Wednesday, September 12, 2007

“Stop It! Because I Said So!” And Alternative Forms Of Discipline


Growing up, I would hear lots of “No’s!” without any explanations. I eventually started asking “Why?” but got that classic parent answer “Because I said so!” I hated that.
Now that I’m in the parenting role, I’m taking a different approach - I’m making it a point giving reasons why.
Actual scenarios when my daughter does something she shouldn’t:

Wife: Don’t stand so close to the TV
Me: Move back! If you stand too close your eyes will burn from the radiation, and then you’ll never get into college and become a princess.

Wife: Don’t eat that!
Me: Drop that! It could be bird poop and if you eat it you’ll turn into a bird and then you’ll never be able to eat Chicken nuggets without being called a cannibal. And nobody likes cannibals. Nobody!!

Wife: Don’t pull the dogs' tail
Me: Stop that! He doesn’t like it when you pull his tail. He told me last night after you went to sleep.

Wife: Put that toy back, it’s time to go
Me: That toy has lead in it; if you hold it too long you’ll grow a third arm. And trust me, you’ll have no control over it.

Wife: Get in your car seat so we can go
Me: If you don’t sit in your car seat the police will arrest mommy and then you won’t have a mommy anymore. You do want a mommy, right?

Somehow I can just imagine when she has kids she'll probably tell them "Because I said so!"...

34 comments:

nonlineargirl said...

Don't forget to add that the dog also said he'd like her better if she ate all her veggies.

Whit said...

I do stuff like that too. I like to think of it as contributing to their creative side, you know, eventually, when they figure out I'm full of crap.

Ben & Bennie said...

LMAO!!! Chalk it up to being a creative individual (yeah, we're all sick like that).

painted maypole said...

he he he

Jackie said...

Sounds a lot like me and my husband!

creative-type dad said...

nonlineargirl -- Good point! I wonder if the dog has any advice on getting her to use the potty too...

Whirlwind said...

Wow that sounds like me. My middle child freaks out when I tell the youngest that I'm gonna call the police man if she doesn't get in the carseat. She says she likes her sister and doesn't want them to take her.

I once told them not to stare at the microwave or their burn their eyes. So now they dance in front of it when its one chanting "I'm gonna burn my eyes, I'm gonna burn my eyes..."

kittenpie said...

hee hee. I usually totally overexplain, but she does go along with it when I do, so it works. At the library, however, I kicked out three older kids last night with a "because I said so." Well, honestly, they knew perfectly well what they were up to and why they shouldn't have been. I just get sick of the pointless arguing and stalling sometimes.

Ryan said...

I think giving a reason is so good. I do that most of the time, but at the same time, lately we have had an all day long struggle as our oldest in a very "fun" stage. So sometimes I find myself repeating that line I used to abhor, "because I said so." On one hand I don't like that, but on the other hand the boy needs to understand that I am in charge and that my wife and I make the laws in our household. So when we speak, ya gotta listen.

As far as brushing teeth goes, I always get him to do it by saying, "you're teeth will fall out if you don't brush them and they'll turn black." It's true even and it gets him to do it. And then unfortunately he asks me to open up my mouth where my managerie of cavities reside...

Enjoy fatherhood today.

SusieJ said...

I get so confused that I give the most dramatic reason I can think of at the time -- only to have my 12 year old right behind me, telling the toddlers that it's just not true. I get busted every time.

Jenifer said...

You are too funny!

I always ask my daughter "Who's the boss?" and she answers, "You are Mommy." Got that right.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh I share this with my husband and we both laugh so hard.
Love the first one :)

wayabetty said...

Oh you're killing me! I have to admit I too come up with some whack job of explaining things to the kids too. How about this one, they love to eat kimchee (they are half Koreans after all) and it's really spicy, so I said "your bum will hurt when you go poop" and the 7 y/o actually said that one time at dinner table to my 2.5 y/o daughter. Too funny!!

creative-type dad said...

Whirlwind -- Yup, totally like kids. I bet they can record it, sell it on iTunes and by Cadillac Escalades

kittenpie -- I think you could only pull this until the kids starts questioning. As with older kids you don't know - yeah, I would have done the same.

SusieJ -- Sounds like the 12-year old needs to get sent away to boarding school (I'm kidding!)

wayabetty -- Betty, I hate to break it, but the bum does hurt after eating kimchee - I KNOW THIS from experience....!!

