Parenting Your Child With "Because I Said So!"

"Because I said so!" You heard it from your parents. Did you swear you never, ever, say that? You know there have been times when you wanted to say it. Well, it may surprise you to know that you should say it! There are several reasons, however I only have room for two in this short article.

Did you swear you never, ever, say that? You know there have been times when you wanted to say it. In case you need permission, you are possessy granted Miz Woody's Official Parenting License to say, holler, growl, or otherwise vociferate, "Because I said so!"

How come you get to say that?

When my three year old son was told to clean his room, he would ask, "Why?" and I would seriously consider that question. I wanted him to pick up his toys because I like a tidy room. But, this was his room. I did not like other people telling me what to do, so why would I tell someone else what to do? As you see, avoiding conflict was (is!) Very deeply ingrained. Fortunately for my family, I learned that, while my was not great, my role was different. I had signed on to a job that required me to be a leader. Sure, I got to be the sweet, nurturing mommy; but I also had to be the authority.

Why me? There are two main reasons.

Firstly , in any group, someone will be in charge. That's how humans are. Current conventional wisdom says: "Let's all just get along, I'm okay, you're okay, we're all equal, blah, blah, blah." Reality says humans want power; the strong will rule the weak. The only real question is; who is going to take charge? Will it be Mama? Or, will it be a four year old? Or worse, a 14 year old?

Secondly , everyone is under someone's authority. The quality of your child's life will be determined, in large part, by how they learn to respond to the authority of others.

  • Johnny's success in school will be assured if he has (a) a modicum of intellect and (b) a willingness to obey the rules
  • Janey's social life will be determined by her relationship to the people at the top of the pecking order.
  • The difference between a guy that can not hold a job and Employee of the Month lies in obeying the boss.

Consequences for disregarding authority may seem small when your child is three. When he's 13, or 23, or 33, the consequences may involve:

  • life or death
  • honor or disgrace
  • health or disease
  • community or solitude

Teaching children to willfully obey rightful authority gives them:

  • Security: they know where the limits are.
  • Confidence: they know how to succeed
  • Leadership Ability: they learn how to assume responsibility

In conclusion, clasp Miz Woody's Official Parenting License to your bosom and say,

Because I said so!