The 10 Things I did That Finally worked for Potty Training My Four Year Old

ITS OFFICIAL! My boys are potty trained and I’m still living to talk about it. It’s been rough.

We’ve had major setbacks and my youngest was actually trained before my oldest. We used every bribe in the book and none of it worked. He was legitimately terrified of the toilet and the potty.

I finally decided that all the diapers needed to go in the house and that we were going to go at this cold turkey. I still don’t know if it was the right decision mentally for him but it did work.

At first the poor guy was so upset and he would hold it for hours and hours until eventually he couldn’t and would have an accident. We would try to take him to the potty as soon as we saw the dance but then he wouldn’t be able to go and as soon as we stopped trying he would go anywhere but the potty.

Then we figured the only way he would go not using a diaper was in the bath 🤦🏼‍♀️ so we started just letting him go with the tap on and no water in it with the drain open. That started to work. He would say “I have to go pee I better turn on the bath! “

One morning I woke up to a scream and he had put himself in the bath to take a poop. Ugh, now I had graduated from cleaning up pee In the bath to cleaning up poop. Great! But that’s ok, as long as he wasn’t using a diaper we were moving in the right direction.

Finally after a month of this he started to tell me when he had to go. One day when I saw the dance, I grabbed him and said “we’re doing this!” I sat him on the toilet and we hugged as he said “I’m so scared Mama, I’m so scared.” I just kept reminding him in a gentle way that I believed in him and that I’m not going to let anything happen to him.

After 10 minutes of this, it happened! Pee and poop! He was so proud of himself, as was I! And from that moment I can’t keep him out of the bathroom.

I never thought I would say having both my boys trained in under a month would be life changing, but it is! What a sense of accomplishment.

10 Things I did That Finally Worked

1) Have a preparation talk. Gently explain to your child that they are a big boy/girl now and they no longer need to use diapers.

2) Have a diaper parade where you actually march the diapers out to the garbage bin (donation bin) together as a family. We actually sang a song. Called “No More Diapers”

3) ELIMINATE ALL DIAPERS we even made him sleep totally commando. Nothing at all! Even the feeling of underwear on him was enough to make him feel like a diaper was on and he would have an accident. That brings me to the next point.

4) Comando at all times. We sent him off to programs without underwear. Only pants on. Underwear is too close to feeling like a diaper.

5) Don’t discuss the subject at all other than when it’s time to go. Kids who are struggling to use the potty have a lot of anxiety around it. The less pressure the better. 

6)  take them straight to the bathroom as soon as you see them start to do the dance. If that’s not working, follow the next point.

7) I found that my son was more likely to go without a diaper in the bathtub. If that’s what works, let it happen! As long as he’s not in a diaper you’re moving in the right direction.

8) REWARD even for bathtub pees and poops. Eventually it will graduate to the potty.

9) Don’t give up! Stay consistent even if it’s taking weeks. Hang in there. Both you and your partner and EVERYONE involved have to be on the same page. Partners, grandparents, Nanny’s, Teachers, etc

10) Once they have their first poop in the potty, start a reward chart. 10 stickers gets them a toy! I’m a big believer in hard work pays off.

Hang in there Mama. You got this!!

Toddler Talk with Desiree From Rockababy


In this episode Stina and Bre welcome back Desiree from Rockababy to talk about behaviour strategies and difficulties that all parents deal with. We also open up about our own struggles with raising toddlers and Desiree walks us through some really helpful tips and tools to use when times get tough. Also, we answer your questions that you sent us through out instagram page. Tune in!

Rockababy’s Website

Rockababy’s Instagram @rockababyguru


Check out this episode!

6 Orton Gillingham Tips to Help Boost Your Child’s Reading

Is your child struggling with reading? Here’s 6 Orton Gillingham tips that can help to give your child the boost he or she needs.

1. Practice Phonics

Phonics is the teaching of each individual letter sound. By teaching phonics you’re giving your child the tools to break down words into their sounds versus expecting them to memorize them.

2. Teach Sight Words

Sight words are words that you cannot sound out phonetically. Sight Words are learned by lots of repetition and memorization.

3. Purchase phonics-based books that you can practice with them. I will put a link in our bio of my favourite ones.

4. Start a Reading Prize Chart have your child read one phonics book per night that they can add to their prize chart. Once they complete the chart they get a prize. This will help to keep them motivated and make it more fun for them.

5. Take turns reading with them. If reading has become laborious take turns reading with each other. You read a page and then they read a page. Then they can also listen to your fluency and read along with you. Point with your finger as you read so they can follow along.

