Behavior Charts and a Three Year Old

by Amber Stiles on April 28, 2012

UPDATE!!! Please find a printable version of this chart on my new blog HELPFULLY! 

You’ve heard me bellowing from the rafters about the difficulties of parenting a now three year old.  Well, something like that if Twitter and Facebook are rafters and my complaints can be considered bellows.  I know you’ve read about the behavior issues we’re facing when it comes to “Daddy Time“.

I was in a daze a month or so ago when I wrote about how hunk-dory everything was with Alexa’s acceptance of a new baby in her life and her house.  Well I was wrong…the cheerfulness has left the building.  Now there are so many tantrums, so many tears, so much sensitivity (mine and hers), and so much jealousy.  There are so many variables at play right now I don’t even know where to start.

Our 1st Mock Up!

Honestly, when it’s good is SO good.  Alexa is at an age now where she’s so smart and so sweet most of the time.  She can vocalize how she feels and tells you she loves you with such emotion you know she’s not just reciting the phrase back at you.  She hugs and cuddles with ferocity.  The other side of the coin is that these wide ranging emotions go to a dark place.  She gets so upset it sometimes takes an hour to talk her down.  If I can catch it before it starts (and I’m in a good mental place at that specific moment) a tantrum can be squashed be for it starts.  Other times we either fight it out (she wins because fighting with a toddler is an exercise in futility) or I keep a calm head and walk her through the stages of the issue at hand.

Because I know she’s capable of reason I think some basic behavior charts are in order soon.  Alexa chose this chart from Pinterest last week and I need to make it.  I’m also thinking of assigning some chores to work into this whole deal so she knows what’s expected of her and can earn her own special items.  Assigning value of some sort to her actions and responsibilities might make my life a little easier.  If it works then YAY.  If not, it’s worth a shot.  I’m hopeful since the Potty Chart full of stickers was a success!

I’ll write more about the success (or otherwise) with this new idea, in the meantime, check out my Pinterest Board of Behavior Charts.

Comments make me smile!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

allisonthemeep April 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I think charts are a great idea. When kids feel like they have a job they can excel at, and even earn a reward, they seem so much more willing to try for good behavior. It even still works for Julian. He was being so incredibly lazy and kind of mouthy, and we made a chart of what he needs to accomplish every day, and promised to pay him $5 a week if he did everything. And it’s working! He’s already a lot more helpful around the house.

I hope Alexa likes her new chart system and feels important using it!


Amber Stiles May 13, 2012 at 3:32 am

We’re taking it really slow but she’s responding well to the different levels on the behavior chart portion of the plan. I need to tweak it a bit though since she doesn’t want to go all the to purple since she likes blue better LOL!

Once we all get the hang of this we’ll add some chores…then move on to payment and saving and AHHHHHHHHH growing up!


cristene June 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I am going crazy.


Candace July 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hey, this is a great idea! Of all the charts I’ve see, this is really good! I have tried so many different versions and I think my almost 4 year old is ready for another.

Just a note, 3 year olds (with or without a new baby) are more difficult than any age ever! Something happens at 3, or just before, that turns them into little creatures from the dark depths of Mordor!


Brandy May 10, 2013 at 2:10 am

Can someone explain what the points mean and how this chart works I like the idea


Amber Stiles August 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Sorry I didn’t see this comment until now! the points are to be tallied each time you change the level, and at the end of the day…if you have a positive number, you get “something” for the day. I never did take it that far, LOL! But, I did update it on my new blog – (the post actually goes live tomorrow, check back then). There you will see I took out the numbers and just put in the total smiley for frowny faces. Kids who can’t read still understand that 1 of something is less than 3 and can see that the higher up gets more happy faces, while the lower down gets more sad faces. Does that makes sense?


Heather Bayer February 28, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Love how I found your site via my google search “behavior modification chart four year old.” great chart!


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Is that really all there is to it because that’d be flsbebrgaating.


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