Sunday, 24 August 2014

Because I Told You So

"Why, mommy?"
"Because I told you so!"

It is the easiest answer in frustration. It is the quickest answer when busy. It is the simplest answer when we don't want to reveal our own insecurities or weaknesses. It is the finite answer when there are just too many questions.  

But what does it really say? It says not to ask questions. It says not to seek understanding. It says to never try to persuade or debate. 

Of course, I don't think it's right for a child to push continuously when they've been told something. And questions can easily turn into an argument that a child shouldn't have with an adult. (I remember my mom telling me I argued too much. We'll see how I feel faced with the same resistance.) I know in some situations an explanation is not needed and in other situations our tone should get prompt obedience because of safety issues.

But "because I told you so" is a very closing response. 

Fast forward to adulthood. Why do you do what you do? Work the way you work? Believe what you believe? Because someone told you to. 

The last thing l want is for my child to go along with something she doesn't agree with and not question whether it is right or wrong. I want her to be open to thinking about what she is doing and why she is doing it. 

I don't want her to be afraid to seek understanding. To open up a dialogue and talk about anything.

You could think that as a result she would be less likely to successfully work under authority. But I think it would do the very opposite. It would be easier to respect leaders if one has confidence in their own ability to be informed on making a decision. I am more comfortable working under someone if I know I can clarify instructions. It is stressful to work under someone when this kind of dialogue is not permitted.

There are many who struggle to do what they are told because they had no freedom. Sometimes people stick to something because it is the opposite of what was forced on them previously. I don't really like to wear slippers because my step dad insisted, saying that I would ruin my socks. I figure there are other acceptable options. Like cheap socks. 

In my current household it appears that stalling is a growing tactic. Getting from the car to the house or vice versa is taking so much longer. But as I have my agenda in my mind and it is halted by an inquisitive follower, I'm hoping to be able to recognize those opportunities in which I can take a moment longer and help her expand in her discernment of her world and it's never ceasing "why". 

Now, "Get in the truck!"
"Because we are running late. Again."

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