Prof. Carrie Hall
2 March, 2021
“Because I said so” by Hasani Wright
In my personal opinion understanding and communicating with any child is imperative, regardless of age. The more you do so the easier it is for the child to understand the adults way of thinking (and reading) and the less likely it is for them to retaliate and rebel. In doing so you are also creating a safe space for your child, while also allowing them to grow and understand the gravity of situations whether big or small.
Growing up I wasn’t given this leisure, and at the time was treated ironically as a “child”. Adults never really made it a point to explain their reasonings.
Even at my age now I can still recall specific conversations and interactions from my childhood; and because I am now 18 I look back at these discussions with a new and developed way of thinking. As a child I can remember my parents asking me to do numerous things and while most of these tasks were simple in how taxing they were, a lot of the time I felt as though they were unnecessarily asked of me. Due to the fact that I was outspoken and felt comfortable enough with my parents to voice my thoughts the majority of the time, I remember always asking “why” or “why me”. Of course i would always be hit with the same answer, which was “Because i said so”. I can recall a conversation I had with my mom one time when I was about the age of 8 or 9, during the summer in virginia. Though I couldn’t tell you what time of the day it was, I know it was late due to the fact that the street lights were on. Completely distracted and engulfed in the fun I was having with my friends at the time, I was completely caught off guard when my mom came down the driveway and told me it was time to come inside. I was distraught of course, not only because I was the first kid on the block who had to go home, but also because at times I didn’t understand the importance of not staying out after dark. I then remember going into the house and trying to convince my mom to let me stay out because the other kids were, and asking why i had to come in if no one else did. She of course hit me with her infamous saying, “Because i said so”. Now because i’m older and have a better understanding of the world, I know it was her way of keeping me safe and out of danger. However at the time i wasn’t exactly sure why my mom was being so unfair, more so because the phrase “I said so” doesn’t really tell an 8 year old that you’re doing so for their safety. According to psychologists “Even when it may be uttered out of frustration or exasperation, the “Because I Say So!” response pushes an authoritarian parenting style – not only does this fray our relationship with our kids, but could result in our kids ending up being fearful and anxious, less self-confident, and poor communicators”.
This only continued of course, not just at home but at school too. Opposed to my parents who would usually use these phrases because they were tired and didn’t feel the need to explain themselves, now looking back at it my school usually used it as a tactic for authority. “Because I said so” was used due to the fact that it was their law, and because they were my teachers l had to do what they say. There was never really explanation, and at the time no apparent rhyme or reason. Needless to say, that particular phrase did more harm than good in my development. From my personal experience at this age, i believe that giving a child a reason opposed to just saying “Because i said so” will help their communication skills, responsiveness, and overall character. This is important to me because i feel as though if the adults around me explained themselves then it would’ve helped me to understand the gravity of situations and not look at their authority as law. If they had made time to talk to me and explain to me the small things it would’ve made communication easier and increased my self confidence at that age. As an adult you may not feel as though you should explain yourself however in doing so “the fact that you are making an effort to explain is a sign of high responsiveness and nurturing and conveys unconditional love to your kids. It implicitly shows them that you aren’t too busy to have a conversation with them and that they are worthy” . I believe that it also could have taught me the meaning of respect, if it was made a point to talk to me and to exchange respect then it most likely would’ve gotten a more positive response out of me than what actually occurred.
In conclusion the phrase “Because i said so” has had a very powerful impact on my childhood and is a phrase that i can remember being said majority of it. It affected my communication skills when it came to my parents and overall adult authority as I felt as though their law was repeatedly enforced with no real reason but more so because they had the power necessary. However better tactics for communicating with children would be to practice patience, respect, and to take your time educating them in order to ensure the proper growth.
(I specifically chose to write my paper in a more informal way due to the fact that i believe this is the type of text a parent would actually listen to and take advice from).
 (Jennifer Poindexter, Aspiring writer, “What’s Wrong With “Because, I Say So” and How to Replace”, 2016)
 (Katie E. Lawrence, Author, “Please stop saying because i said so”, June 29, 2020)