Top Ten Things Your Mother Told You Not to Do



The inspiration for this list came from observing some weird behavior on the beach and wondering aloud it that person’s mother ever told them not to do what they were doing. The wondering brought up thought on what our mothers told us not to do. I hope you enjoy the list.

10 Your mother told you not to leave the house in dirty underwear. If you ignored her, at best you kept your pants on. At worst, all the people in the emergency room now know you’ve been neglected.  (You better explain that you didn’t listen before you go under, Buford)

9 Your mother told you not to talk to strangers. If you didn’t listen, at best the only stranger you met was a cop. At worst, you fell in with the wrong crowd. (Those police officers outside are pretty serious about you coming out with your hands up, Tex.)

8 Your mother told you to finish your milk. If you didn’t listen, at best you would revisit the same milk tomorrow. At worst, you would be crippled for life because of the lack a calcium in your diet. (At least that was the warning huh, Bosco?)

7 Your mother told you not to run with scissors. If you did anyway, at best the only hole made when you fell was on the new couch. At worst, you made the evening news as the only person is known to have survived ignoring a mother’s advice. (Of course, those scissors made a nice scar didn’t they, Slick?)

6 Your mother told you not to be a cowboy. If you ignored her, at best you now live in Marfa Texas. At worst, you are herding cows, eating beans, and living outside most of the year. (You thought being a cowboy meant a Hollywood contract didn’t you, Slim?)

5 Your mother told you to wash your hands and face. If you didn’t, at best there was no dinner. At worst, her prediction of catching bubonic plague has come true, and no one wants to be near you. (It could have been avoided, Putz. What’s a little soap and water anyway?)

4 Your mother told you there would be days like this. If you didn’t listen, at best you’ll think this is forever. At worst, you will make unreasonable plans to try to correct what is wrong. (So it’s raining, Ferd. Get over it and quit that silly chant.)

3 Your mother told you to tie your shoes. If you ignored her, at best everyone you meet will remind you. At worst, you will step on a shoe lace just as you decide to lean over the rail to get a  great shot of the Grand Canyon. (Funny how those screams continue to echo around, isn’t it, Buster?)

2 Your mother told you to mind your manners. If you didn’t listen, at best you can kiss another invitation goodby. At worst, you might offend Tiny the WWF champ who has just left a ten-hour manners management course mandated as part of his parole. (Notice how far your feet are off the floor when Tiny lifts you by the neck, Weezer?)

1 Your mother told you to be a gentleman. If you decide not to be, at best you might get home early. At worst, you might win the international record as the most slapped human on the planet. (You need to wake up, Boris before your face falls off.)


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    Your list brought me back to my childhood – then forward to my own kids. I’m afraid to ask them what I told them not to do. 🙂 I love the photo of the kittens…

    1. Yes, Gwen. Don’t ask. It will scare you.

  2. Never heard of #6. Wonder if that’s a Texan thing. 😁 Easy way to get around #3 is velcro. Why aren’t adults allowed to have Velcro shoes?

    1. You have to be over 65 to have velcro anything. Thanks, Charles.

      1. Or under 10. It’s really unfair. Velcro makes life so much easier.

  3. Hilarious, John. I wonder if Tiny lifted Weezer by his neck in a mannerly way. If I was Weezer I wouldn’t complain either way or his neck might end up a couple inches longer. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. That is true with Tiny, Suzanne. Thanks. 🙂

  4. This is hilarious, John! I love how you got your inspiration for this post. People watching at the beach is always fun. Happy Monday!

    1. Thanks, Jill. Happy Monday. 😀

  5. Good work, John. By the behavior of the kids I see in the stores – Mothers [and fathers] need a reminder to read this! Funny and it makes a point!

    1. Thanks, GP. Sometimes you have to wonder what goes through parents minds when they let the kids get out of control. Maybe there is nothing upstairs. 😀

  6. ROFL @ #1! 😀

    1. Thanks, Jan. 😀

  7. There are days when #6 sounds like a better career path.

    1. I think so too. Hang in there. 😀

  8. Clever using Bosco ad the guy with the milk, John. I almost snorted mine up my nose. If by silly chant you meant “momma said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this, my momma said” I can’t stop now. It’s stuck in my head. Thanks, John gif another good start to the week.

    1. Good deal, Dan. That ear worm will be with you all day. 😀 Thanks.

  9. I wish I’d listened to what my mother said…

    1. We all do. Thanks, Keith

  10. Another list well done, John! Always listen to Mom!

  11. Love the cat pic – I swear there have been days when I felt like that!

    1. Ha ha ha. Me too.(and I’m not a mom.)

  12. I love it! Moms always know best!!

    1. It does seem that way for sure. Thanks, Jan

  13. Always a treat, John! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Natalie.

  14. Mother knows best. I’ve probably said a few of these..
    So true, John 🙂

    1. I think all mothers have.

  15. Just in time for Mother’s Day!! Funny how we think their advice is silly when we’re kids but inevitably pass it right on to our own kids. Good list, John.

    1. That is so true, Debbie. Thanks. 🙂

  16. Love the reference to Marfa – clever! Have a good week, John. I am really enjoying “MyGrl!”

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying My GRL, Jo. Had to throw Marfa in there. Not sure a lot got it.

  17. Tiny made it to number two in the weekly ranking! In all fairness to Mr. Tiny, I think I would behave very much the same way if I had to sit through ten hours of manners management. 🙂

    1. Hey Pilgrim. So nice of you to stop by. I think you are right about Tiny. He tends to be misunderstood. 🙂

      1. Ya think? 🙂

  18. Great list. I’m guilty of having said many of these to my kids. Never said “Don’t be a cowboy” though. I like Cowboys. There is something about romantic thinking about riding a horse out on the range; a big ole open space with fresh air, green grass, a trusty steed… and BAM! reality hits, and it’s City Slickers! 🙂

    1. Yup ma’am. You know you need a license to ride that horse in town. 😀

  19. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here is another great Top Ten list from John Howell via his blog.

    1. Thank you, Don.

      1. You’re welcoe

      2. You’re also welcome. I should have my editor check my spelling on my posts before I hit send.

      3. Naw. More fun this wa

  20. How about ‘your mother told you not to climb on top of the garage roof. At best, you managed to get down safely. At worst she tells you that if you do fall off and break your legs, then don’t come running to her.’ True story, John.

    1. Which was it, Hugh? Safe or broken legs?

      1. I’m pleased to say I took my mother’s sensible advice, John. 😀

      2. Excellent. (I knew that I think) 😀

    1. Another thank you, Traci

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