by Pastor Dusty Decker
“Because I said so!” The other day I caught myself saying these words to my teenage daughter when she kept asking why I was pressing so hard for her to clean her room. We had company coming over and I knew that she wouldn’t have any other time to clean with school, homework, band, dance class, etc.
One thing I teach in parenting classes (and need to remember myself) is the need for “strong and clear expectations with boundaries, demands, and accountability”. Kids thrive within clearly drawn lines, but we’re not talking about simply ruling with an iron fist and laying down the law. Numerous studies show that kids benefit most from understanding why those lines are there and what greater purpose they serve. Effective parents are proactive about educating their children about the reasons for these parameters and then holding them accountable to stay within them. When they know the why, it helps them process it better and actually helps strengthen our authority as they see the wisdom in your request or guidelines.
So next time we get frustrated and say “because I said so” remember to add in “and this is why I say so”. It might actually get your student to listen.