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As a seasoned Mom of four, certain phrases come in handy for those “deep sigh” moments, repeated often. I tenderly call these “Mom-isms” (or “-isms” for short). I recall how annoyed I was at hearing my parents repeat phrases over and over to me as a kid and SWORE I would utter these phrases from my lips. But there is wisdom to the repetition and power in these “-isms.” Let’s focus on some of the best quips to bestow knowledge onto our young.

“Safety First.” Use daily.

I borrowed “Safety First” from my amazing parental mentor and neighbor. This foundational –“ism” should be used early and often. It helps answer questions such as: “why can’t I clobber my brother over the head with this truck” and “why can’t we run red lights when no one is there?” Simple answer: “Safety First.”

I can only hope as they enter their teens, this guiding principal is seared into their frontal cortex. For now, I’m satisfied that when I draw out the word “S-A-F-E-T-Y….” the answer shouted back is – “FIRST!”

“Good Choices = Good Consequences and Bad Choices = Bad Consequences.” This is easily followed by asking, “Is that behavior a good choice or a bad choice?” “What result can be expected?” Furthermore: “Who has control of our choices?” Answer: “Ourselves” – choose wisely (young Jedi)!

Choices are closely related to attitudes. Therefore, I teach the importance of being mindful of our thoughts. “If we think we can – we can. If we think we can’t – we can’t.” Another way to say it: “We are what we think.” I

f we think the world is hard and negativity surrounds us, then that is what we see. If we think life supports us and we are prosperous, then that is what we see. Teach your kids to choose the lens they wish to see the world through. Use the “-ism” to remind them of this important lesson.

Other “-ims” to have on hand are:

• We are what we eat • My house, my rules • Asked and answered • Take what you want, eat what you take • You get what you get, and you don’t pitch a fit • Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! • Time and place

While I know these “Mom-isms” may elicit a sigh or eye-roll later in life. I take great pleasure in knowing my children will use these words of wisdom. They will realize, like me, they never imagined saying the same things their parents did – but it’s not such a bad thing. “What goes around, comes around.”