3 year olds are at that "special" stage of discipline where they understand much but can control very little. Since we were having so much trouble with our daughter's newfound self-awareness and pride, I have decided to dust off the Yes Ma'am chart I created when Fulton was 3 to give him positive reinforcement for the times he cooperated with my requests. It has become clear that I need to start using these again, for both Marialina and Fulton!
It is a simple reward system to keep track of the times my children have been good and cheerful helpers around the house.
We start each day at the Cross and say a little prayer, such as: "Dear Mary, help me to be more like you every day and help me to say 'yes' when Mommy or Daddy ask me to do something, just like you said 'yes' to God. Amen"
Once the prayer is done, have your child color in the Cross. Whenever your child responds to a request with a 'Yes Ma'am', your child gets a sticker on the bead or gets to color it in. Every Our Father bead equals a reward (a Smartie candy is nice to use. It is small, but tasty, and it is always smart to obey, right?) If the rosary is completed, or a designated level within the rosary is complete for the day, give your child a bigger reward, like a game, extra story or a movie. What fun to watch the rosary of good intentions fill up! And how excited they are to show Daddy their progress when he gets home!
I created this using graphics I found online and combined them. Just save it as a JPEG file (important!) and you can print it out for your own children! If you don't want to print out new sheets each day, laminate a page and use erasable markers to color in the beads. Or you may use the same sheet over the course of a few days to reach a big goal at the end of the week. Whatever works for you!