The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on MTV

Chris “CT” Tamburello may be a beast on MTV’s The Challenge, but the former Real World star is now wrangling a “little monster” of his own.

Since his last appearance on the MTV reality competition in 2015’s Battle of the Exes II, the 36-year-old has welcomed a son, Christopher, and he wants to use his new time on this year’s Invasion of the Champions to set a good example for the little guy after years of bad-boy antics on camera.

“The time’s going to come when he realizes I was on TV,” says Tamburello. “It’s going to be hard enough to get this kid to listen to me if he’s anything like me growing up. ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ doesn’t work as well when you’re acting like an animal.”

Though he’s keeping many details about his son to himself for now, Tamburello does say that fatherhood has had its benefits for his athletic ability: “My biceps are a lot stronger than they were before, having to lift the little meatball up and carry him around with me.”

Dealing with a child’s temper tantrums has also had an unexpected perk. “Being a dad, I feel like I see a lot more situations coming before they happen,” he teases. “If I see a kid in the house about to have a temper tantrum, I try to diffuse that bomb before it explodes.”

And while Tamburello cops to being “less aggressive” than he was on past Challenges, he promises that all his fire hasn’t gone: “Just because I’m a dad doesn’t mean I’m a pillow, you know what I mean? Don’t sleep on me.”

Chris "CT" Tamburello
Credit: MTV

Aside from his No. 1 priority was providing a good example for his son (who he says he would much rather see go to college than find fame on reality TV), Tamburello does say there were some personal stakes to this season.

“I wanted to prove to myself that there’s still some remnants of me left and I can still compete,” he admits. “Looking back on all the Challenges I’ve done, I see some mistakes and I feel like I should have had a few more wins if I had actually smartened up. I would love to be able to take a win back to little man: ‘Look at your old man. He’s still got it!’ ”

The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on MTV.