The Beauty of a Catch-Phrase

Since we all know that repeating ourselves (and repeating ourselves…and repeating ourselves…) is the name of the game in parenting, we might as well as make it snazzy.  Hubs and I seem to have developed a treasure trove catch-phrases that we use over and over.  If you were to pop in to the Dryer house, this is what you’d likely hear….

"Take what you get and don’t throw a fit."

Every single mom I’ve ever met uses this one.  I think that when you’re distracted by the throes of labor, the hospital must inject this little ditty directly into your brain. 

"I am my brother’s keeper." 

My Hubs initiated this one with our boys–it’s taken (very loosely) from Scripture.  He has given them numerous rousing speeches about the virtues of brotherhood–really, you can almost hear the violins playing the background.  In moments of brotherly bickering Hubs has been known to call out, "I am?…." and the boys chant back (sometimes through gritted teeth) " brother’s keeper."

We’re going to conveniently ignore that the Scripture being referenced is, in fact, the story of one brother murdering another.  Though there are days when that seems all too relevant.

"Different is good."

We’ve used this one with Adam since he was very little.  He’s not always the best at adapting to change, and we’ve had to coax him off a few figurative ledges by having him repeat with us, "Different is good." 

I’m predicting this one will come back to bite us someday when Stephen (who most certainly does not have trouble deviating from the norm) comes home with purple hair and an nose-ring.  "Yo, dawg…different is good!"

"See a need, fill a need." 

We lifted this one straight from the movie Robots.  Loosely translated, it’s a nice way to say, "get your duff off the couch and feed the dog without being asked.  Please."

"If you’re gonna play rough, you’ve gotta be tough."

A friend taught us this one, and we happily pull it out when there is tackle football going on in the living room.  It’s basically a new-and-improved version of "it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt," or "Don’t come cryin’ to me!"

"Blood, barf, bones or bad guys?" 

This is my favorite one.  Sometimes, a momma needs the older kids to prioritize their needs before interrupting.  "Don’t come in here unless it’s an emergency" wasn’t working for my brood, because they think a misplaced Nerf ball is reason enough to call in the Special Forces. 

So, I got a little more specific.  When I need a few minutes of alone-time to accomplish something, the kids know to interrupt me ONLY if they see blood, vomit, a bone sticking out somewhere or a villain scaling the side of our house. 

And really, it just warms this momma’s heart to picture them sitting around living room after my funeral someday, reminiscing about their sweet mother, and they will chant, "blood, barf, bones or bad guys," and OH, how their hearts will be warmed.

I’m turning this over to you all now.  I KNOW you’re bound to have some good catch-phrases you use repeatedly with your kids–let’s hear them.

118 thoughts on “The Beauty of a Catch-Phrase

  1. Loralee says:

    “There are few things more important than brothers. You have each other’s backs.”.
    Yup. I say this. All the time.
    Sometimes it seems like the only thing I have succeeded in as a parent is making sure that my two boys (Half brothers) are completely solid in their friendship and defense of the other. That they are aware how special it is to have a sibling and that they have to look out for the other and work to keep the relationship solid.
    I think this one goes without saying.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Well, I make up little ditty’s (or steal them) for my children to repeat when there is a repeating offense.
    My daughter’s sullen attitude will always get her a rousing rendition of:
    Put a smile on your face,
    So that you can embrace,
    the day that God has given us by His grace.
    My son’s constant defiance:
    Yes its true,
    I agree with you,
    I will not be contrary.
    My other daughter’s lolly gagging around:
    I will obey all the way, right away.
    So those are our sayings and can’t you just see the eye rolling at my funeral!!! he he he!

  3. Maranda Miller says:

    Seems the favorite phrase right now in the studio/home is
    “If everyone was to jump off the bridge would you?”
    Naturally others use Empire State Building or some local attraction. But just to express you don’t need to be like everyone else and do what everyone else does.
    This is a good the Robots phrase..

  4. Jenny in Ca says:

    “mommy’s busy!!” usually said in a high-pitched shriek finally, (I’m in the bathroom and listening to 2 minutes of a child calling me thru the house as they search, then find me and stand breathing at the door, waiting for me to come out.)
    “you’ve got herd”, said to a spouse as the kids surge out to the van to indicate who is watching..

  5. kelli says:

    Is there Blood? Is there bone?
    That came back to bite us when Kati was 6. She broke her leg in the spokes of her bike. RIpped it clean out of the skin.
    Jonathan (who was 5) came in the house screaming at the top of his lungs “I pwomise there blood, there bone”.

  6. kelli says:

    Oh and …
    I’m sorry did you need something”…
    “Yes most wonderful and most beautiful mommy in the whole wide world”.

