3 things my parents said to me that I swore I would never say to my own kids, but I do… a lot!

It’s not just kids who say the darndest things.
Parents do, too.

When I was a kid, my parents just didn’t make any sense to me.

They’d be saying things like: “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
And: “Because I said so, that’s why!”

As a kid, I swore I would never repeat that kind of nonsense to my future children.

Well, here I am, all these years later, pretty much eating my words.

You see, I’ve moved over to the other side.
I’m one of “them” now… and I get it.

All of that crazy talk…

Here are the Top 3 things I swore that I would never say to my own kids, but that I do (more often than I care to admit).

1. It hurts me more than it hurts you.

I most recently used this phrase when I didn’t allow my son to go to a much-anticipated sleepover party after he was “too sick” to go to school that day. Miraculously, he felt better as soon as party time arrived. I know that it upset him to see everyone run into his friend’s house (he lives right across the street) with sleeping bags under one arm and pillows under the other. It really did hurt me, but I just couldn’t let him go. A lesson needed to be learned – and I think he learned this one the hard way.

2. Because I said so, that’s why!

This one always baffled me as a kid.

But now I know…
Sometimes, it’s best not to explain why.

I don’t want to explain to them why they can’t jump off of the quarry or why they can’t swim out “just a little bit farther.” I don’t want to take away their fun-loving, full-of-life spirit, but I’ve heard too much and seen too much, and I need to protect them as much as I can.

So, instead, I’ll just say “Because I said so, that’s why,” and leave it at that.

3. Sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way.

I struggled with this one when my daughter showed me her hastily put together school project. She was adamant that it was her best work and, although I knew otherwise, I let her hand it in anyway. I knew her mark would be poor and my initial instinct was to jump in and save the day. Instead, I decided to let her hand in her “best work” and deal with the consequences. Sometimes, a lesson is best learned when learned through mistakes.

What are some of the things your parents said to you that you swore you would never say to your own children?

  • Sophia

    I totally agree with one and three…

    But number two. I honestly believe that if I can’t come up with a reason for vetoing an action, then I shouldn’t be doing it. Then again, I’m 100% willing to talk about scary things with my kids. There are reasons they can’t walk to school alone yet and they know them. With the examples you gave: why not just tell them that these things are physically dangerous?

    Of course, they can always refuse to listen to the logical reason (which I find happens less than I expect). At which point I don’t use “Because I said so” but rather “I’ve explained why and I’m pulling rank”. It means the exact same – it just reminds me less of my parents ;-)

    • tsousa

      Sophia, that’s a much better way of handling those tough requests. From now on, I’m replacing “Because I said so” with “I’ve explained why and I’m pulling rank”. Thank you for your comment and your clever insight.