Jenifer -- When I ask my daughter "Who's the Boss" she better scream "TONY DANZA!"

Em said...

LOL...too funny. I hated "because I said so"...and swore I would never say it to my kids. But I have. But your reasonings are just wonderful.

Rob Barron said...

"That toy has lead in it; if you hold it too long you’ll grow a third arm. And trust me, you’ll have no control over it."

You had me laughing at 'third arm'; I howled at 'no control'.

Momish said...

LMAO!! These are great and I can totally relate. I am always giving my daughter such exaggerated reasons and it works. She can't argue with them, especially when most of the end with "and you wouldn't want mommy to spend hours wollowing in her Catholic guilt."

carrie said...

Because it will skip a generation. Guaranteed. And yes, I've said those exact words while trying to wrangle my youngest into her carseat -- I swear!

Bananas said...

Yeah I used to do this... until it started to backfire on me. CJ, awake in bed, afraid of jail (he'd pocketed a lollypop at the corner store, and I told him about jail...) now I just say BECAUSE I SAID SO... much less likely to lead me to trouble.

Beck said...

Funny!
My favorite is to start describing their birth in gory detail. That gets 'em moving.

crazymumma said...

Hilarious!

I like to give my children explanations as well, sadly it has turned them both into very small lawyers.

So now on occaision I trot out the 'because I said so and I'm your mother and I know best' trash talk.

Funny. It works.

creative-type dad said...

Beck -- yikes! That's just creepy. I may have to use that as a last resort

Bananas -- my grandmother used the jail bit on my brother and I. She made it seem like they had dragons there.

creative-type dad said...

Beck -- yikes! That's just creepy. I may have to use that as a last resort

Bananas -- my grandmother used the jail bit on my brother and I. She made it seem like they had dragons there.

kellyo75 said...

I love it! I am glad I am not the only one. When my kids ask me why they can't scream in the car, I tell them, "If you scream in the car, mommy will get in a car accident and your head will fall off." Now when one starts screaming, another one always pipes in, "NO NO Your head will fall off!"

Pageant Mom said...

I've always said I am convinced it is my pah-ren-tal duty to warp my children properly...

And just how many years of therapy do you supposed this will take to un-do???

;o)

Jenster said...

Brilliant parenting!!

Redneck Mommy said...

Just last night my children and I were at a community dance, without my husband. Looking for someone to dance with, I told my soon to be ten year old son he was required to dance with me.

"Why?" he whined.

"Because, my dear, it is the price you pay for my having spent 12 hours labouring to squeeze you out of my vagina. You will be forever required to squire your mother around the dance floor until I'm too crippled to dance."

He couldn't argue with me. But my neighbours who overheard the whole conversation shot beer through their noses while laughing so hard.

It was a great dance.

Lisa said...

Oh I love this post.

I do what you do -- give a reason and use fear as a means of compliance. :-)

creative-type dad said...

kellyo75 -- I don't know about telling my daughter "her head will fall off", that's almost creepy. But funny at the same time.

Pageant Mom -- I'm guessing from 18 until 50

Redneck Mommy -- You crack me up. If there's one thing that'll shut a kid up is talking about the vagina.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

OMG, this kills me, Bryan and I were just talking about this the other night! I am you and he is your wife.

Have you ever seen a really bad movie with Shelly Long and Steve Guttenberg called "Don't Tell Her It's Me?" It's a *supremely* stupid movie (so of course I love it) but Shelly Long's character spends the whole movie over-explaining consequences to her 1.5yo daughter. Things like, "If you touch that heating coil, your nailbeds will turn cherry red from carbon monoxide poisoning and you could die!"

So we joke that I am Shelly-izing when I go on and on, LOL.

Shannon said...

I think this is my first time here - what a scream. Thank you.

radioactive girl said...

That was way too funny!

InterstellarLass said...

For a while, we were joking with our kids that we were going to have to sell them. "Wow, the grocery bill was really high. We're going to have to sell one of you." or "WOw, the price of gas has really gone up again, we're going to have to sell one of you." Zed thinks it's hilarious. I thought Elle believed it was a joke. Until she started crying that she didn't want to be sold. Ooops. Therapy time.

JLow said...

These "alternative" answers remind me too much of the father of Calvin (and Hobbes)! Often his answers to Calvin's questions freaks him out!