These days, I am noticing things that I say over and over again. Broken-record style. Deciding whether these are extremely helpful or extremely detrimental to my children's emotional well-being is fuzzy, at best. Someone's life mantra might be someone else's $100/hour therapy bill in the future. Time will tell.
"Think before you do." With my kids, I frequently observe them doing something foolish, rash, dangerous, etc. without any rational thought behind it. Typical of kids, yes. I guess this is my equivalent of "use your brain" or "look before you leap." I use it about 247 times/day with my oldest son and about (maybe) once with my other son. There's something interesting about that. Personality difference? Think so.
"'Why?' is not an answer." Ever have someone answer a question with a question? This wasn't just Jesus' tactic...but my kids have caught on as well. Except (unlike Jesus), their question is more of an act of rebellion or a shameless stalling technique. I remind them, lovingly, with my mom-ism and then ask the question again...expecting a real answer. Yes, no, maybe so? Anything is better than, "why?"
"The last shall be first and the first shall be last" A rip-off, I know. Not entirely original. But, for two competing brothers, this one is a doozy and hilarious when they use it on each other. Try it out sometime. It is the never-ending cycle of role-switching that (most of the time) ends in manipulation. They obviously haven't figured out the underlining-meaning of forbearance just yet.
"If I said we were going out for ice cream, would your attitude be like this?" An instant reality-check. They are, in fact, in control of their disposition and emotions towards obedience. And...they realize how easily they can fake compliance as well. I should start asking myself this question when I start complaining and am slow to obey. Do I give the same enthusiasm if I am working for a chocolate-peanut butter milkshake as my reward? Hmmm...
These are just a few. Listing out all of them would just give you new material to use in your own home. I'm not exactly sure if I am helping you out or not...
What are some of your mantras/-isms/sayings that you use? What do you remember your parents "teaching" you with in your childhood? Can't wait to hear 'em. Leave yours in the comment box below.