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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I HATE this phrase. My mom used it, and I've ALWAYS found it to be profoundly disrespectful. Parents who use this phrase wonder why their kids don't listen to them. Would you listen to that? I refuse to ever allow these words to be spoken in my home. My kids are intelligent, worthy human beings who deserve much better than "because I said so"!
Who else hates this phrase?
 

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I don't like it much either. It just depends on the child and the situation though. My oldest is almost 11 and sometimes if I've told him over and over no to something then that's the best I can come up with.
: But he usually already knows "why" he can't do it and just keeps asking to be annoying as if I'll change my mind. But as far as that being my one and only answer to my child as to why he can't do something then no I wouldn't do that. I always tell him WHY I am choosing not to allow him to participate in an activity or buy something in a store, etc.

My youngest is 4 and I can tell her no all the time without her asking why. Most of the time she can't do certain things because they are dangerous for her and I don't want to have to tell her that every single time so she gets a simple no don't do that or whatever.
 

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i hate it, but have been guilty of saying it when i used to babysit. I agree, it uses dominance and fear instead of respectful discipline.

but like the pp said, you can still say it nicely and explain the reason your saying no, and in that instance, i think its fine.
 

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I believe if I can't give a good (real) reason, then I have no business making the request/demand/rule. And as a general rule, if the kid is too young to understand my reason, then they are probably too young for the rule too.
 

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I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I find that moms of infants and toddlers tend to be much more idealistic in their parenting than do parents of older children. I don't know how old your DS is, so maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. But I'm sure had similar thoughts about discipline when my DS was a baby.

I've said 'because I said so' many times. I don't think it makes me a bad person. Here's an example from last week- I was climbing on a ladder in the garage, trying to get the kiddie pool down from the rafters. My kids wanted to help.
Me: please stay off the ladder
DS: but I want to help
Me: I know you want to help, but what you're doing is not helpful. please stay off the ladder
DS: But I can see where the pool is, I can help
Me: it is not safe for you to be on the ladder, please get off
DS: why isn't it safe?
Me: because you're making it wobbly, and both of us could get hurt if the ladder falls over
DS: but I want to help!
Me: it's not safe, get off!
DS: but WHYyyyyyy????
Me: Because I said so!

Repeat similar scenario 2 minutes later with DD wanting to climb on the top of the minivan in an attempt to 'help me.'

Sometimes 'because I said so' isn't as disrespectful as it seems. I try not to use it as the first response to a question or request from one of my children. But after a long, draining conversation, sometimes it's the only thing that will work to convince my children that I mean what I say. And yes, I'm a mean mom who believes that there are some subjects and situations in which there isn't room for discussion with my children- what I want is what needs to happen (either for safety reasons, we have limited time, etc.)
 

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I agree that it isn't necessarily as disrespectful as it sounds. I wouldn't use it on a toddler or anything, but it does take the place of "just trust me on this one" for my 6yo sometimes. Like when she's climbed too high in a tree and I just want her to back down a bit. I can explain later, right now I want her off the shaky branch 30 feet in the air "because I said so!"; we can work out the details of it all in a bit.

For me, it comes out as the ticked off I-need-compliance-now statement that it, well, IS. Sometimes you just need the kids to listen immediately, no questions asked...mine know they can ask after they've obeyed. "Come back from the curb!" "why" "because I said so" (steps back) "why?" "because that truck isn't driving safe and I wanted you further away from it, ok hon?" (skips off).

DH calls it "responding to voice command" (you'd have to know he's a total techie FREAK for that not to sound weird I suppose): that point at which the kids pretty much just do as you say because you've always presented them with a valid reason. Of course you can reach "do as I say" without presenting them with valid reasons; but then they'll just have to experiment with the "why not" part of it while you're not looking.
 

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Not trying to challenge, just trying to point out that the GD way to deal with that situation would be to find a way for the child to help. His need/want that he voiced was not that he wanted to be on the ladder, but that he wanted to help, the only way he could figure out to help was to get on the ladder.

I have found that with kids (4-10) when they want to "help" by doing something that is not actually helpful, if you give them an actual task so they can be part of the labor one of 3 things will happen. 1) They will do the task you asked them to 2) "I would rather go play" or 3) total disregard. Of course we hope they pick 1 or 2.

I need you to count the steps on the ladder and make sure mommy doesn't go over number 12. If mommy goes over 12 then call out "Mom, you are over 12". This game teaches math, keeps the kid off the ladder, lets the kid be involved with the work, and lets the kid be safely involved with the ladder. Plus it may help you stay safer.

