Sassy Little ToddlerMari Hernandez-Tuten
At first the cute little boy in this video will make you laugh. Then his sassy little attitude might scare you because you start thinking about your future children. It especially scared me because I have a little Mateo in my house who can be just as sassy in his own way.
I wanted to make the most of this hilarious video by sharing one tip to help you find the good in sassy little attitudes. Something I’m learning from a parenting book called Discipline That Connects by Jim & Lynne Jackson, is to find the good in the child’s misbehavior. Let’s use this video as an example. First try to keep a straight face (not sure if I could keep from laughing if my little man was as persistent as this kid) and you’d say, “Mateo, you sure are a persistent little guy. This trait is going to help you in the future. It’s definitely a good attribute to have. However, this isn’t the appropriate time to exercise this persistence!” When you give your child consequences make sure they receive this message from your discipline, “Even in your misbehavior I can see good things.”
This is something I need to work on because it’s not natural to find the good when we are frustrated. The Jacksons share in their book, “Again, this is not what parents usually think of when they discipline. But let’s face it, most misbehavior takes skill . . . Parents typically dwell only on the bad of the action. As a result, the message communicated, whether verbally or non-verbally, is “You are a problem!”
So for those of us who have little “Mateo’s” in our house, don’t fret. Continue finding something positive in their abilities and skills and communicating to them these two things:
They are responsible for their actions.
They are loved.
Then hope and pray that this persistence (better known as whining and nagging) pays off when they are the next scientist who discovers a cure for some rare disease because they didn’t give up trying when everyone else did! And you can’t forget the bossy little kid on the playground, they may be your next big business leader.