  7. Bridget says:

    Around our house it’s always “is anyone bleeding?” The answer is normally “no” so then “I don’t want to hear about it”.

  8. Jen says:

    This post is GREAT! I was led over here by SingsForHim…and I love it. I’ll have to compile my own list…my kids are only 6, 4, & 2, but it seems like forever that I’ve been transformed into a broken record of “momisms.” Thanks for sharing.

  9. Georgia Mom says:

    Words to live by! We use the “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit” one in our house all the time. Here’s some of mine…
    “With age, comes privledge and responsibility” I always tell our older child that she gets some privledges for being older, but she has more to be accountable for.
    “Do the Sweezie’s live here?” That means, clean your room, we are not going to live like the Sweezies do. Apparantly the Sweezie were the family that lived down the street from my Dad, when he was a kid. And his Dad would tell him that the “Sweezie didn’t live there” and to that was the cue to clean up. My Dad used that with me and now I get to pass that down to my children.
    “Be kind to your Mommy. I’m the only one you’re going to get”. My youngest likes “tough love” meaning she loves to kiss my face so hard my cheeks hurt or she loves to jump on my back when I’m not looking, sending pain up and down my spine! I am getting old.
    My favorite… “If you lined all the 8 years olds in the entire world, you would be my favorite one!”. I use this for both kids (I insert the proper age of course) and my girls just light up!
    I’ll be using that “if you see a need, fill a need” one for sure!!
    Georgia Mom

  10. Monkey Giggles says:

    “Treat others as you would want to treated”
    “Do all things without grumbling”
    There are days I wish I had a rewind and play button. It sure would save me time.

  11. Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity says:

    “Contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around you…” that’s normally with my daughter…
    “hands on your heads or in your pockets…” i used to make them do this when I was in a store… but now, since they are older they know that just means don’t touch….

  12. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

    “Look with your eyes, not with your hands.”
    “Use your WORDS.”
    “What do you say?” (Please or thank you.)
    “Good sharing!” or “Good listening!”
    “Remember, you have to be gentle with Mama. Mama’s a LADY.”

  13. Rachel May says:

    We only have one — he’s three right now, but here are a few things we use:
    “How do you ask?” (big boy voice w/ please)
    “Criss-cross applesauce, hands in your lap!” Stole this one directly from his playschool – gets him to sit cross-legged with his hands in his lap.
    I think a lot of my communication is non-verbal… I am well-versed in giving The Look, and he is really good at interpreting it and responding appropriately in any given situation!
    When he’s whining, I simply hold up a finger (no, not THAT one), and look away from him until he starts using his words and an appropriate tone of voice.

  14. Lorraine says:

    “Friends may come and go, but family is forever.” — got that one from my mom and dad. They were saying that long before Lilo taught Stitch abt “Ohana”.
    “Quiet and eat” is another one heard about 5-10 times a mealtime around here. I’ve got three motormouths. Takes them an hour to eat anything because they would all rather talk, at the same time.
    I love the See a need one… and robots is my fav, I mean one of my kids fav movies! I will have to start using that..
    and the commenter who said “be kind to mommy, I’m the only one you’ll have.” I will have to use that with my DS2, aka The Tank. I’m a 30 yr old with a 60yr old body thanks to high school sports… I just can’t take too much of him charging into me and jumping on my back…
    After that, we use the Hide ’em in your heart songs (by Steve Green) and Music Machine… all those goodies that I grew up with — “Do everything without complaining! Do everything without arguing!” “Be Patient, Be patient. Don’t be in such a hurry!” — My mom tortured me with those songs as a kid.. now it’s my turn. *S*

  15. Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry says:

    “Just let her be wrong,” For when my girls correct one another ad nauseum.
    “Goonie goo goo!” Translation: it doesn’t matter. Let it go.
    Classmate says you’re a crybaby? Goonie goo goo!
    You don’t like the color of your Jello? Goonie goo goo!
    We’re out of your favorite cereal? Goonie goo goo!

  16. Demeter says:

    **”If it’s not yours, don’t touch it!”** (Usually repeated for the bazillionth time on someone who has dared to mess with the other one’s stuff.)
    **”In or out, close the door!”** (I have an indoors-only cat who likes to sneak out. And I don’t want to cool/heat the whole neighborhood, either.)

  17. Jane says:

    Oh boy do I have a few…
    Similar to yours “You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”
    I teach English Language Learners so sometimes I say things to teach double meanings of words…”There’s no cheese served with that kind of Whine.”
    “Drips and drops not puddles and pools” or “Dot, dot, not a lot” -to control the use of glue!
    For problem solving- directions-lost things-“Ask three before me!”
    “Are you asking about your abilities? Or do you want permission? Constant May I? vs. Can I? issues.

