Around My Elbow to Get to My Behind.

So I want to show you something I made, but to do it I have to tell you why. Which will take a smattering of stories.

Let’s begin.

Basically, I’ve been thinking about Brooks’ behavior, you know, what’s acceptable, what’s not. He’s been a little rowdy recently and we’re really having to be on point about how we respond. I’m blaming this rowdiness on the fact that he’s rounding the last bend on his time as a one year old and what’s that people always say about the Terrible Twos? That they’re, like, terrible?!? One thing I’ve had to watch is my language in front of him. B is an ace at hearing something once, holding it in that sponge of a brain of his and then using it in perfect context, two weeks later. He hasn’t said anything truly awful, like that I wouldn’t say in front of my grandma, but words like “Dang” and “Shoot” just sound disconcerting coming from my baby.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is picking my battles. Here’s where the story comes in. Before Brooks was born, I directed an after school program for at risk kids. It was there that I learned the importance of consistency. If you let a group of 25 rowdy K-7th graders think there’s a chance you don’t mean what you say, you’re dead in the water. If you tell a child a certain action has a consequence, you’d better make sure they get the consequence if the action occurs.

While there, I also developed a wicked effective stink eye. Just one squinty look and I could command a room. Too bad this talent is lost on my current clientele. Apparently preschoolers think I look “sad” when I try to “look” them into submission.

There. I had to share all that (thus the off putting title of this post) to get to the point at hand, which is consistency. It’s important. Nothing worse than telling a kid “if you do it again, I’ll have to put you in time out” and then waiting until they do it two or Mercy help me! three more times to lay the smack down. I guess this is making me sound like a militant mom. I’m really not, I’m the most lovey dovey, warm and fuzzy disciplinarian out there. But I do mean business.

So, with all these thoughts in my head, I realized I needed a firm foundation on which to be consistent. I needed to know ahead of time which battles we’d fight and which we’d leave alone. It was on one of my ADD internet explorations that I found this idea. (That’s a link! Click on it and fall in love like I did!)

So, yeah, fell in love. Started collecting ideas for making a family rules canvas of my own. It hangs proudly in our kitchen and I love that we can refer to the principles on it as we work our way through parenthood. Because, let me tell you, forget love… no, discipline is a battlefield.


This hangs front and center in our kitchen.

I realize that’s a not so hot picture. It was the best I could do with my crap camera. (If anyone has noticed, that’s not the first reference I’ve made to my crap camera recently. I’m hoping if I keep pointing out how daggum awful it is, my husband, who surprisingly does read this, will get me a new one for Christmas. Here’s hoping!)

Because there’s NO way you can read that and there’s a slight chance you MAY want to, I’ll list them:

Gardner Family Rules:

Put J.O.Y. (Jesus first, others second, yourself last)

Do Your Very Best

Keep Your Promises

Take Responsibility-No Excuses (Kids today take no responsibility for anything. I could go into more detail, but I usually end up getting fired up and frothing at the mouth.)

Be Respectful, Say M’am and Sir, Open Doors (When Brooks says, “Yes M’am” I pretty much MELT)

You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset (An old preschool mantra)

Obey the First Time (Oh my mercy, this is soooo hard to teach!)

Tell the Truth

Look for Ways to Help (Applies to husbands too)

Always Clean Up…If You Got it Out, Put it Away (I’m already thinking of scraping this one off the canvas. It’s making me bananas)

Family Sticks Together

Say “Sorry” or “It’s Okay” and Give a Hug

Give Your Guest Your Best

Use Loving Words

Turn Off the TV, Pick Up a Book

Take One Bite, You Might Like It

Break a Sweat and Have Fun Doing It

Joshua 24:15 “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

*So, that’s it. Now that you know our rules, you better not be acting a fool the next time you come over.



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4 responses to “Around My Elbow to Get to My Behind.

  1. Tiff

    I love it. Glad you got it finished. Will you help me make mine??

  2. Mom

    I was just wondering how many of those rules I have broken while you were growing up! You are possibly the best mom I have ever met and I cannot take any credit for that at all. You are amazing. Love you, Mom

  3. Ashlee Mosley

    Hillsy-made me cry. I think I’m going to copy yours and put it in my new home wiht my “new family,” Jesse! love you guys!

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