Remember when Mom used to say…

I mostly don’t like to think about what my kids will remember me saying repeatedly to them, because I catch myself saying some pretty stupid stuff – repeatedly.

If they remember these two phrases however, I’ll be happy.

1. “Don’t be a Tornado.”

I say this one a lot. My kids (and one in particular) tend to come into the home after school and whoosh – 10 minutes later cabinets are open, snack wrappers and paper plates are strewn everywhere, the jelly is left out with the knife still stuck in it, backpacks are creating an obstacle course from the door all the way into the living room – you get the picture.

Since I know they love and cherish me and do not, absolutely DO NOT mean to go around leaving messes they do not intend to clean up themselves, I call it acting like a tornado – randomly and without direction, wreaking havoc and causing destruction. 

So, after they are done completely spacing out after school and they start to realize where they are and who they are, they usually get things picked up. But still, even though I know it’s probably a waste a breath, pretty much every day I tell them before they get out of the car to start the walk up to the back door… “DON’T BE A TORNADO!!!”

May it serve them well in all their future abodes.

2. “Pray and Hope”

Bedtime is sacred time for me. As someone who has fought insomnia head-on ever since I was a child, I have some pretty strict rules for myself and my kids about what is OK to say, think, and do right before sleep. We always read together, then each kid gets in bed and I come around and pray, snuggle, chat a little, scratch backs, etc.

My oldest has just begun to start to wrestle with what I call “Night Time Worry.” Fears about the future, concerns for friends, problems without solutions, unconfessed sin starts pouring out of every little pore. I find myself telling her (and myself) that everything feels worse at night, that she is experiencing “tired feelings” which are frequently unreliable, that it’s not the time to try to make any decisions or consider any situation seriously. We write down things we might forget and we confess quickly anything we are sorry about and then we reserve the moments before sleep for Prayer and Hope.

We think about things we are looking forward to, and pray about things we are thankful for. That is it. Every other thought is ignored and put away until the morning.This really works for me and I can see some good habits forming in my eldest.

And then, let’s just hope they forget all the other mantras around here that are less than wonderful…

“Stop being a Dumb Butt.”

“Dumb Butts are not welcome here.”

“What’s with the Dumb Butt attitude?”


“I didn’t raise you to act like a dumb butt.”

I’m not sure why that is my catch-all phrase, but it is.

How about you? What will your kids hear in the back of their minds forever and ever??



One thought on “Remember when Mom used to say…

  1. Kristin says:

    “That is inappropriate.” Apparently my mom used this phrase with me when I was quite small to great effect, and it has carried over into my parenting. I guess I like big words, but it’s just so…appropriate…for so many occasions. Also “All hands on deck,” which means “Why do you think you get to go sit on the couch and read while we clean up this mess? Get back in here and help til it’s done!” My least favorite but most used is probably, “Let’s goooo – we’re laaaaaaaaaaate!” :-/

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