The Norman Transcript

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March 15, 2013

Accepting the BISS principle when it comes to parenting

NORMAN — While working in my secret parenting laboratory, hidden deep beneath the earth’s surface and accessible only by me and a small, select team of associates, I recently made what I believe is a huge and history-making breakthrough that promises to greatly improve parenting the world over.

For years, I have stood almost alone among America’s parenting pundits in defending the legitimacy of “Because I said so,” perhaps the most maligned four words in all of human history. I have gone on record as saying that “Because I said so” affirms the authority of the parent, provides an honest answer to a child’s demand to know the reason behind the parent’s decision, and all but eliminates the possibility of mutually debilitating parent-child argument.

I have pointed out that adults have to accept the BISS principle — when we pay our state and federal taxes, for example — and asserted that it is in the best interest of children therefore that adults make them aware of this reality from an early age. Furthermore, there is no evidence that “Because I said so” damaged the mental health of my generation — the last bunch of American kids to be universally exposed to it; there is no good reason to think, therefore, that it will damage the psyches of today’s children (although they do seem a tad more fragile than we were).

No short list of folks have suggested alternatives to BISS, such as “Because I am an adult and you are a child and it is my responsibility to make decisions of this sort on your behalf and you will not understand my actual reason until you are my age and have a child your age, so there’s no point in my sharing it with you, and whether you agree or not, you have to obey.” Needless to say, the child lost the parent at “responsibility.” Given the choice, I would recommend the simpler, shorter form.

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