3 Words That Will Transform You From a Grumpy To a Gracious Mom

By July 25, 2011Get Inspired

Do you ever feel unsure about what to do when your children “barely” disobey?

Or when you’re in public and unable to fully deal with a situation right then?

Or when you’re uncertain of their intentions – it seems like they might be disobeying, but you want to give them the benefit of the doubt?

There are many times when I know some sort of action is required, but consequences seem a bit overboard or possibly unmerited.

This is when three little words help me immensely:

“Try it again.”

Kids need grace just as much as we do.

Perhaps they made a bad choice or had a bad attitude. But maybe it only seemed like it. Maybe they were just trying as hard as a 5 year old can.

“Try it again” is a wonderful way to diffuse a situation, extend grace and provide another opportunity to make the right decision.

I have bad days too and I know I appreciate that each sunrise speaks, “Try it again…”

Do you have any special phrases in your house that help you be a more gracious or patient mother?

Leave a Comment



  • Avatar Mary says:

    Sometimes when I’m faced with disrespect and/or disobedience I will say “I love you too much to let you ________”. This seems to diffuse the situation and make them stop and think – even though I’m correcting them, they still know I’m doing it because I love them and know they’re capable of better!

  • Avatar Dawn says:

    thank you.
    i am imagining the scene and i can feel the grace seeping in.

  • Beautiful!!

    …and timely! 😉

  • Avatar Alexandra says:

    Thanks for this idea… I think it’s going to be very helpful.

  • Avatar Heather says:

    Your 3 words r much more life-giving than my 3: “just stop it!”. ;). Working on accepting Gods grace in my life and extending it to others. Thank you for a practical way to do that!

  • Avatar Stacey says:

    Love this Kat! Simple to remember!

  • Avatar Nohemi says:

    “It didn’t work as you expected, did it?”

  • Avatar Betty says:

    With my daughter (now an adult), I’d say “get back in bed. Let’s start the day over”. She would get under the covers, after a minute I’d come in with a cheery “good morning!” even if it was after lunch, and that helped both her mood and mine.

  • Love this, Kat. And the attitude behind it!

    I usually sputter out some twenty-word version of “try it again”, like “was that really what you wanted to do/say? But your version is much more efficient. Converting immediately!

  • Avatar KellySinging says:

    Ours is “do you want to say that again?” but it only applies to speech. I’m going to use yours for the actions. Love it! 🙂

  • Avatar Heather says:

    Love this! Good advice.

  • Avatar Rose says:

    Our is ” get him please!!!”, lol!! We all stop what we’re doing and step away, the boys are trained and I always smile. It works for us.

  • I say – You just changed your mind, and everyone laughs.

  • Avatar Jenni says:

    Thank you for this! I’m a new mom and can use all the advice and suggestions I can get! 🙂

  • Avatar Sonia Crawford says:

    We like “Excuse Me?”.

  • Avatar Christine says:

    Great phrase! It’s so true that we often expect more of our kids than adults can regularly give. Grace is the key. I usually say, “I’ll give you one more chance to make a better choice.”

    I once heard a story about a mom who got so frustrated with a child that kept repeating the same sin. Her husband looked at her and said, “So, let me ask you: when did YOU stop sinning?” Ouch!! Hit right where it hurt and I have remembered that ever since!!

  • Avatar Anna says:

    Oh I’m so thankful to hear someone else say that. I usually say “try again” when the tone is too sassy or the words aren’t kind. And after many, many opportunities for 3-year-old “try agains”, she almost always straightens things out the 2nd go round! What a wonderful post and a gentle reminder of how we can teach our children grace w/o letting them get away with disobedience!

  • Thank you!!! Much needed today…

  • Avatar Larissa says:

    well first I’m going to embrace YOUR three little words as a life motto!!
    Thanks so much!!! you’ve just made my day 🙂

  • Avatar Kari P. says:

    Three little words that I use…”work it out”
    It has really helped my 7 year and 9 year build their negotiation skills.

  • Avatar Nadene says:

    What a refreshing phrase – filled with hope and positive expectations!
    I wrote about using just 1 word which was very helpful training tool, but your phrase can be used in so many applications. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Kharie says:

    I believe in you because this is the most effective way in handling my 4 year-old daughter not to be so grumpy to her. The more I become strict, the more she wants to do bad moves.

  • Avatar Lara says:

    “Whatever you do, don’t smile.” It always lightens the mood.

  • Avatar Alice D says:

    I’ll try this sometime, and if it doesn’t work I’ll just try it again. ;D

  • I love that “each sunrise says Try again.” Yes! Sometimes I am thankful for the end of the day and the do-over that tomorrow brings. What a good reminder that our children need grace, too.

  • Avatar Angelica says:

    I never really notice this thing before with my 3 year old. But now after reading this I will definitely use this to let him learn from his mistakes.

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