I am not trying to be a jerk, it is a lot easier for us outside of the heat of the moment to come up with strategies, but I am just trying to point out that there is always a GD way.
 

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Does not work for me at all. I understand the temptation to say it, such as in the round n round type conversation that annethecz posted above, but it just doesnt work for me. In that situation I would likely say something like "Why dont you tell me why?" or "Why do you think its unsafe?"
 

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I also dislike the phrase "because I said so." My mom used to say it to me quite often when I was a teenager and I felt that she was being very disrespectful to me when she said it. It implied that I wouldn't be able to grasp her reasoning for not wanting me to do something and I felt that if she would just give me a good reason we could work out a solution that was to both of our benefit.

I can understand using it when you have already given your reason (as in the ladder example of the PP) or when it's a safety issue (as in the curb example from another post) but when that is the only way you approach and handle a "conversation" on a subject, especially with a child who would be able to grasp your reasoning for saying no, I think it can be seen as disrespectful.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by want2beamama
when that is the only way you approach and handle a "conversation" on a subject, especially with a child who would be able to grasp your reasoning for saying no, I think it can be seen as disrespectful.
ITA! I was only presenting my examples, and my reasoning behind using it sometimes, because it seemed in the OP that if she were to hear me say it (say, in the curb example) I'd be taken for a control-freak-idiot-parent.
 

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I also don't like the phrase. I could think of other fast things to say that would sit better in some situations when time is of the essence. Because you could get hurt, because that isn't safe, or even because I don't want you too seems better, said while moving towards the child I would think. Something honest and quick. Because I said so just seems like a silly reason to expect someone to do something, or not do something! I certainly would not want to hear it said to me and I think I would even have the impulse to not listen(not that I would neccessarily listen to the impulse
).

Quote:
Not trying to challenge, just trying to point out that the GD way to deal with that situation would be to find a way for the child to help. His need/want that he voiced was not that he wanted to be on the ladder, but that he wanted to help, the only way he could figure out to help was to get on the ladder.
ITA. I was thinking the same thing. Many, many times I have found another way for my kids to help me in situations similar to this.
 

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I hate this phrase also, but there have been times when I am too stressed out to come up with a reason that sounds good and it works once in a while so I use it. There are probably great moms out there who never run out of explanations or who can always phrase "because I'm about to scream and lose my mind if you don't do it" in a way that sounds nice to a child and kudos to them. But there are some of us who aren't able to do that and it is quite shallow to judge a parent as good or bad because of a phrase that gets on your nerves.
 

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Quote:
But there are some of us who aren't able to do that and it is quite shallow to judge a parent as good or bad because of a phrase that gets on your nerves.
I for one was not judging anyone's parenting and I hope you didn't feel that way. I was commenting on my thoughts and feelings about the phrase. I say and do things when I could have said or done something in a better way and realize it often enough.
Doesn't make me a 'bad' parent anymore than it makes my kid a 'bad' kid when they do something I don't like.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy
Not trying to challenge, just trying to point out that the GD way to deal with that situation would be to find a way for the child to help. His need/want that he voiced was not that he wanted to be on the ladder, but that he wanted to help, the only way he could figure out to help was to get on the ladder.

I have found that with kids (4-10) when they want to "help" by doing something that is not actually helpful, if you give them an actual task so they can be part of the labor one of 3 things will happen. 1) They will do the task you asked them to 2) "I would rather go play" or 3) total disregard. Of course we hope they pick 1 or 2.

I need you to count the steps on the ladder and make sure mommy doesn't go over number 12. If mommy goes over 12 then call out "Mom, you are over 12". This game teaches math, keeps the kid off the ladder, lets the kid be involved with the work, and lets the kid be safely involved with the ladder. Plus it may help you stay safer.

I am not trying to be a jerk, it is a lot easier for us outside of the heat of the moment to come up with strategies, but I am just trying to point out that there is always a GD way.
I know you're not trying to be a jerk, and you're totally right that it is easier outside of the situation. But, in this situation, my DS really did want to be on the ladder. It wasn't that he merely wanted an opportunity to be involved, it was that he wanted to climb. And yes, he has lots of opportunities to climb in other, safer, places. He's constantly up in the trees and trying to get on top of the house. He wanted a new challenge.

