3 Tips for Dealing with Your “Threenager” – Thanks to Inside Out

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Inside Out Family Movie Night

As soon as I heard Inside Out was available on DVD, I bundled the girls up in the car and headed right to Walmart to pick it up and you should too! I hope you’ve all had the chance to see the movie already and if you haven’t… what are you waiting for?! We headed to theaters after hearing rave reviews from fellow parents and we couldn’t have enjoyed the movie more. The colors and characters captured the girls’ attentions immediately and there’s plenty of jokes that make Inside Out fun for adults too!

Although the idea of brightly colored characters inside your child’s head might be a bit… out there, it all makes sense and is written in such a way that not only does it make sense for adults, but kiddos too! After watching Inside Out, I’ve had multiple conversations with the colors about emotions and how to begun to understand and learn to control their reactions. This has been somewhat easier with Sophia, but Miss Moreaya is quite obviously a “threenager”.

Dealing with Threenager

If this is your first time hearing the word “threenager”, I bet you kind of laughed then shook your head in an “Aha!” moment, right?! That’s what I did when I first heard the term… 3 going on 13 describes my youngest at the moment and her older sister just a couple years ago. The mix of emotions and the impatience of a three year old mixed with the attitude of a thirteen year old makes for quite a challenging day sometimes. But thanks to Inside Out, I’m learning just how to deal with my “threenager” and I thought you might benefit from these tips too!

Understand What’s Going On Inside Their Head

In the very beginning of the movie we see that Riley’s emotions change fast, especially when she becomes a toddler. Although the movie doesn’t exactly address the idea of a “threenager”, it gives a great and sometimes comedic look as to what just might be going on inside those little smart heads of theirs!

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend that you head out to Walmart today and pick up Inside Out on Blu-ray. We love having digital copies of the movie, which comes in the Blu-ray package as well, and while you’re there, be sure to swing by the toy section and check out the adorable Inside Out figurines.

Inside Out at Walmart

I’ve definitely noticed that when the girls play with the Inside Out toys, they act out the character’s emotions – it’s really the best way to get an insight into what’s going on with your little one and how they understand and deal with certain emotions and reactions.

Inside Out TOMY toys

Outwit Them

Oh yes, I went there. These little “threenagers” think they know it all, but we have to be one step ahead at all times. Maybe it’s because I’m a Psychology major, or maybe it’s because I’m raising a future Psychology major, but for some reason we are always using reverse psychology on one another. Sometimes I reverse so many times, I don’t remember what it is that I really want her to do!

All kidding aside, it’s important that your “threenager” experience some control in his/her life, which I would bet is what most of their outbursts are over. So give them choices and control over things that they can safely do – snacks, daily outfits, etc.

Enjoy Them

Although dealing with the emotions, outburst, and attitude of my “threenager” can absolutely exhaust me some days, others [and sometimes even on those exhausting days], we have so much fun together. I see her personality developing, we have actual conversations, and we enjoy each others company.

Inside Out Toys

On the days when Moreaya pulls out her toys, and yes lately it’s been her Inside Out figures, and we play together, she exudes so much Joy, which makes dealing with my “threenager” a delight!

Let me know which Inside Out character is your child’s favorite and be sure to pick up your copy of Inside Out at Walmart today!


  1. These are some great tips! My youngest is SO easy to redirect because reverse psychology works like a dream on him. My other two? It doesn't work on them, unfortunately. I love Inside Out for being the catalyst movie to helping children learn to identify their emotions. #client
  2. Yes yes yes!! One of the reasons I loved this movie!! It such a great insight into a childs brain and how they develop!! Also a great way to teach expression emotions and how we are feeling!! All around amazing and so great for parents and kiddos alike!!

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