According to the experts, telling my children “Because I said so!” is very bad for the little idiots’ self-esteem. Amazing!
My earliest childhood memory of hearing “Because I said so!” occurred when my father told me to stop drinking the water in the swimming pool. “Why?” I had asked, after a long burp.
It was a reasonable question. I was thirsty, the pool was full of water, why get out for a drink when I could simply swallow a few refreshing mouthfuls as I paddled around?
‘Because I said so!’ didn’t even come close to answering my question. Perhaps if my father had taken the time to explain that while a swimming pool may look like giant drink container, it is in reality a watery cocktail filled with nasty chemicals and we kids were the swizzle sticks.
Or if he’d simply said, “Because you’re not the only one peeing in the pool!”, I wouldn’t have taken another swig of pool water again; instead of sneaking sips while he wasn’t looking.
Later in life, I learned that ‘Because I said so!’ also happened to be the catchcry of bosses, Army Officers and a certain leader of a certain Liberal Party. Basically the sort of people who value blind obedience over individual thought, good judgement or reason.
So, after much thought, I’ve decided to add the phrase to my growing list of ‘Things I Must Stop Saying to the Kids’, along with: “Stop asking stupid questions!”, “Yeah? Well, I hate you too!” and “I’m pretty sure you were a mistake!”
In future, should my children ever use logic, or facts, to question my decisions, I’ve still got one more useful phrase to fire back at them: “Do as I say, not as I do!”
Honestly, they’re lucky to have a considerate parent like me around.