Friday, April 23, 2010

Because I said so

Do you remember asking to go somewhere or do something when you were a kid? When the parent’s answer was NO, and you asked why; and their response was ‘Because I said so’.

That used to infuriate me. It still does. I hear my sister, mom, dad, my brother-in-law, my mother and father in law tell their kids and grandkids that same line. It still drives me nuts. Why?

I wanted a reason. Not because you’re the mommy reason, a solid reason. You can’t go because you have homework to do, your room isn’t clean, your grounded; just give me a reason. Explain your thought process to me and why I can’t go.

Hmmm…the parents never say that when you CAN do something. Interesting.

Then again I was a weird child. I guess that makes me a weird adult. I like explanations. I like to know the “why” to your reasoning. All the ‘because I said so’ did and still does is piss me off. Give me a reason. You obviously have one or you wouldn’t object. Tell me why. I may not like the reason, but at least you aren’t taking a cop out.

I think that parents often do that because they don’t want a confrontation. They don’t want their child all pissed off and slamming doors and giving them the silent treatment. Why? You, as an adult get mad; you slam doors and say cuss words to vent your frustrations. Why can’t they? They get frustrated too; why not teach them how to vent, so they don’t think that it’s ok to beat their child or wife or dog or wall.

Why? Because they are learning; they are growing up, and even though your 8 year old may not completely understand your reasoning behind your choice, they at least will know later that you had their best interests at heart. On occasion my mother did give me a solid reason, I often didn’t like it, but I was less pissed off than when no reason was given. Weird, I know. As an adult I know that my mom was just trying to make my childhood miserable and not let me have any fun. Ok, not really. I know that her reasons were because she had more experience and wisdom than a 10 year old. As an adult, I understand the reason for her “no’s” more than I did at 10.

Everything you do or say your children pick up on. They learn by example. They learn that it’s ok to tell “white lies”, to avoid issues, to be nice to animals from watching you. Right now, as you are raising your children, you are teaching them how to raise their children. You are teaching them how to be a responsible adult. You are teaching them how to take care of you when you get old. Is that really the example you want your kids to see? Are your actions showing them how to be the people you want them to become? What are you teaching them? What kind of person will they become based on your example? Are you sure that’s what you want?

Perhaps you should take a good look at the things that you say and do. Perhaps you should make sure that you are teaching your children how to be a responsible adult, and not make the mistakes that you have made. Consider this…if I were to ask your child or grandchild, what the most important thing to you was…what would they say? Is it different than what you would want them to say?

After spending some time with my niece and nephew this weekend I realized that the example that I am providing them hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. I also don’t want to know the answer to the above question, if I were to ask them.

I remember as a kid my mom used to tell me that I needed to be on my best behavior because I might be the only chance that “they” had to see Jesus. As a child and teenager that really didn’t have the profound impact on me that it does now. It is a powerful thought, one that we as adults, and even children shouldn’t take for granted.

Look around you right now. See that waitress, husband, parent, pet, child. You might be the only chance they have to see Jesus. What kind of reputation are you going to give Him?

Maybe you should take a look at your actions and words from their perspective.

“Why?” You ask.

Because I said so.

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next. ~Franklin P. Jones

Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. ~Author Unknown

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help. ~Author Unknown

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