What we do about behavioural obstacles with our four kids

Sometimes when I scroll through Instagram or Facebook and once again start to think about how I really need to “up” my photography game, I also start to think, I wonder if we turned the camera around in that beautifully styled room, or if we could rewind time by just five minutes, to see the build-up of the photo of the adorably happy children sitting on chairs in matching outfits, what would we see?

When I used to attempt perfection…

family photo

mother and daughter

mother and daughters

Would we see a three-year-old refusing to wear the perfectly curated outfit and insisting on wearing pajamas… all… day… long…? Would her twin sister be running away, suddenly tripping and hitting her head and begin to sob? Would you see a seven-year-old picking apart your idea for the staged photo, or an impatient almost-nine-year-old sighing loudly asking “how much longer?”

That’s what you’d see in my home. Seriously. That is our home on a daily basis.

The reality…

worried mom



(To be honest, I loved the beautiful chaos and the humour of our family’s outtakes so much that I stopped going for perfection and started to document real-life)

Oh right, that is why I don’t have a stunning and beautifully curated Instagram feed. I like to call my Instagram, real-life with a filter.

Seriously though, my kids misbehave. With four kids I have learned that there will always be a wobbly plate, (as I like to call our child that is struggling). Every time I get that kid figured out, sure enough another child starts to push my buttons and their limits.

Our family has faced everything from lying, to stealing, hitting, biting, ignoring, rudeness, property destruction… I could go on but I think you get the point.

These are regular kids, just testing the waters, and their parents. Sure, our kids can also be incredibly kind, sweet, caring and generous. But everyday life is peppered with behavioral problem solving as a parent.

So, what do I do about it?

I pick my battles. When it comes to tattle tale-ing and minor offenses, I often say, “work it out.” Or if I can tell that this minor offense is a bid for my attention, I will ignore it and then be sure to make a fuss when I see that child doing something good.

I talk to my kids, other parents and caretakers. Communication in our home is extremely important. I think that regardless of what transpires with bad behavior, it is very important for our kids to understand not only what they did, but what our family’s expectations are. Sometimes a conversation and some understanding can go a long way.
When I am really struggling with a behavioral problem, I will talk to other parents and even the teachers at my kids’ school and at Kids and Company. I’ve had more than one situation resolved with help from a teacher giving some useful advice at our twins’ daycare. Also, it is important to hear that your kid is not the only one going through this particular stage.

I revoke privileges. There’s a bit of a debate about tablets and kids. I, for one, am a fan of kids ages four and up having their own iPads. That means that two of our four kids have iPads. Here’s the beautiful thing, iPads are a great tool for discipline, at least in our house. When action must be taken with our older kids I will give a warning and then follow through with an iPad being taken away. Depending on the seriousness of the offense our kids will lose their iPads for hours (and earn it back with good behavior) or weeks.

I let them cool off. Occasionally a fight will break out so intense that there needs to be a cool-off period before even doing anything about it. In this situation, when a kid can’t cool off, can’t talk and doesn’t even want a hug, we guide them up to their room and give them five minutes.
Almost every time I will go back in and they are not only calm, but they act like nothing even happened. I think we can all use a little space sometimes.

Whether it’s a biting phase with a toddler, or a call home from a teacher, I want you to know you are not alone. We all go through it. It is important to keep perspective, lean on your village and know that you are doing a great job!

This post was created in partnership with Kids & Company.

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.

Stress management and leading with love


This week was one filled with ups and downs, triumphs, and exciting new beginnings.

Last weekend we continued to struggle through our twins’ temper tantrums and hitting phase, which I can only conclude is them approaching the “trying threes.” Actually, as I sit here right now, it has dawned on me that they turn three next month! Where has the time gone?

But last weekend I started to realize that I was getting way too wrapped up in, and worked up with every tantrum, fight and frustrating behaviour. This, in turn had been taking a physical toll on me, with constant sore shoulders, migraines and extreme exhaustion. I was outputting way to much energy, when it wasn’t necessary.

So, what have I done about it? I am chilling out. I am taking deep breaths, ignoring, redirecting, and just trying to stay calm. Guess what? It’s actually working.

As the week progressed, although it had its peeks, I experienced some more difficult situations. After having a good cry, I regrouped and took the three steps it has taken me over thirty years to learn to do… which you can watch here:

But something really exciting happened this week… I hired a team member for Nesting Story and AmandaMuse and I hosted our Story Muse & Co. team for dinner, which was incredibly exciting and inspiring. Welcome to my week…

Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Instagram to keep up with us day to day!

Today I broke

four kids

Well, that was a week.

It was one of those weeks that by today, my nerves are fried. It wasn’t all bad. I had a great work and social week, but when it comes to parenting, I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. The waves kept crashing.

As you may know, if you have been following our story, we moved our twin toddlers from cribs to beds last weekend. I am officially referring to this transition as toddler bed gate. It deserves its own name.

Nights haven’t been too bad, but the absence of naps has been a nightmare. Before switching our twins, they were napping every second or third day. So, I thought that if naps went out the window with their cribs, that we’d all be okay.

I was so wrong.

The most over-used word in our house right now is “basket cases.” Here’s the kicker, not only are Mia and Everly in fragile mental states at the moment, but we also celebrated Beau’s sixth birthday on Tuesday which has sent her through loop.

The build up and excitement of big events has a big impact on our Beau. I get it. I was that kid too.

But let’s get back to toddler bed gate. Although I have put our twins in quiet time in their room, and an occasional nodding off has happened in their stollers, the result of this big change and sleep deprivation has impacted their behaviour… big time.

So, here I am, on a sunny cold Friday morning, trying to navigate these waters as I balance motherhood and work, while switching our girls from Play Doh, to  Mega Blocks, to snacks, in hopes that maybe, just maybe naps will miraculously happen today. All plans of running errands with them have disappeared.

I had a good cry to Mike on the phone after dropping the big kids off at school this morning. That was therapeutic.

Thankfully it is Friday and I get to co-parent this weekend.

Send coffee.

Want to watch our week unfold? Here are this week’s vlogs…

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