  18. Marian says:

    Am I violating copyright law if I copy this post and its comments and put it up on my fridge for fresh material? =-) Having an eldest child with autism who has modeled non-coping and non-communication skills for his 3 younger siblings, we get an especially vigorous workout in the fit-throwing frustration department…
    “I’m right here (i.e. you don’t need to scream for me to hear you)…
    I don’t understand whining…
    And how could you say that in a NICE way?…
    Use your words…
    Is there something you need to ask me? (as child is having coniption over something they need help with instead of asking you)…
    Could you please try again to tell me that AFTER you have swallowed your food?…
    Friends come and go, but your brother is your brother for life…
    What did YOU do that was contributing to the problem?”

  19. TracyMichele says:

    I’m cracking up… we did the Music Machine in children’s choir and have sung that song all our lives! LOL.
    A few we use are:
    “Who do YOU worry about?”.. in the tattling phase right now in our home (rolling eyes)
    “Who is the Mamma?”.. when one child tries to parent the other
    “In or Out”.. hrm, I thought this was only in our home *giggle*

  20. Merci says:

    My “interrupt in case of emergency only” phrase used to be “Don’t interrupt me unless it’s smoking or bleeding.” Later, I had to add “flooding” to my list. Learned that one the hard way.

  21. Tara says:

    Is there blood, fire or vomit? (same as the other variations)
    You take what you get and you don’t throw a fit. (Never heard this until my mom had grandchildren.)
    You are responsible for YOUR behavior. (not what your brother did, but what YOU did to provoke him)
    Hide your fingers! (put your hands under the table until everyone is at the table, no snitching food when you get to the table!)
    Ask a brother (instead of running to me first for help)
    It’s in the ___ department (where is my toy? It’s in the toy department…translation, I have no idea, find it yourself!)
    I’m not the maid, I’m the mom. (Self explaining)
    There are tons around here. We were talking about this last week. When I die and they’re at my funeral they’ll be quoting these lines! ie: Where’s the casket? It’s in the casket department. What am I creating here??? 🙂

  22. Liz says:

    My dad used the phrase “…immediately if not sooner” a lot – meaning there is no “you have 5 minutes to do blah blah blah” grace period. It meant “drop what you are doing and get in here RIGHT NOW.”

  23. Cheri says:

    We always use “dead, dyin’ or bleedin’? If not, I don’t want to hear it” when we have tattle tale issues. Works sometimes, but not nearly enough. Not nearly.

  24. JennaG says:

    I didn’t see any of mine, so I’ll share:
    “You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.”
    “Life’s not fair. You will have to deal with it.”
    “Do your work the right way before you take the time to play.”
    and from Dave Ramsey, “The axis of the world does not run through the center of your head.”

  25. Big Mama says:

    The phrase that has become my trademark is
    “THIS IS YOUR DINNER” or lunch or breakfast, after she tells me that she’s not really hungry. If I don’t plainly state that this is, indeed, a meal, she’ll try to tell me later (or anyone else who will listen) “I never had lunch today”.
    Also, “families always love each other”
    “Don’t use that tone with me”
    “You’re the light of my life”

  26. Jendeis says:

    We don’t have kids yet, but these have given me some keepers for when we do. Here’s some of ours: “Just 15 minutes!” (Thank you, Flylady). “Force of my will, force of my will” (when trying to do anything of a mechanical nature; it means you are the boss, not the bleeping IKEA cabinet/jammed window/car that won’t turn over). “I’M IN THE BATHROOM!” (self-explanatory).

  27. Jean says:

    Well I usually try to be “funny” to ease the situation so I will say, “What’s your prob Bob?” or “What’s the deal pickle?” When their 10 or so I’m sure their eyes will be rolling to the back of their heads.

  28. Laura says:

    We use “Death, Fire or Blood”
    When our kids were little and would begin to whine – “Normal Voice” We would just repeat it over and over until they stopped, cleared there throat and talked slowly and controlled. For them now that they are teenagers “World of one – expand your view. There are others!!” And one that makes them gag – but they love to hear “You are loved. You matter. Your steps will lead you so CHOOSE WISELY!”

  29. Laura says:

    We use “Death, Fire or Blood”
    When our kids were little and would begin to whine – “Normal Voice” We would just repeat it over and over until they stopped, cleared there throat and talked slowly and controlled. For them now that they are teenagers “World of one – expand your view. There are others!!” And one that makes them gag – but they love to hear “You are loved. You matter. Your steps will lead you so CHOOSE WISELY!”

