My kids are typically fairly well behaved. They didn't go through the terrible twos and we get complimented in public about how well they behave.
Five weeks ago we had newborn twin girls. I had a c-section, so I was in the hospital for 5 days. A month prior to their delivery, I was in the hospital with preterm labor. Their little worlds were turned upside down in a 30 day period. They started acting out, not listening, and basically pretending like my husband and I didn't exist. We had tried to prepare them, but they took full advantage of my being on bedrest and my husband having to be the only one running after them. They ran him ragged.
In a desperate mommy moment to get my 5 year old to behave, I resorted to manipulation tactics with the Elf on the Shelf and threats of a report by the Elf made directly by Santa. I went to Target to specifically purchase 2 Elves, one for my 4 year old son and one for my 5 year old daughter. We told them the story and placed the Elves in a visible location in their bedrooms, which they were supposed to be cleaning up. Three days later, I'm still threatening them with a report by the Elves to Santa. Today is day 4. I found both Elves in the backyard this morning. When I asked the kids why the Elves were in the backyard, they told me they'd "freed" them and told the Elves they no longer had to watch them, they were free to go and play and have fun.
I'm hoping that this is a passing phase with the addition of the twins to our family. I thought the "freeing of the Elves" was pretty funny. I hope anyone else who is trying this is having better results....