There they are, the four little words that I swore to my Shaun Cassidy & later Duran Duran posters I would not use when I was a parent. I raged against my parents at the injustice of such a statement!
Simply because they had been fortuitous enough to be born 20 years before me, did that really make them think they knew more than me? "Because I said so," I reasoned, wasn't a reason at all.
Obviously if they heard out my reasoning on why, at 13, I should be allowed to spend the weekend with a friend and her older sister at U of M, my smart and snappy answers would have overwhelmed any negatives they could have presented.
At 14 when I decided I was old enough to smoke, regardless of the law or my lung health, "because I said so" was the best my parents could do. Granted they did spend a good hour or so lecturing me on all the reasons why this was a bad choice and, you know, illegal, but my cunning arguments were about to win them over if only they hadn't brought out the BISS card.
I vowed over and through my adolescent tears never to be as uncool as my parents were. I would hear my children, and having been there myself, know if they were mature enough to drink at 16, even though the legal drinking age was 21. I would not deny them in the same way I had been denied. Opressed, really is a better word for it.
Even as my children were young I expounded the values of giving them choices instead of laying down a dictatorial law.
May I just say, God laughed. As a parent of 2 teenage boys I find the dreaded phrase flying out of my mouth on a regular basis.
My mother, bless her heart, laughs out loud every time I end an argument with her favorite saying. Being the children of her beloved daughter, my sons do not let "because I said so" be the end of the conversation easily. Imagine my outrage when the be all, end all, parental trump card of sayings didn't quiet my boys or end an argument. If I have to turn into my mother, couldn't my sons at least have the decency to cooperate?
I outwitted all of them and came up with my own phrase to put a stop to teenage arguing, "hand over your I-Pod." *sigh*