And if all else fails, you can still threaten them with Hell..

After a particularly horrid trip to Wal-Mart with all four of my children in which they fought, pushed each other to the floor, and knocked things off shelves all before passing the greeter, I decided it was time to have a ‘Come To Jesus’ meeting on the way home.

I explained to the boys (the baby girl wasn’t involved as she more than once reminded me that she ‘was bein’ really good, mommy’) that the Bible says if you do not love your brother whom you have seen, then you can not love God whom you have not seen. My rant continued with how they should ‘be best friends’ and take up for one another if someone outside the family is picking on them. I then told them my only job on planet earth was to make sure they loved God and one another… “and if ya’ll DO NOT, what kind of mother does that make me??!! Does anyone understand what it is I am trying to teach you??!!!! “

Big Daddy (#3 boy – he’s 7) said: “Yes, I know what you are trying to tell us….THAT WE ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL!”

(Hey, he said it, not me! But the more I thought about it, I decided to let it play out for a minute to see if this could possibly work to my advantage.)

And at the mention of the word Hell, it all broke loose in my car. Have you ever wondered what ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth’ sounds like? Me too.

Not any more.

Apparently, mentioning Hell to a group of boys who have been brought up in church their whole lives hearing about that terrible place can be quite a traumatic thing – especially if one is suggesting they may be headed there because they cannot keep their hands to themselves at Walmart.

Before I knew it, the boys were repenting and promising to be kind to one another if each other would ‘just quit being so annoying!’ The peace treaty only lasted about four days, but those days were bliss.

If your summer is going anything like mine, and your Walmart trips sound at all similar, you are more than welcome to use the aforementioned tactic…I don’t believe it will be in any James Dobson manual anytime soon, so you’d better get it here while it’s hot….

FYI – School starts August 9th.