Last week, I went to Disney World for the first time as a 40-year-old. 

The experience was, well, very Disney: fun, expensive and, as it turned out, educational.

You see, before we left for the Most Magical Place on Earth, Mirabelle’s snappiness meter had been tipping off the charts.

There had been a lot of “Stop it, Mama!” and what I like to call a stinky attitude.

I wasn’t about to shell out all that mad Disney World cash for a stinky attitude, that’s for sure.

That’s when I shot up a flare to Wendy Petricoff of Charlotte Parenting Solutions. She’s a wiz at getting the stink out of kids and parents, like those moms that get grass stains out of white shirts in Tide commercials.

Wendy and I had a call on Friday at 9:30 a.m. while I was in Disney World proper, and here’s the clarity she brought me on our call:

It’s so powerful to be heard and gotten: Wendy listened and empathized with my plight, and she got real with me. She talked about a recent moment with her teenage daughter at Nordstrom over a $30 skirt, impressing on me that the sass never ends, and these clashes are very human.

My child’s sass can be an asset to her later in life. It’s not always such a bad thing when our daughters are sassy. When they grow up and need to set boundaries about their bodies and time, you want them to sass away. It can be valuable to have a sharp, sassy daughter.

Practicing empathy and non-reaction wins the day. These two are a potent combo against sass. When you arrive at crazy-town angry with your kids, they smell fear like an animal. If you show emotion and anger, they win. This isn’t a 100 percent game, but if you keep it calm 50 or 60 percent of the time, you’re crushing it. Wendy gave me a handful of beautiful, emphatic one-liners when sassymouth shows up, like, “Do you want to try that again?” and “That behavior exhausted mommy, do you want to pay it back by doing a chore?”

Focusing on our responses rather than the offending behavior. It all comes down to how I respond when Mirabelle’s being a sass bucket. Do I jump in the pool and have a sass off with a 5-year-old, or do I stay on dry land for a calm and collected chat? Who do I want to be in the face of that? I’m going to practice generosity in those moments. I’m going to continue eating well and moving my body and be otherwise joyful so when sassymouth shows up, I’m prepared to be great. Besides, Mirabelle testing boundaries is her job as a five-year-old.

Bottom line: crisis averted in the most magical place on Earth.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

How are you taking care of yourself this week? What are your go-to phrases for dealing with sassymouth (because I could still use all the help I could get)?

Before I go: Mama, it’s time to save the date.

I’m launching the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat in Charlotte from January 26 to 28 and in New York from March 23 to 24!

We’ll be offering all kinds of fun incentives during the early bird, so keep these dates close to you.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.