  30. chilihead says:

    This is one of your best posts! Love it.
    Of course, “I am my brother’s keeper” would simply mean that they are in charge of each other and have carte blanch to boss. 😉
    AND? You get what you get and don’t throw a fit only works in the south apparently. In the north they actually pronounce it GET instead of GIT. And they make fun of us.

  31. pippi says:

    NOSE and TOES in the same direction.
    My hubby came up with this one in pre-school. I’ve heard the teachers use it years later, and we still do too!

  32. Jeana says:

    I can not tell you the amusement and hilarity my dad got out of learning I had finally said, “Stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

  33. Lisa Kay says:

    My mom would always say to me, “Well, if that’s the worst thing that ever happens, I guess you’ll be OK.” Sounds kind of silly, but puts a lot of things in perspective!

  34. Barbara H. says:

    I had never heard of “Take what you get and don’t throw a fit,” but that must be because I’m married and you said every single mom uses it. (LOL — couldn’t resist the grammatical pun.) But I truly hadn’t heard it. I may have to adopt some of these.
    One that I used a lot was “We should have servant’s hearts, but we shouldn’t treat each other like servants.” This came about as the older two would try to order the youngest to get or do something for them.
    “Hands to yourselves!” We used to work with Awanas, and this covered a lot of bases, like touching, poking, tickling, punching, pushing, etc., etc., etc., so we used it at home, too.
    “Excuse me, I’m the parent here” — to the oldest (to which he would answer, “I’m just practicing.”)
    I’m sure there are tons more — I’ll have to ask my kids. I am enjoying reading everyone else’s.

  35. T with Honey says:

    My favorite is to respond to Princess’s whining with some good ole Rolling Stones… “You can’t always get what you want.”
    I get a good chuckle and the singing usually distracts her a little.

  36. SAHMmy Says says:

    I’m stealing Blood, Barf, Bones, or Bad Guys! My preschooler picked up a lovely tattling habit from his 7 year old cousin. He only has his 10 month old sister to tattle on, but he makes the most of it!
    My current favorite: Because is not a reason!

  37. Lisa says:

    When my oldest was in first grade, she had a wonderful teacher who’s motto for the entire year was, “First graders can do anything!” We have adapted and used this every year for every one of our children. Just this week I had to tell our oldest daughter that “Grad students can do anything!”

  38. momrn2 says:

    “A place for everyting and everything in it’s place”
    “Who are you responsible for?”: Said when my daughter, in particular, is reporting on another’s behavior.
    “Keep your body to yourself”.: This used to be keep your hands to yourself when they were bothering each other, but then they would touch with a foot or some other part of their body. Their reasoning was, “You only said to keep my hands to myself.”. Now I just clear all my bases at once.
    “We all pitch in and help because we are all part of this family.”
    I’m sure there are more but these are a few I can think of off the top of my head. 🙂

  39. Lisa says:

    When my oldest was in first grade, she had a wonderful teacher who’s motto for the entire year was, “First graders can do anything!” We have adapted and used this every year for every one of our children. Just this week I had to tell our oldest daughter that “Grad students can do anything!”

  40. Melanie says:

    You can get glad in the same pants you got made in.
    You’ll live. I promise.
    It’s your art and it doesn’t matter if no one else likes it.
    Manners are important. Manners and toilet paper are what separates us from the monkeys. Without them, we would be sitting around picking bugs off each other. (She loves that one!)

  41. Michelle says:

    I just stumbled on this site, and this topic is fun! Here are some I’ve grown up with and use on my children:
    “If Ifs and Buts were candy and nuts” – my mom said this alot, and it took awhile for me to understand what she meant.
    “That’s the way the cookie crumbles” – (that’s just how things go)
    “In your mouth or in the garbage” – even though all kids love to play with gum
    “When my mother calls me, quickly I’ll obey” – a reminder for obedience – usually I just have to say the first part and my son finishes for me.

  42. floorplan says:

    When we were digging out of credit card debt — LO, many years ago now thank you Lord! — my hubs and I composed a ditty that still haunts & instructs me …
    “In light of what we know,
    In light of what we owe,
    Is it really right THIS TIME
    to spend this dough?”
    Sometimes it WAS right to spend the dough : )

  43. suzanne says:

    My mom used to tell us that, “You’re old enough to know that your wants won’t hurt you.” I think I was probably 2 when she started telling me that. When my twin toddlers tell me that they don’t want to do something that I’ve told them to do I came up with, “You don’t have to want to do it, you just have to do it.”

  44. Janelle says:

    Say what you want to say in a nicer way.
    Take the obey highway.
    Turn your hateful choices into grateful. or, Is your heart hateful or grateful?
    Have a happy heart.
    If none of that works…BECAUSE I SAID SO!

