"Marsha Jacobson does parents a great favor."
Because I Said So
October 27th, 2008 ¦ Marsha Jacobson -
“Because I said so!” The one phrase I vowed never to use, ever! Sad to say, it has popped out my mouth on more than one occasion. Speaking (I think) for all parents, I think its accurate to say that we can only tolerate a certain number of whys and buts before we reach our absolute human limit and “because I said so” flies out our mouths. In that moment, many other things that we have learnt about being a ‘good’ parent, fly out the window! “Because I said so” is our little (perhaps childish) way of hanging onto the control that we feel slipping from our grasp. Therein lies the universal parenting misnomer. We have no control to begin with! Parenting is learning to live with this with grace. Don’t get me wrong, having no control does not mean bad parenting. Quite the opposite, I believe. Parenting is recognizing the separateness of our children and reacting to them as individuals. Really seeing them is what it’s all about. Good parenting is knowing that the whys and buts are not defiant acts but attempts to be heard and seen.
As parents we are individuals too. We are not going to create the perfect world for our children and nor should we. The world is not perfect and we need to provide an environment for our children in which they can practice dealing with imperfections. We all co-inhabit this earth which means working in groups. Individuality is great up to a point, beyond which it can become narcissism. Teaching this to your child is a wonderful lesson. So the next time “because I said so” bellows out, don’t be hard on yourself. You may well be in the midst of a great parenting experience!