Because I Said So!

2 Jul

As a parent of three in 2015, I constantly struggle: do I go “old school” on my kids and assert my authority or do I allow them to be a “partner” in family debates over…well…everything?

Even though I’m considered a parenting “expert,” I still flip-flop between the two and wonder if I’m making the right decisions. It’s exhausting.

However, one writer thinks he’s figured things out. Family psychologist John Rosemond says “because I said so” is a perfectly justified reason when talking to one’s children. In fact, he believes it’s preferable to say things like this because, after all, we parents are in charge.

Rosemond writes, “Because I said so” is nothing more than an affirmation of the legitimacy of the authority of the parent in question.”

He balks at today’s trendy parenting style under which many parents validate their childrens’ feelings, teach them to have autonomy in their decision-making, and foster high self-esteem by allowing kids to help make family decisions.Teenage girl in trouble with parents

Rosemond writes, “…the parent is under no obligation to justify any decision made concerning or any instruction he or she gives the child. As I used to tell my kids, ‘Your mother and I pay for your lives. You pay nothing. We are responsible for you. You are not responsible for us. With those facts in mind, the arrangement here is very simple: We make decisions and give you instructions. You abide by and obey those decisions and instructions; and the reason you abide and obey is because we said so.'”

You know what? I kinda agree. Sort of.

I like to think there’s a happy medium in there somewhere. If you remember my last post about our family’s “Bill of Rights,” I wrote that the kids have a right to have opinions about our family decisions, but we are the final decision-makers.

I do believe our kids should be validated. But, should they run the show? Nah.

So, as usual, I’m encouraging a middle-of-the-road approach to parental authority. Just like so many other things–it’s all about moderation.

Now, get back to what you were doing. Why? Because I said so!


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