Because I Said So

“Why?” “Why?” “Why?” Buckner has entered the why stage. He asks a question and then follows the answers by a series of whys. I impress myself with how many times I am able to give a new answer. I kind of feel like I am playing a game to see how long I can keep the answers coming but he eventually stumps me!

The other night while I was busy cooking dinner he started the why series. After answering about 8 rounds, I answered with my dreaded answer…an answer I never thought I would give as a parent. It wasn’t that I was annoyed but I just was not focused so I absentmindedly responded with, “Because I said so.” Oh no!!! For the first time in my parenting adventure, I said the dreaded parent phrase. The phrase that is completely against my parenting philosophy! As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I turned my focus quickly to Buckner and said, “No sweetie not because I said so but because….” and quickly gave a new and better explanation.

Why do I hate the phrase? Well, first off I have to give full credit to my mom on this one. She never used it on me and I was definitely a “why” kid. I wanted to know the reasoning and answers behind everything. My mom was always patient enough to explain the answers to me. I am still that way. I drive my husband crazy sometimes! I promise I am not intentionally trying to sound like a nag but instead that is my way of understanding.

When I got older and heard that other parents often used that phrase, I asked my mom why she didn’t. She told me I deserved to know why so I understood the reason behind a decision. It is important that kids understand why their parents say “no” or “you can’t.” If you just say, “Because I said so” you lose that teachable moment to help them acquire the tools they need to make a wise decision later when they have to do it themselves. When faced with a tough decision, they need to know why and “because I said so” doesn’t give them a good enough reason.

So how do I stop the “whys” now when the game runs past ten rounds and I run out of explanations? I simply turn it around and say to Buckner, “Why do you think so?” It stumps him enough to stop him for a moment so that he actually thinks. The best part is he responds and the answers are often so cute which is the best ending to they why game.

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