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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Is saying "because I said so" good parenting?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (15419points) 1 week ago

Do you prefer obedient children or ones that are independent and free thinking? Or an evolving relationship where power is earned with good behavior?

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42 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Sometimes it is. Sometimes there just isn’t time to stop and explain. I told my kids to understand they had to obey me the first time because it could save their life. Later when there was time, I encouraged them to tell me and we could talk about it all they wanted.

canidmajor's avatar

Exactly what @snowberry said.

Your details, @RedDeerGuy1 indicate that you don’t know what you’re talking about, as you are trying to reduce a very complex human relationship to a basically black and white theory.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I prefer children who do what I tell them to do and who are independent free thinkers. They are not mutually exclusive.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Now, to answer the question, if a kid won’t accept your explanation and wants to argue I fell back on “Because I say so,” 2 or 3 times per kid.

YARNLADY's avatar

Children who are raised to be independent and free thinking quickly realize that “because I said so” is just short hand for “no need (or time) to explain”.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@canidmajor I just watched this PragerU video on YouTube How to Get Kids to Listen? Just wanting to share with the collective and have it fact checked. As far as I know I’m not a parent and have no expertise in that area.

josie's avatar

The government does it all the time
And I think they would have you hold them up as a standard for parenting
For whatever that is worth

kritiper's avatar

No. It’s lousy parenting. Your child has a voice and should be encouraged to use it.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@kritiper…it depends. Maybe you don’t want to specifically tell a little girl why they need to stay away from Uncle Jason. Or a little boy.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_lll Well, you’re taking it to the extreme. I meant to not squelch a child’s opinion when they might have an opinion to offer. My parents always ignored us and told us not to talk back. We couldn’t say anything in our defense if our lives depended on it, and, as an adult, I still feel reluctant to voice opinions, and that’s not good.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

And I agree with you.
My only point is there are actually times when saying “Because I said so” is actually valid.
If a parent falls back on that consistently, that’s lazy bullshit from a mindless control freak.

kritiper's avatar

That would be the exception to my POV.
It isn’t just “lazy bullshit from a mindless control freak,” it’s what their parents told them when they were children. It’s a cop-out.

Sagacious's avatar

Not routinely. An infrequent reminder to children that you do not owe them explanations is fine. I generally shared my reasoning but when the young minds did not agree, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t a democracy.

ucme's avatar

It could be considered lazy thinking, the easy way out, but the opposite is true.
What those words do essentially is to strip it down to the bare facts that i’m your bloody parent & you will listen to me.
Often times kids will respond to simplistic ways of saying things rather than dragging shit out.

LostInParadise's avatar

Suppose a child wants you to buy something for them, and you don’t want to. What explanation do you give? Would you say that the child does not need it? What if the child says that they do need it, or simply asks, why?

YARNLADY's avatar

@LostInParadise I try not to say it as much as possible. In your example, I often say “yes, as soon as you earn the money, you can have it.”

snowberry's avatar

@LostInParadise I’ve had those conversations- in the parking lot before we entered the store. My children already had everything they needed so the idea of purchasing something just because they had to have it was not going to happen, and of course it was good training for life in general.

Sometimes my son would have a meltdown anyway, but since I never ever rewarded meltdowns, it didn’t matter.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s piss-poor and ineffective parenting.

snowberry's avatar

@Darth_Algar out of curiosity, have you actually ever raised young children to adulthood?

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, for pete’s sake what a load of crap all you who say “it’s piss poor parenting” or “it’s lazy parenting”. Saying “because I said so” from time to time is neither of those things. Young children get into rounds of asking “why” as a game, neither listening nor actually requiring a real answer, it’s a game to them, the point is to keep you responding, going down that hole is better avoided most of the time.

And sometimes you don’t have time to explain the physics of a situation (“It’s 25°, that puddle is about freeze and your shoes and feet will be dangerously cold if you stomp it and I told you this at the last three puddles” or “how about I explain momentum and inertia of large metal masses and what will happen to your small soft flesh if you go in the street to touch the white line”)

I don’t know any parents who say it often, it really has no bearing on whether or not your child becomes an independent thinker or not.

jca2's avatar

I’m a pretty laid back parent of a 12 year old girl. I let her stay up late and we pretty much have a pre-set bedtime for school nights. If she doesn’t shut the light off, and I say “it’s time to go to sleep” I don’t expect to have to explain why it’s time to go to sleep.

When it comes to shopping, I always buy her stuff but not excessively, because she would love it if I bought all kinds of crap and very little of it does she actually need. So I will do it on a case-by-case basis. If it’s something for $20 and I say yes, and then she asks for something else in the same shopping trip, I’ll tell her she has to choose, either this or that. Not both. If it’s something she needs, like school supplies or sneakers for sports, then of course it’s different.

I’m flexible, I’m cool, I’m lenient, but when I say enough’s enough, then enough’s enough.

It’s not black and white, and I don’t think anybody could say “it’s terrible” to say “because I said so” once in a while, nor is it always the best answer 100% of the time. We go with the flow, things change, circumstances change.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@snowberry

Ah yes, if I haven’t then my opinion is invalid, right?

canidmajor's avatar

In this particular case, with zero experience in this area? Yes, @Darth_Algar, your opinion is invalid.
As would your opinion in any number of other areas in which you have zero experience. If you are not a Crow Nations member from Montana who grew up on the res outside of Billings, your uninformed generalized opinion on specifics of lifestyle, opportunity, etc etc etc would also be invalid.
If you are a not a Somali immigrant relocated to Minneapolis because of an asylum request, your opinion on certain aspects of the life of someone who is would also be invalid.

I doubt you would even try to speak to those issues, yet everyone gets upset when it’s pointed out that by not having raised children (a very specific type of a complex human relationship) they are not qualified to speak to certain aspects of parenting.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Note: I never said I had “zero experience” in this area. Plus everybody has their own experience of being raised to draw upon.

canidmajor's avatar

Different perspective entirely, raising /being raised.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

What @canidmajor said. Exactly. You’ve already explained “why” to the kid 5 times.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If you’ve explained the “why” then you’ve explained it. However simply saying “because I said so”, with no explanation, is lazy and ineffective.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Not when a kid keeps asking the same question over and over.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @Darth_Algar, reread the Q and details. You are imposing parameters where none were mentioned.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@canidmajor

The Q, and its details, as asked, doesn’t really offer much to discuss. Nearly every post in this thread has gone outside the parameters of the question as asked. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but that tends to happen in threads posted in social.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_lll

Go back and carefully re-read that.

canidmajor's avatar

Wish I could use an “eye roll” emoji on fluther.

Darth_Algar's avatar

EDIT: nevermind.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Darth….the kid keeps asking the very same question over and over. I am not going to let the child control me by giving them attention for no reason other than they’re just tired and cranky. Get them ready for nap / bed and the kid wails for the 7th time “Why can’t we go to. Disneylaaaaand!!!???”

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The answer, BTW, is “Because it’s 2000 miles away and it’s bed time. That kind of thing needs to be planned ahead and you need to save money for it.”
Do you really think it’s taking the high road explaining this to a sobbing 4 year old over and over?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Again, re-read the post, carefully.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Alright, I did. ‘Splain it to me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I already have.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Now you’re just being passive aggressive Darth.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No. If I recall, you’re an teacher, right? If so, you should be able to figure this out quite easily.

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