6. Build Confidence! Confidence is half the battle if you celebrate small successes they’ll be more inclined and excited about their progress and will want to read more. Praise them and be excited for them when they complete a book or learn a new sound etc.

For my favourite resources to use with my students and my own kids go to the link in our bio.

Links to My Favourite Resources on Amazon

Primary Phonics Readers

Bob Book Readers

Explode the Code Work Books

Reading Charts

Sight Word Flash Cards

6 Sleep Teaching Methods to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

Desiree Cluff is the founder and operator of Rockababy. She calls herself the baby guru and is one of the top sleep consultants for children in Vancouver BC. 


Desiree attended Erickson College where she studied Life Coaching and Neuro Linguistic Programming, an approach to Psychotherapy based on the awareness of the power of language to affect behaviour and stimulate the mind. She also has a Masters Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and over 17 years of experience working with children, babies and toddlers. 


DESIREE has always wanted to help others and from a  from a young age she knew that she wanted to work with specifically children. 


I have known Desiree for several years and when my second child was not sleeping, of course it was her that I called upon. What I loved so much about Desiree was her empathetic and caring nature. She really took the time to understand where I was as the mother emotionally and based on that created a plan for us. It was exactly what I needed as I was feeling extremely vulnerable and full of anxiety. The cry it out method was not an option. that would’ve completely shaken my world and I was very comforted by the fact that Desiree was not expecting that of me. We worked together to create a plan that was right for our family.  


Desiree has helped hundreds of families work through and build healthy sleep habits and we are excited to be able to share her knowledge and wisdom with you in our podcast! 

You can find Desiree at and you can download her 6 tips from her website. 

Check out this episode!

Navigating Your way Through the Fourth Trimester

On this episode we interview a very special guest to us, Lena Morissette, Stina’s Mother and Bre’s Mother in Law tonight on our podcast. Lena has her Bachelors Degree in Social Work and she is a Registered Social Worker. 


Lena Worked one and a half years with a program for parents teaching them parenting skills. These parents were at risk of having their children ages 0-5 removed from their care. She also Worked at Various different hospitals covering the outpatient maternity clinic, inpatient labour and delivery and post partum as well as she worked in the Nicu for premature babies 32 weeks and over. She has worked and helped support many women dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety, miscarriage, stillbirth, domestic violence, substance abuse, difficult and traumatic births and breastfeeding issues. She has most recently worked in adoption assisting birth parents wanting to place their babies for adoption. 


We are so excited to have her on our podcast as we know she will be a fantastic resources for anyone going through the ups and downs, highs and lows of pregnancy and post pregnancy. she has been a massive source of support for both us us through our pregnancies and postpartum and we are excited to share her with you all!! 

 Resources for you!




T-Time for Yourself for residents of BC 



Check out this episode!

Palm Springs with Kids

Recently my family and I took a trip to Palm Springs, something we do at least once a year. I think a lot of people think of Palm Springs as the place where Grandma and Grandpa go to retire and play golf but it actually is perfect for kids. We always stay in the Palm Desert area in the city of La Quinta. Palm Desert is a popular place for Vancouverites to go as it is super close only about a two and a half hour trip from Vancouver Canada by plane. If you’re looking for a low-key easy-going trip with your children I highly suggest Palm Springs.

 We usually VRBO a house but there are also fantastic hotels that are kid friendly all over the place. We personally like to stay in a house because the kids have unlimited access to a pool, we have access to a kitchen and we can stay home and barbeque and drink margaritas! Also, it is only about two hours away from Disneyland! 

If you’re visiting Palm Springs for the first time with kids, here are a few great places to take the kids while you’re there. 

The Living Desert Zoo


This zoo is pretty cool! They actually have giraffes, just an example of many of the exotic animals. They do a scheduled feeding where you can literally get inches away from them. There are lots of places for your little ones to run and explore but just remember it can get quite hot as it is in the desert so a hat is a must as well as lots of sunscreen.

The Palm Springs Air Museum

This is a great museum that primarily focusses on World War II era aviation. It has a fantastic collection of historic planes. This museum is a must see for any child that loves planes and anything that moves!

Cabazon Dinosaurs

These dinosaurs are a must see! They are life size dinosaurs just perched in the middle of nowhere in the desert. You can actually climb into one of the dinosaurs mouth and take a picture.

The Children’s Discovery Museum


This is a great museum that is packed with exhibits for kids to explore and learn. Kids of all ages will enjoy this.

