Disciplining the 3 year old. I don't like the term "spirited" because it means bad. My 3 year old isn't bad, she is just different. She is wired differently than the rest of us. For the most part she needs things explained differently for things to work for her. She is less obedient then my 4 year old and 2 year old. But---she is starting to make the change.
What works for me is the fuzzy ball system.
Some examples of the paper rewards are stay up 10 minutes past bedtime, or a special treat. I have 15 different things to choose from. Each day is different. She doesn't always get 10 balls and sometimes when she is sooooo close she will ask if there is something SHE can do to earn more balls.
Instead of focusing on her bad behavior I have rewarded good behavior. She gets a ball for sharing or playing nicely etc. Chores completed without help or reminder get balls too. I have seen such a change in her behavior because she is getting MORE attention because she is good.
If she is not being good or is having a hard day she loses balls. At the end of the day when we count them she will tell her daddy what she got them for. "I got the red one for following directions the first time" etc.
It is so easy and fun for her and I don't have to fight her anymore. The other kids cheer her on...its pretty funny.