When I became a mother I knew that eventually I would have a fair amount of karma coming back to bit me on the rear because of the sassy (when I say sassy I mean flat out shithead) teenager that I had been in the past, however little did I know that the sass begins at an early age such as 4, which happens to be the same age as Madi who happens to also be quite the sasspot.

People always warned me about the “terrible twos” and the “threenager” stages but no one ever warned me about the “four going on fourteen” stage where misbehaviour becomes more common and the phrase “for funky ducks sake” is muttered under my breath on a regular basis. Yes, I have a wonderful child who is intelligent, caring and hilarious, but like all toddlers, they’re going to misbehave – that is how they learn right from wrong.

So for the last few months I have been sitting down when I get the chance to go through the Triple P Parenting modules (which are free for Queensland residents) – one of these modules happened to be a guide to managing misbehaviour in our children – AMEN! Naturally I was drawn to this subject as I have been trying to find a way to manage Madi’s newfound sass for quite some time and although she is a quick learner, it’s probably me who needs the help to save my sanity. 

I am first to admit that I have a tendency to be quick tempered and at times snappy, so when my toddler gets on her mighty high horse, it can become a situation that I could avoid if I knew how to manage it properly. When I say sass, I generally mean that Madi will answer back, crack a massive diva tantrum for who knows what reason or do something that she knows she isn’t allowed to do, which will then make her little brother think that it’s OK to do too. One child is a test, two is just asking for me to go batshit crazy. 

When it comes to managing misbehaviour, I have found that reward charts can be a great tool and even a bargaining chip for toddlers. Madi loves seeing a gold star sticker going up next to her name for positive behaviour, and I really love rewarding her for being a good girl. However she also knows that there are consequences for her crack-a-spats which can include time out, quiet time and if I’m lucky, an involuntary nap from crying too much. 

Ever since becoming a personal trainer, my patience with incompetence has really improved and seeing as it is unacceptable for me to get frustrated with a client for not being able to following my clear and calm instructions, I have carried that over into the home. Yes, I wish that I was naturally patient however I am stubborn and like things done right, so learning a sense of patience has most definitely lead me to be calmer when it comes to challenging moments.

If you haven’t logged onto Triple P already and you’re having a challenging time with your child as they start to stand their ground, I most definitely recommend giving yourself a bit of ‘parenting development’ time to look around the Triple P website and Facebook page and get help where you need it! Thank you to Triple P and the QLD Government for putting together such a helpful guide for us parents who need a little bit of extra help when it comes to the development of our children! The program is available online through this link, in person through either seminars in your local area or 1 on 1.

JPEG BW cropped.jpg
MotherhoodLauren Patterson