Palm Desert Aquatic Centre

If you need a change from your hotel pool or your house pool the aquatic centre is a great place for kids to be able to splash around and play in a variety of pools that have waterslides, diving boards, a splash playground and a toddler pool.

The Jackalope Ranch

Palm Springs is definitely not short on fantastic restaurants but one of our favourites to go with our kids it’s called the Jackalope Ranch. Parents can sit and enjoy a giant margarita and a delicious meal while the kids run and play on the beautiful grass decorated with gorgeous rocks and waterfalls. They also have a great kids menu!

ALSO, if you’re planning on tying in Disney Land visit our stories on instagram and watch Stina at the HoJo. She has fantastic tips on navigating your way through a Disney Trip. @themindfullmommies

Pictures from Our Own Trip

Happy Traveling!

6 Tips You Can Use Today to Help With Your Child’s Behaviour

We just recently interviewed Margery Healy, The Compassionate Parent Coach. Margery has been working with families for several years helping them create peace and harmony in their homes. She is extremely passionate and knowledgeable in the topic of parenting and behaviour strategies. On our podcast Margery walks us through 6 solid tips that you can use right away if you’re struggling with your child’s behaviour.

1.Choose one behaviour to work on at a time… decide what the behaviour is and what you want to teach your child in the process? For ex. if they are hitting, you would want to teach them to be gentle and to use their hands softly when interacting with other children and adults. It is important that you decide what it is you want to see and that it is a positive. If you go in and tackle 5 or 6 things at once you will be more likely to throw in the towel and give up. As well, chances are you will learn something from modifying one behaviour that you can apply to modifying another… and sometimes, another behaviour will clear up on its own while working on the behaviour of choice… and as we go along I will tell you why that might happen… for now, it is just a magical bonus if it does!

2.Quick & Dirty Research Pays Off – I know we all like to jump in and just deal with the behaviour you are trying to change, however, if we take a few minutes to ask ourselves some questions we can develop a well thought out strategy that is more likely to yield a positive result. Here are some questions I invite you to ask yourself before modifying/guiding your child’s behaviour: Have I been successful in modifying a behaviour before? If yes, what about that was successful? For ex. was it my consistency? What strengths do I have as a parent, that I can capitalize on? What strengths does my child have that I can capitalize on? If you take your time to do some research you will begin to identify a pattern of character traits and strategies that work consistently regardless of what behaviour you are working on.

3.Developing a Strategy – things to think about: I want to subsection this part… A:) Management – is the behaviour something you can simply manage – for ex. my child is slamming the french doors – can you remove the french doors for now? My child is getting the markers and drawing on the walls – can you put the markers in a place that is inaccessible. This goes for many things… be one step ahead of your child and remove

anything and everything you think could end in disaster. B:) can you indulge/redirect the behaviour – for ex. if a child is biting can you clip a teething ring to the child’s clothes and every time they bite offer them that instead. Another ex. If a child won’t stop using potty words, can you give them a place in your house where they can use potty words – the bathroom. If a child loves to hit, can you provide them with a hitting pillow, hence if they feel frustration and need to hit, they can find their special pillow. However, please remember that most behaviour such as hitting, biting, pushing, grabbing etc is impulsive and they are not premeditated. So please be patient with your little ones when using redirection. As well, leading to my next strategy… if redirection is not working on the first try you might want to C:) Assess the overall picture – for ex. when does my child exhibit the unwanted behaviour the most? and what is it that they might need? And can I provide that? For ex. If a child is in a social setting and cannot stop biting or hitting, it may be because the social setting is too overwhelming and they don’t know how to communicate that to you. Or maybe they are overtired or hungry and they do not know how to say, ‘hey mom, I am feeling tired, I need a break from this playdate’ I often say that when we see a behaviour on repeat we need to look at the overall situation. This also tells us that sometimes we think that our child is just being aggressive, when all they are really trying to do is express themselves and they do not know how. D:) Natural Consequence whenever and wherever possible. There is nothing like a natural consequence. For ex. If they are throwing food, remove the food. If they are hitting a child remove the hitter from the situation or remove the child being hit. E:) refrain from further punishment – we can do an entire podcast and how ineffective punishment can be and why. For now, I will offer that in most cases removing a child’s favourite toy in hopes to motivate impulsive behaviour will often backfire as a strategy. F:) Be creative – parents are the most creative people I know… usually because by the time we decide to modify a behaviour we are desperate and exhausted and completely done… so I invite you to tap into that creativity. Parents I work with come up with far better ideas than I ever would. G:) stick to a plan and give it time – research shows that 

when we are clear, concise and consistent we will get results H:) Combine A,B,C & D… feel free to use a combination of the first four strategies. For ex. if a child is into throwing toys that could cause damage, you could remove those toys (natural consequence) and offer them nerf balls and a bucket or something soft that they can throw. (redirection) If you can’t find an actual toy… see if they can throw socks into the washing machine… or frozen peas into a big tupper ware… (creativity) 

