Birth control. You won't find any form that is more pure and more effective as babysitting four nephews. Overnight. It is also a great fitness motivator ("Are you pregnant?" "Hey, you're fat.") or else, a good reason to take up an eating disorder.
I threatened one of my nephews three times with locking him in his room if he didn't obey me. It was pretty dang effective. He wasn't motivated by cookies (psh, and he calls himself a Gosney), going to bed when it was still light outside, or the thought of his mom finding out the next day of his impotence — OK, actually, that was effective too. But the being-dragged-upstairs-by-his-ears-and-locked-inside-with-no-bathroom-privelages was the best though. I'll have to remember that with my own kids.
I guess it doesn't help that I smile and laugh when they start mouthing off or being sneaky. It helps the whining part though, because they can't whine while laughing at me in return for laughing at them. (Did you follow that?) I have a problem, laughing at kids. Like when babies are screaming bloody-murder? I laugh. It's a defense mechanism. If I don't laugh, I'll start crying from the stress. Fellow mothers are going to think I'm psycho when I bust up laughing at my wailing child. But maybe, if I act unstable enough, they'll put me in a mental hospital for observation, thus giving me a break from my children. Believe me, I'll take whatever break I can get. Especially if it involves padded rooms and white jumpsuits. Whaaaat.
I love my nephews, they are super sweet. And not just because of the 16 cookies and Go-Gurts I fed them before drugging them with NyQuil and putting them in bed (I kid, I kid). They give the best hugs, come up with the best stories, and I will never be expected to talk with them about adolescent girl problems — ah jeez, at least I hope not.
Oh, and my nieces are pretty fly too.