  45. mcewen says:

    Lummy! I only know the first three! However, I don’t think we can adopt the other ones as we already have far to many other ones of our own.
    BEst wishes

  46. Kendra says:

    Can a lurker nominate for the perfect post? Thanks for the suggestions and laughter. I think that I need to print and save for future reference…

  47. Brandi says:

    My 3 yo son wears his Crocs to the exclusion of all else, to get them on the correct foot we started telling him, “Big toe, big toe” because the foot shape is so obvious. It has worked beautifully and he rarely has trouble getting his shoe on the correct foot, even the rare times we make him wear something else.
    Perhaps not the same as the sayings you are referring to but it’s the only phrase we repeat a lot. Besides incoherent screaming on my part that is.

  48. Cori says:

    I’m totally stealing some of these! Priceless.
    The ones often heard around our house are:
    “Who’s the mama? I’m the mama!” or “I’ve been the mama for 10 years now and I think I do a pretty good job” To my bossy youngest child
    “You are responsible for YOU” To my tattling oldest
    “You only have to hug me for a moment and love me forever” to my not-so-cuddley boy child.
    “Is it bleeding? Is it broken? Is it going to fall off?” To my three drama queens when they get hurt.

  49. diana/sunshine says:

    we use this one after one of our kids asks for something that seems pretty unlikely of getting.
    “… and there’s people in hell who want ice water.”
    this was actually one my dad would always say to me. i believe in recycling =] once, when my daughter was pretty young, she answered very seriously, “but i’m not in hell and i don’t want any water.”

  50. Vida says:

    “Take what you want, but eat what you take.” (from my father)
    “Sticky is icky” (my Opa’s favorite saying, which has spawned many the neat freak in my extended family.)
    “Be self controlled.” (a rule my son’s 1st grade teacher insists on, and that I love.)
    “Are you using good manners right now?” usually followed by a hung head and a noooo, then “Don’t forget, good manners show that you care about the people around you.”

  51. Laural says:

    The only phrases I really repeat word for word on a regular basis are
    I can’t understand you with that binky in your mouth
    Crying will get you nowhere.
    I’m definitely going to adopt some of the things I’ve read here!

  52. Striving\Tessa says:

    To my oldest “Let me be tha mama please.”
    To All “No feet where you eat”
    To All “That stinks” instead of that sucks. Just hearing my kids say that irks me. It sounds so ghetto, so we replace it with the above saying.

  53. Heather says:

    Love these and use them too! A favorite of mine is “Hands at your sides so they can stay friends” It is often said around younger brother and at rowdy playdates.

  54. LeeAnn says:

    I heard this one from a friend: Do you want to be happy or right? This is for arguments, fights, quarrels, disagreements, sulking, you-name-it.

  55. Ashleigh says:

    Having only a 17 month old, I’d have to say my catch phrases are limited to real quick witted things such as, “No, no, put it back,” and “Calm down, it’ll be okay.” But I can assure you I’m picking up all sorts of great wisdom here… my favorite is definitely “Blood, barf, bones or bad guys?” That’ll be used in this house, that’s for sure.

  56. Tanys says:

    My favorite that my mom used on us and now I use on my children is: “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice!”
    Love your blog.

  57. swirlingnotions says:

    My go-to phrase lately is, “Hey, you know what? That’s just the way it is right now.” Which kind of bugs me because it’s so something my mom would say that would drive me nuts as a kid (“but WHY, mom, does it have to be that way?”). My daughter’s only 10 months, but I’m totally going to tuck “blood, barf, bones or bad guys” away for later use.
    Thanks for a great blog!

  58. lori says:

    agree with Georgia…”you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit” 🙂 use it weekly…
    stolen from my Lousiana friend when I summon my brood….I call “my people!” (well, they are!)
    the all time favorite award comes from my dad…
    It’s not WHAT you said, but how you CHOSE to say it…usually followed by some disciplinary measure!!

  59. Karen @ Simply A Musing Blog says:

    “No worky, no eaty” (said when the kids whine about doing thier chores – and adapted from the Bible)
    “Lower your voice. Don’t talk to the whole store, just talk to me.” (usually said in the grocery store or at the mall)
    There are several I say that others have already mentioned – these are the only two “originals” I could think of that I say on a regular basis. Loved reading this! Great idea. 🙂

  60. Cheryl says:

    “Use your ears not your mouth.”
    ‘What’s more important, People or things?”
    “I’m looking for a servant-heart…Where’s the servant heart?”
    Great post!

