Hang in there…a message for parents struggling with defiance

I had a conversation with a mum this week about how difficult she is finding her baby not sleeping and her toddler not listening. It got me thinking about how the behaviours that challenge us so much when our children are young can actually help to shape them into incredible people later on in life.

To the parents of the baby who doesn’t sleep and the parents of the toddler who oozes defiance, I’m here to tell you…hang in there!

The days are long and the nights even longer. Exhausted parents around the world pace up and down and jiggle restless babies and feisty toddlers. I’m here to tell you…hang in there!

My baby who fed non stop, who couldn’t be put down, who wouldn’t sleep, and who turned me into an exhausted wreck, became my toddler who wouldn’t go in the pushchair, who would climb out of her cot, who would quite effortlessly climb out of her five-point harness car seat at traffic lights, who wouldn’t hold my hand, who never needed help, and who would frequently throw food at me and then laugh when I told her no. I’m here to tell you, hang in there.

The thing is that this same baby and toddler who drove me crazy with her constant defiance, is now the most loving, caring and helpful teenager you could meet. This same baby and toddler is now a teenager who is top of her class, committed, driven, independent and the hardest worker in the room.

This same baby and toddler has become a young woman full of vision and wisdom way beyond her years, a force to be reckoned with and a shining example of what determination and perseverance can bring.

Hang in there parents because the challenges you face when they are young will become their very best qualities and the traits you most admire in them.

Whilst we get frustrated with defiance in small children, we want our teenagers to outgoing, independent and self-motivated. So embrace the defiance in your toddler and ride out the sleep loss with your baby because amazing things are coming your way.

Hang in there! Those exhausting infant traits could turn out to be their greatest assets in life.


  1. We often say ‘nothings forever’ and so true when it comes to children and they are always changing and routines and behaviour will change but sometimes it can be draining.

  2. It really is incredible how we can continue to function on such little sleep when the kids are little. Those days seem impossible, yet pass so fast – they grow up very quickly. Looking back I feel only awe and amazement at how we managed back then.

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