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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

‘Because I said so’ signals strong parental leadership

By John Rosemond




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) This is the second in a series loosely titled "I Don't Know About You, But I 'm Ready for the 1960s to be Over and Done With," in which I lament the destructive effect of that decade on American child rearing - since known as parenting.


Last week's column concerned the corrosive idea that children should be allowed to express their feelings freely, which all too many of today's kids obviously believe is their prerogative.


The 1960s were marked by several assassinations, the war in Vietnam, recreational drugs, ersatz peace and love, and a plague, still with us, of general stupidity when it came to children. A prime example of the latter is the notion that parents should not answer challenges to their authority with "Because I said so." The new parent-babblers - mental health professionals, mostly - maintained that those four words insult a child's intelligence, damage self-esteem, stifle curiosity, engender feelings of insignificance and powerlessness, and send the message that might makes right.


The upshot of this nonsense was that parents began explaining themselves to their children. These explanations lead almost inevitably to arguments. The arguments lead to frustration, resentment, yelling, guilt, stress, anger and other symptoms of family dysfunction. What's that old saying about good intentions?


As did most members of my generation, I heard the four words in question as a child. I heard them fairly often, in fact. I did not like them, but neither did I suffer from "Because-I-Said-So-Induced Trauma to Mental and Emotional Capacity." I just didn't like them, but then children do not like lots of things that are in their best interest.


"Because I said so" is a simple, declarative statement of leadership, of authority. Leadership is primarily a matter of decisiveness, and effective leaders (as opposed to politicians) do not often justify their decisions to the people they are charged with leading. In justifying an executive decision, the executive begins to sound less than completely confident in the direction he is taking.


Effective leaders act like they know what they are doing. "Because I said so" is simply part of the act - an important part, no less. It also keeps things simple for those being led. They do not have to know what the leader knows; they simply have to trust. So, as regards children, those much-maligned four words are an economical way of saying "At this point in your life, you are incapable of understanding how I make decisions. Explanations, therefore, are superfluous to your happiness.


For now, all you need to do is trust me. I'm taking care of business for you. Isn't that great?"


"But John," a reader might well reply, "if a child asks a question, doesn't the child deserve an answer?"


Yes, but "Why?!" and "Why not?!" - in belligerent response to parental decisions - are not questions. They are challenges to parental authority. If they were genuine questions, children would listen respectfully and at least occasionally agree. Instead, they interrupt and begin arguing, and not some of the time, but all of the time.


Which is to say, there is no such thing as an argumentative child. There are only parents who are not comfortable with their authority and cannot bring themselves, therefore, to say "Because I said so."

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John Rosemond is a psychologist, family therapist and nationally known expert on parenting issues



Previously:


It's time for parents to get their heads out of the '60s



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