  61. Alyson says:

    These are so great! I didn’t catch many phrases in the delivery room (LOL!) but when my oldest started preschool we got a few winners that we still use often: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” and “Criss-cross applesauce, hands in your lap”
    I’m loving blood, bones, barf & bad guys – that’ll come in handy.
    The phrase I seem to be using the most around here lately is “Remember he is only 2½!” when the girls come crying that their brother is “cheating” at the game, said something they didn’t like, or is just bugging them in general. (They are 4½ and just turned 6 yesterday, so they -of course- know everything).

  62. Lucy says:

    Boy, there are some great ones!
    Some of ours:
    You get what you get and don’t throw a fit!
    Hands to yourself.
    (Means to cross hands over the chest and NOT TOUCH!)
    Who’s your best friend?
    (The correct answer is the sibling the child is angry with)
    I hear a buzzing noise.
    (Said when a child is whining.)
    Front and Center!
    (Means the kids need to RUN and stand in front of the parent.)
    And courtesy of my FIL: Fair? A fair is a place you go in the summer.
    Those are just a few. There are more. Many, many more.

  63. jean says:

    Around here we say ” you get what you get and you don’t get upset”.
    My husband would say “no blood no foul” which worked when there wasn’t blood. But it backfired when there was even the smallest amount shed!
    And a true emergency is declared if there is major blood lose (puddles of it), fire, flood or puking. Anything else is just routine.

  64. Clemntine says:

    Here’s a sampling of our current menu of oft repeated phrases:
    I love you too much to let you behave like that.
    Delayed obedience is DISobedience.
    Let another praise you and not your own mouth. (Prov. 27:2)
    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up. (Eph. 4:29)
    Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Phil. 2:14)

  65. Shama-Lama Mama says:

    When I was a kid, I always wanted to hang out with the grownups. I was constantly told…
    “If you are going to hang out with the adults, you are going to act like an adult”

  66. Sherry says:

    No screaming unless you are on fire.
    Chop chop wiggy wiggy. (= quickly)
    I don’t speak Whinese.
    Bubble! (Everyone has an invisible bubble around them (personal space) and you shouldn’t get into the bubble area without permission. AKA – Keep your hands to yourself!)
    Sit on your pockets. (butt)
    Don’t put your feet where you eat.
    If “ifs”, “ands” and “buts” were candy and nuts, it would be Christmas every day!
    If you are old enough to get into trouble, you are old enough to get out of it.
    I don’t care who started it, I’m finishing it.
    Occupied! (for that precious bathroom alone time when the doorknob starts rattling)
    Mom left! (for when I just don’t want to deal with any more “Moooooooom”.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I use this a lot:
    What do I look like, your personal slave?
    But my father had his favorite, and I can still hear him saying it today:
    “If you were meant to talk so much, God would have given you two mouths and one ear.”

  68. Demeter says:

    Actually, I’ve never heard the “take what you get” one, myself – but I like it!
    And I had no trouble understanding that it actually rhymes. 😉
    I have, however, NEVER used the “stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” one. My mom used that one on me, and I hated the way she said it. I have insisted that my kids not draw out the drama when they’re upset/in trouble, etc., but that phrase almost literally makes me sick because of my own associations with it.
    I do know that not everyone uses it that way, of course. I just can’t do it.

  69. April says:

    I’m just down the street and we use these:
    You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
    (Me) Obedience is:
    (them) doing what is asked, right away, all the way, the happy way.
    Also – with only boys
    If you can’t hit the target with your aim, SIT DOWN.

  70. Sally says:

    “God gave you a brain so you don’t have to keep using mine.” for when my kids want me to do their homework for them instead of trying to figure things out for themselves.

  71. Emily says:

    The things that I’m saying ALL THE TIME right now are:
    “Where do we go to fuss?” (the bedroom)
    “Are you supposed to say ‘I need’?”
    This one is generally followed by a very sweet “mommy please may I have?” 🙂
    I like your blood, barf, bones, or bad guys idea.

  72. Princess Leia says:

    My little man’s only almost 8-mo (and cut his first tooth today!!), but he and his father both get “No dying” or “Dying is not allowed” whenever they start to cough semi-violently (or do anything else that might end badly).
    I’m sure more will be added to the list as he gets older and grows into his inherited stubborness (both sides), independent (both sides), and ADD (one side) genes.
    Actually…that brings another to mind. When the little man gets distracted from something that ought to be holding his attention (like nursing to sleep for naps or night-night), we say “Focus!”

