Don’t Be That Kid

Jan 18, 2017 by

Every mom has go-to expressions that her kids will remember forever.

“Do I need to come in/up/down there?”

“We’ll talk about this at home.” (This is especially ominous when whispered in a public place.)

“That was not a good choice.”

My sisters and I grew up knowing that when Mom added, “you’ll be in heap of trouble” to anything, we’d better make a indelible mental note to never do that thing again, or ever.

My favorite go-to expression with Nathan is, “Don’t be that kid.” That’s all I need to say. He knows what I mean.

Don’t be that kid who stands around while everyone else is working.

Don’t be that kid who sasses/mocks his mother.

Don’t be that kid who gets swatted in the parking lot. (I never actually did this. Instead I whispered, “We’ll talk about this at home.”)

Don’t be that kid who doesn’t pick up after himself.

Don’t be that kid who creates unflattering nicknames for his least favorite teachers, even if they are sort of funny.

Don't be that kid. Click To Tweet

I also enjoy “That’s not a way to earn points with girls” and “No son of mine is going to be dependent on a woman for his meals,” but I’ll save those for another time.

I try not to take “Don’t be that kid” to the extreme.

Don’t be that kid who is seen crying.

Don’t be that kid who makes a mistake.

Don’t be that kid who gets a B when he could’ve gotten an A. Whatever you do, don’t be that kid who gets a C. I got a C once and look how my life turned out, all because I didn’t study harder for my biology final.

Don’t be that kid who gets grumpy. I’m allowed to get grumpy because I’m the mom and everyone knows that writers are moody. Grandma and Grandpa are allowed; it’s okay for your cousin Dylan when he needs peanut butter, and for Haley because she’s a girl, but not you.

Don’t be that kid who upsets, disappoints, or offends someone. Ever.

Don’t be that kid who admits when he is upset, disappointed, or offended. People get really mad when you do that.

Don’t be that kid who questions another person’s actions, even if so many red flags go up that you can’t see what’s in front of you. People get really mad when you do that.

Don’t be that kid who makes someone really mad.

Don’t be that kid who gets mad.

I try not to take “Don’t be that kid” to the extreme. Click To Tweet


IMG_2064My youngest great kid. Christian is also great.

I never want to imply that he isn’t allowed to feel things, mess up, or be human.

That the worst thing he can possibly do is upset someone and need to ask forgiveness.

I want him to grow up respecting the opinions of others, and to know that his opinion and voice matters too.

I want him to be respectful, but not such a people pleaser that he walks through life on eggshells or allows himself to be taken advantage of, pushed around, or possibly victimized.

When he experienced the biggest disappointment of his teenage life, I expected him to shed a few tears over it. I would’ve been concerned if he hadn’t. I also expect that when one of his friends has a similar disappointment, he will be extremely kind and sympathetic.

If he never makes a mistake, how will he ever learn how to give others grace when they make one? Besides, don’t we learn our most valuable lessons from mistakes?

I encourage him to do his best in school and use the intelligence God gave him, but I am living proof that a C in biology is not always Step 1 toward a life of unemployment.

Teenagers get grumpy sometimes. So do grownups. My hope is that he will grow into an adult who can acknowledge when he’s in a crummy mood, learn to deal with whatever is causing it, do his best not to inflict it on others, and apologize when he does.

I am basically trying to send him the same messages that I still need myself, constantly.

I guess you can say that in many ways Nathan and I are growing up together.

IMG_0809Taken after a band concert when I was still taller.

What are your go-to mom expressions? What are you trying to instill in your kids while also learning to apply it to your own life?

Every mom has her catch-all phrase. Click To Tweet

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