The “Yes Mom” Revolution (Because I said So)

While shopping at the grocery store the other day, I overheard a mother say to her son, “Why, because I said so, that’s why.”  The little boy asked very innocently again, “But, why?”  He seemed to truly want an answer.  She repeated, “Because I said so.”  Then he pleaded with her, “Why can’t you just tell me why?”  Of course, by this time his mother was fed up and angry and she answered, “Because I’m the mother.”  She left the little boy looking so frustrated, confused and defeated.  She never did explain why. 

So I have decided that I am starting a revolution! Not the kind with guns and guillotines.  No blood, lost limbs or rolling heads.  No burning of vehicles, flags or bras.  The only casualty will be those left behind.  I am starting a parenting revolution.   A revolution that will not only free the world from the dictator type of parent but it will free them from themselves. 

I am revolting against the so called tried and true, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  I am rising above the old adages, “Just wait until your father get’s home.”  I am a mutineer of mommisms, “Clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa.”  I am a dissenter of corporal punishment, “Stop jumping on the bed or you will get a spanking.”    I am going for the jugular.  I am aiming at the heart of America, declaring my independence from arbitrary rules, expectations and the injustice of saying “no” just because you can.

My Declaration of Independence:  I hold this truth to be self evident. That all children are created equal; that they are endowed by their parents, school and society with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the right to ask why, not eat spinach if they don’t want to, and to jump on the bed.   

If I you think I’m off my rocker or if I have offended you, you may want to consider what American writer Peter Stone has to say, “This is a revolution, damn it! We’re going to have to offend somebody!” 

Actually, the parent I am mostly concerned about will probably never read this blog.  But for most of us, I am certain that you have questioned some of the words that came flying out of your mouths.  I know I have.  I admit that I have been guilty of some of the old adages myself.  We have all done it.  It’s like there are moments when we are on automatic pilot repeating what our parents said.  I remember once yelling, “This place is a pigsty.  If I have asked you once, I have asked you a thousand times to clean your room.  Just wait till you have kids of your own someday.”

The problem is these adages, mommisms, and negative outbursts do cause harm to our children.  It teaches them that they are small and powerless and the world is big and scary.  It teaches them to comply to arbitrary rules, to follow authority without question, to let someone else do their thinking for them and avoid thinking for themselves.  And, it is simply not respectful.  Kids are people too and deserve respect. 

So, the next time my daughter asks me why the sky is blue, why she should wear sunscreen at the beach or why does she have to go the grocery store with me, I will take the time to explain.  And if I don’t know the answer, I will look it up or come up with something but I will never leave her feeling defeated like the mom in the grocery store left her little boy!  Viva la Revolution.

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