As for the idea of making up a task for the child to be involved in the work, I find this distasteful. It would be incredibly patronizing to ask a child to count the steps for me, when that is not actually helpful to me. He's old enough to know whether or not that would actually help me. While this tactic may work with a preschooler, it would be insulting to an older child. I know that many parents here enjoy making tasks into a game for their children. And while I occasionally use that tactic, in many instances, it doesn't make sense to me because it would be insulting my childrens' intelligence. Not to mention, it would be impossible for me to make everything into a game for all 4 of my children most of the time.

I know that I walk the line between GD and authoritative (NOT authoritarian) parenting. I use GD tactics as often as I can and don't believe in shaming my children or hurting them. And yet, I think it's okay every once in awhile for me to say 'because I said so.' I view it as similar to the following phrases, which I also use occasionally:
-I'm sorry, but that's just the way it has to be this time
-because I'm your mom, and it's my job to take care of you
-please stop asking me, my answer will not change
-you asked a question, you received an answer

I am not averse to discussing a problem with a child. If one of my kids doesn't agree with the decision I made, I'm usually willing to talk about why I made that decision, and perhaps reevaluate the decision. However, I have a few tenacious children who will ask, "but why?" over and over and over. At some point in time, the conversation has to end. And using one of these phrases is usually the best way to do that.
 

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It is really easy for us to judge a situation and appear to be judging a person. We all should definatly judge every situation we can think of in advance so that we can use what we learn from all the experiences of other mamas and daddys out there. I love this forum because it gives us a chance to say "What will I do when my kid does ######?"

I try not to sound like I am judging a person. We all make mistakes and we all have different takes on any given situation. When we all step back and look at a situation we can usually come up with a million different ways to handle it, some better, some worse, some off the wall, etc.
 

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I don't like that phrase either...and the one time I heard dh use it with ds came right back "ya, but I want to know WHY you said so!"
My ds is 6 1/2 and has a very short attention span when the subject matter doesn't interest him (like when he's being told he can't do something he wants to do
), and so when he's going around and around with the why? I often ask him "I think you already asked me that. Do you remember?" When he says yes, I ask if he remembers what I said. It seems to help it sit a little better.

But I also agree with finding a better way to help. An older child could be asked to tell you if its to the left or right and guide you as you reach for it.

And when there is a behavior that needs to stop right off, I've had luck saying to my child something along the lines of "I need you to get off the ladder right now. When you get off we can talk about it."
 

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OT:

FWIW, ShaggyDaddy, I didn't think you (or anyone else) was judging me. I just realized that there was additional info about the situation that might explain why I did what I did. I was also explaining my thought process, which I acknowledge is different from some of the people who post here.

Of course, I learn from my experiences just like anyone else. If a similar situation would present itself again, I would likely make sure that my kids were inside the house, rather than trust them to resist temptation to get on the ladder and possibly put themselves in a dangerous situation.

/OT
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by annethcz
I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but I find that moms of infants and toddlers tend to be much more idealistic in their parenting than do parents of older children. I don't know how old your DS is, so maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. But I'm sure had similar thoughts about discipline when my DS was a baby.
Not disrespectful at all! My DS is only 11 months old, and you'd better believe I am idealistic in my parenting. Of course things will change my mind and I will do things differently in the future when the situation presents itself. The only reason I started this thread is because the thought passed my mind, and I was honestly curious to hear what other people thought about such sayings.
Nothing wrong with thinking about/planning for the future!
 

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The phrase doesn't bother me. My mom used it sometimes when I was growing up, and I didn't have a problem with it. She usually tried to explain things, but that wasn't always practical, and sometimes things were way over our heads.

I've used "because I said so" with dd...usually with respect to her carseat. We've had long, complicated discussions about the safety issues and the legal issues and all the rest. But, sometimes, it's hot, I've got an errand I need to get done, and need to get back so I can get her and her brother down for a nap, etc...and it's "because I said so". She doesn't seem to have a problem with it, either.
 

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Well, as the parent of a child who likes to negotiate EVERYTHING, and often only asks "why?" so that she can find something to argue with, I have definitely used that phrase, or some equivalent of it.

I do prefer the alternatives, because I do think "I said so" isn't the best way to express what I mean. It isn't because I said so as much as because that's the rule, the rule has a reason, and that reason isn't going to go away. So my daughter will often hear me say, "Please stop questioning me and do what I asked you to do. Thank you." Or, "I'll tell you the reason, but please do not argue with me."

I'm not an unreasonable person and DD has a right to negotiate, but there are days when it is every little thing and it starts to wear me down!
 
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