Every once in a while, a parent says something that I find really insightful and useful in my work as a family and child psychologist. A few days ago, my friend Lisa posted this to her Facebook:
"'Because I said so,' used to be the lamest answer an adult could provide. It made me think my mom was lacking in imagination, and didn't respect me. Now I realize it was a self-defense mechanism. 'Because I said so,' translates to, 'It's not negotiable.' 'Why' doesn't really mean why, it means, 'what are the obstacles I need to work around or remove to get my way?' It's a power play. My response to "why?" is, "I'll tell you why if you still want to know after you do it." It isn't that I don't respect them or think they will understand the reasoning behind a request, it's simply that I want it done. Period. I'm trying to avoid, "Because I said so," because it is insulting, but really, if my children were born in the wild, they would have already been eaten by a predator because they wouldn't just listen and do what I said without questioning me. Sometimes I think they just like seeing me lose my temper and bark at them. Not today of course. Today they were little darlings."
Way to go, Lisa. You get the Best Advice Award from this child psychologist!