Ah, one of my favorite words as a parent and as an educator…. one of those all-powerful words…. BECAUSE!
Of course, when I was growing up there was a full sentence, “Because I said so.” I, however, prefer to use the word in isolation – it is then applicable to more circumstances….. because…. it has a nice ring to it sometimes.
Of course, the question is always “why” – though it can have many additional words attached to it.
I am learning that there are moments in life when I can use the word “because” – such as when questioned as to why I love nature, why I have never been drunk (yes it is true, I never have been), why I love the colors pink and green (separately and together), why I chose to adopt as a my first and ideal choice of how to form a family, why I like to run in the rain and laugh until my stomach hurts…..
But, then, there are many situations that need explanations – many times when “because” is simply not good enough. I find that this is most often the case when children are involved. It is so easy for parents to find themselves in moments when they are dis-empowering their children. Usually it is not done on purpose… usually it is done out of convenience.
My youngest is very bright. And, as a typical bright child (in fact, I was the SAME way when I was her age) she asks TONS and TONS of questions. ”Why” is often one of the questions she asks. It is very hard to keep up after a long day at work. This is where my “becauses” start to come out – and I do not like them. I know it would be better for her for me to take time and explain, but in those moments I want a little down time, I want a breath – I want to eat dinner… and then start answering questions. When we can, we divert with all of the activities we need to get done, but sometimes the “whys” are just too much… .so sometimes we say, “for this car ride you get 8 questions” – it drives her nuts, but we also get a mix of moments of quiet and moments of great interaction.
So, I suppose because can be a great answer to some questions, but we all have to be careful. If we are using “because” too often with our young people, it can build walls in places where we are working hard to establish bridges of understanding.
Today, 125 days ’til 40, I will work to stop and listen and give relevant answers that honor the young people asking – because!