  73. Mercy says:

    “You are not her/his Mom” – My kids try to tell eachother what to do way too often.
    “We work before we play” and when they are having a really tough time getting their chores done we’ll throw in, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” – Hey it’s Biblical.
    But I still laugh thinking of a time when I was on the phone with my mom and repeated the exact words she used to say to me all the time. “Let’s hurry and get our chores done then we can have the rest of the day to play!” As soon as I said it, we both started laughing. I didn’t even realize I was saying exactly what she had said to me growing up.
    As you can tell, we’re not afraid of children doing a few jobs around here.
    After reading these, I will be stealing a few for our home. They were great!!

  74. Courtney says:

    My 6yr old hears, “Are you the parent?” a lot. He can get a tad bossy with his 3yr old sister. I have to admit it’s kind of cute when he tells her,” git what you git and you don’t throw a fit!” Generally this is after he has so graciously taken the best of something and given her what was left. : ) So kind of him, ay?
    Then there is the cutest little 3yr old voice that reminds me at least a million times a day, “Mama, you’re the bestest in mine whole wide world.” and “I love you to the moon and back!”
    Oh, and the words that hold such power in our home….”One…..Two…” the kids have just enough healthy fear of what comes after three so that it’s become very rare that we get that far. : )

  75. odat_kim says:

    My dad used to say things like:
    “Pull up your socks” or “Shape up or Ship out” both meaning that we’re not doing our best.
    “When I say jump, you ask how high and when can I come down.” meaning we’re not doing as told, when told.
    “[name] REPORT!” usually yelled from another room, we were supposed to go to the room dad was in to receive instructions.
    Can you tell dad was in the air force? And it was only for 2 terms (~6 years when he was quite young 18-24).

  76. karissa says:

    My husbands responce to the question “Where are you going?” is “Crazy, want to come?” My two year old daughter has already started to get ahead of him by asking “Are you going crazy, Daddy?”

  77. lori says:

    We say “you get what you get and don’t throw a fit”, “no blood, no band aid”, “who are you willameenia whiner?”. Night time is “big as the world, high as the moon. sweetest of dream to sweetest of girls”. Dinner time “buns on your chair”.

  78. Christa says:

    With three boys, very close in age, I started early on encouraging sharing and other nice behaviors with a “Good brother!” Now, it’s come back to haunt me as my youngest tells me that I’m a good brother, too. 😀
    We say “Fix your face.” As in, no pouting… no fussing. Get over it, etc.
    Also, “No whinerbabies.” That’s from the movie Sky High.
    I’ve recently started using “We’re a family, and family is a team.” Since we’re big baseball fans, they know that means they need to do their part.

  79. Liz C says:

    I met an old friend’s little girl, and she introduced herself in a way that left no doubt as to a common phrase in their family:
    “Hi. I’m Marla. And I Am Not The Boss.”
    Around here it’s stuff like:
    “God gave you heels” (oldest is a toe-walker.)
    “Move your lips” (husband and son mutter.)
    “Evil takes a nap!” (when the toddler finally passes out.)
    “15 minutes!” (meaning, they have 15 minutes to put away everything they want to keep in their room, as then MOM comes in to clean.)
    “Must we live in a hovel??” (from me.)
    “Humor your mother.” (from DH.)

  80. oh amanda says:

    I love the brother’s keeper one. I only have one brother and my mom would always tell me, “He’s the only brother you’ll ever have.” (and the same for my bro, “she’s the only sister…”) meaning, “hey, be nice. you only get one!”
    Today my dh doesn’t have any brothers, so I don’t even have a bil. I’m blessed with my ONE and ONLY brother. I still think of that phrase a lot when I’m with him!

  81. charlotte says:

    I am pretty sure you live in OK, but we tell our kids “the fair is in September”. In other words, life isn’t fair the fair is something that happends in September. I will be blogging about this tomorrow.

  82. Natalie says:

    I said recently, “We’re not mean to each other! We’re only mean to other people!”
    I didn’t mean to say this, but my kids laughed so hard at the look of mortification on my face that it was almost worth it. I was attempting to talk with my children (ages 14, 12 and 11) about being nice to people they live with and not reserving all their niceness and good manners for their friends.
    Now, whenever the kids are fussing with each other, I’ll sometimes hear one of them say that phrase and start giggling together.

  83. crystal says:

    I actually had never heard “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” until my son came home with it from farm day camp. My mom or my friends have never said it. But I love it!

  84. Erin says:

    “You don’t work, you don’t eat.” I lifted this one from scripture, but it’s a convenient motivator when it’s breakfast time and morning chores haven’t been done.

  85. Lisa P from California says:

    This is one of your best posts and I am stealing a few of your sayings. The most common ones in our house…
    “Rule #1: Obey mom and dad”
    “Whine, scream or cry…you get nothing!”
    “Who’s the mom?” (for the 6 year old who thinks she is)
    Fair does not mean “equal”
    “Leave it cleaner than you found it” (We use this one everywhere we go including playdates.)
    When a kiddo isn’t listening…”You must need a nap because your ears have already fallen asleep”.

