIG: 3 Year Olds:

“If we can understand the cycles of misbehavior and growth, we can unleash an enormous potential. Each developmental milestone provides an opportunity to do this. If we can manage our own emotions during these difficult times and approach children with love and compassion, even when they are at their worst, we can help them develop the astonishing new skills growing inside them. If we see these frustrating times as the investment opportunities that they are, we can give wings to the new skills, unlocking a potential in ways never seen before. We stop trying to “transform” them and just get on this otherwise entirely unstoppable wave that is their development.”

I also have some discussion in this book challenging blank slate theory. Blank slate theory says we can control and “program” a child’s emotions. I say we cannot. And those emotions are telling us something important that we need to be listening to. In order for authentic change to come to parenting and education, some of our basic philosophical tenets need to be challenged.



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Be sure to check out Misbehavior is Growth: Toddlers, which has testimonials. I also offer the first chapter of that for FREE. It summarizes the idea of Misbehavior is Growth: Introduction to Misbehavior is Growth: Humanizing Toddlers.

Send your friends to www.theobservantmom.com for more about the age-related stages children go through