Thursday, June 12, 2014

Things Your Parents Need to Stop Saying

1. "If you want to live in this house..."
Your parent or legal guardian is required by law to provide you with basic needs. This includes clothing, food, medical care, education, and yes, a home. If you've been kicked out of the house over the type of music you listen to or hesitation to do chores, you're not the problem here. There are hotlines you can call. If your parents have never made good on this threat then these mouth-sounds they're making are harmless as baboon grunts.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Baboons make excellent mothers.

2. "Because I said so."
Really? Really? That's the best justification you can think of to defend your point of view? The only other situation-aside from an abusive marriage-where this could successfully be used to end an argument is a boss/employee dispute. In that case, Because I Said So implies you're not high enough on the corporate ladder to under the reasons behind what you're doing. And they have better things to do than explain to you.
But in a parent/child dispute, this isn't enough. It's in an insult to your capacity to think and weigh and reasons. "Because I said so" is just a harsh way of saying "Because I can't think up a decent argument". You know it. They know it. It's time they knew you know it.
3. "I need someone to clean this thing."
If they want anything to  get done they need to learn how to give specific commands. Say "Someone needs to clean the kitchen before I get home" and it will be messy when you return. "Brien, clean the kitchen is slightly better." That way Brien knows he's expected to do it instead of Gwen. But still, what exactly qualifies as a clean kitchen? "Brien, do the dishes and wipe down the counters" is better. A call for "someone do something" is not a call to action.
4. "I'm not as bad as (neighbor kid you really don't care about)'s parent."
If "not bad" is what they're shooting for they need to aim higher. They shouldn't tell you why they're "not bed", they should show you why they're good.
5. "(Neighbor kid) does this, you should too."
Getting to bed at ten, receiving a 4.0, not watching a certain movie- just because they do it isn't sufficient justification that you should. You need specific reasons on why it's good for you. There's a double standard here since you aren't allowed to compare them to other parents. Why does following the leader mean jumping off a bridge when you do it, but good parenting when they do it?

1 comment:

  1. I think you are spot on for everything except #2. I know that I promised myself as a teen that I would never say "because I said so." Now, I can say that I have used it and it is usually code for "I don't know why and I don't have a reason but I just don't feel good about it." However, I know that when I say that to my children, they just keep arguing and still think that isn't good enough so I just resort to "because I said so. End of discussion." I really wish I did know why I don't always feel good about something. Most of the time, it is not an event or activity that I am opposed to, I just have an intuition or something that the answer should be no this time.