4.What is Normal: sometimes when a child exhibits behaviour we can be unsure whether it is ‘normal’… i like to use the words, ‘age appropriate’… if we do not have a frame of reference, ie, an older child or peer, we can be uncertain. If you find yourself uncertain, check in with your health care provider, or your child’s teacher. Everything is probably age appropriate, but it is nice to simply know for sure and than you can relax and simply deal with what is being exhibited

5.Emotions – Sometimes our children behaviour triggers our own emotional response. This is because we often worry that their behaviour can equate to something life long… For ex. my child hits therefore they are aggressive and might be aggressive forever and what if no one wants to play with them and what if they never stop hitting and get labelled the mean kid. The list of worries goes on. The truth is that if you are listening to this podcast you are a loving and caring parent who is going to support your child and it would be far fetched to think that your child will turn into an aggressive human being. As well, remember that children are trying to express a need and just need help expressing it. Hence if we can put our fears and worries to rest we be less emotional. When we are less emotional our children are more likely going to respond to our efforts to modify the exhibited behaviour.

6.BE KIND – be kind to yourself… be kind to other parents plights… we are all facing different challenges at different times… modifying behaviour takes time… take care of the person who is working so hard to raise great kids. 

Margery Healey

If you want to know more about The Compassionate Parent Coach you can find her at

She is also on Instagram @thecompassionateparentcoach

If you’d like to listen to Margery’s full episode about these tips you can listen to her on our podcast here.

Episode 5

6 Tips You Can Use Today to Help with Your Child’s Behaviour

On this episode we interview Margery Healy, The Compassionate Parent Coach. Margery has been working with families for several years helping them create peace and harmony in their homes. She is extremely passionate and knowledgeable in the topic of parenting and behaviour strategies. On our podcast Margery walks us through 6 solid tips that you can use right away if you’re struggling with your child’s behaviour.

Check out this episode!

3 Activities You can do With Your Child Today that will Ensure they Enter Kindergarten with Confidence!

Do you want your child to enter kindergarten feeling confident and excited to walk through the doors? This is the podcast you must listen to! On Episode 4 we interviewed Tennessee Briand who is the cofounder of Little House Tutoring and  Education Centre in Vancouver British Columbia. As a passionate educator, Tennessee has worked with children for most of her adult life. 

Tenessee believes that learning should be fun, and that Little House should be a place of warmth and comfort for all students. She wants every student to have a positive memory of his or her educational journey and each to feel special and important at Little House. She considers her day a success when she sees a child make a complete turnaround from being terrified of the challenges that another day could bring, to being excited about tomorrow and its possibilities.

One of Tenessee’s strengths is in communicating with kids who have learning challenges and behavioural struggles–often a two way street. The behavioural struggles are a symptom of the extreme frustration the child is feeling toward learning. Tess encourages early intervention, and has a true gift for working through these troubles with her students. She works closely with the parents to help them understand what their children are going through. 

On this episode We discuss the importance Of building a strong pre-kindergarten literacy program for your child. We talk about options to help support your child in building a solid foundation. Stina brings her experience as a kindergarten teacher and talks about some of the expectations teachers are watching for, as well as Bre and Tess walk you through all sorts of great tools and learning activities that you can do with your child at home to give them a strong start that will make it fun for the both of you! Click Here to listen to our podcast

Here are 3 solid activities you can do with your child today!

  1. Name Practice-place their name all over the house. On the fridge, in their room, in their play space and have them point out the letters you call out. Have them find their name using any opportunity you have outside of the house.
  2. Play Matching Games with the Alphabet-There are all sorts of ways to get creative using toys and stickers. Match upper case to upper case, lower case to lower case and upper case to lower case.
  3. Play what do you hear? Pick up a toy and say ” This is a car. What do you hear? ccc car! C says /k/ for car.” Then practice matching sounds with toys. “put the c on the car.”

Do you want to know more about Tennessee and Little House Tutoring and Education Centre? Visit the website at

Instagram @littlehousetutoring