  86. Stacey (Kisses From the Father) says:

    This one doesn’t really have to do with your kids, but my grandmother always says a TON of comments and one is: if your nose itches, then “Somebody’s comin’ with a hole in their britches!”
    Hey, it rhymes.
    I know I’ll come up with some good ones to post, but it’s late now.
    Good night!

  87. Barbara H. says:

    I forgot to mention earlier, but someone’s “No pouting” reminded me of it —
    I don’t know if you’re familiar with “Patch the Pirate,” but one of his songs is “The Poochie Lip Disease,” and we used to sing it when one of ours was afflicted with siad disease. He also has a catchy one that goes, “Do it now, don’t delay, don’t put it off til another day: Go ahead, begin it, right this very minute! You’d better do it now” and “Finish the job, finish the job, get it done! Finish the job, finish the job, then have fun!” We sang those around the house a lot when the kids were little.

  88. Stacey says:

    I love the movie Robots..I never thought of using that line with my kids.
    When I go to a store,before anyone gets out of the car I say,
    “now what are the rules?”
    My 5 year old son says,”I know what they are,gosh! you do this everytime even though I remember!!” (he’s just a little dramatic and sarcastic)
    My 3 year old daughter politely says,”no whining,no fighting,no fits and no toys and we stay with you momma or we sit in the cart and come with you no more”
    We also have “Git R done!”
    When one of them comes out saying,”so and so called me a poo poo head!” we say,”are you a poo poo head?” they act very insulted and say “no!” then we say “so just ignore it”
    If they leave something out we say,”is that where your shoes..toy..etc goes?” and they come back and put it away.

  89. Sarah says:

    Reading this post and the comments was FABULOUS!!!! I’m scared my howls are going to wake somebody up!
    Our famous lines include (but are hardly limited to):
    Most employed: “Attitude of Gratitude”
    Most amusing: “Just because your head is round doesn’t mean everyone else revolves around it”
    Most generational: “Let me reintroduce myself, I am your MAMA!”
    Most useful: (in regards to sleeping babies/toddlers) “You wake ’em, you take ’em”
    Most repeated by daughter: “I am only the boss of my-felf.”
    Most repeated by son: “I wisten to da first time” (I listen the first time)
    Most repeated by father (who travels a lot): “If Mommy tells me you act ugly, I’m going to wake you up when I get home!”
    Most repeated by mother: “Make it make SENSE!”

  90. Tammie says:

    I love this post and all of the hilarious comments!
    Here in our part of Texas it sounds like “You git whatcha git and you don’t throw a fit”. We got that from my oldest son’s preschool teacher.
    I’m also a big “Brother’s for Life” user.

  91. Eva says:

    When the kids fight over toys, I remind them that
    People are more important than things.
    Not too catchy perhaps, but true anyway. 🙂

  92. Jen says:

    I have gotten my laugh work-out for today, thank you!
    When my kids start out a sentence with “I can’t . . .” usually b/c they don’t want to obey They know to repeat after me: “I can — do all — things through– Christ who — strengthens me!”
    and, “Don’t come to me unless your hair is on fire.” This is usually said when Mommy needs a few moments to herself.
    I’ll be swiping some of the others mentioned!

  93. Mom Knows Everything says:

    These are often said around my house:
    “Scratch your mad place and be glad again.” – if the kids are mad about something that I can do nothing about, like it’s raining and they want to go outside to play.
    “That’s not appropriate.” – When ever they do or say something that isn’t nice I always say this. It can back to bite me when I dropped a pie on the floor and they heard me swore. All in unison they said, “That’s not appropriate!”.
    “Show me” – When my son was learning to talk we couldn’t understand what he was saying all the time so we would say “Show me” to find out what he wanted. Now, whenever he wants something that’s what he says and takes us to it.

  94. Beagoodmom says:

    “Who’s in charge?”- for when someone questions my autorit-tie.
    “What kind of boy is your brother?” -answer is “a good boy.” Said to my daughter when she jumps off the deep end when she *thinks* she sees him misbehaving.
    “One time does not a pattern make.” – we said this to each other alot when the kids were babies. We phrased it eloquently, to make ourselves think it was sage advice. It basically means that no matter what “bad parenting” thing you do, you can fix it.
    “Back the truck up!” – this comes from my childhood. When we would demand fairness as children, my dad would say, “If a truck runs over one of you, do I have to get him to back up and get the other two?!” It basically means the world is not fair…and it does not have to be.
    “woo-hoo on that!” – a general accolade.

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