In my latest book, “Grandma Was Right After All!,” I take the top 25 parenting sayings of my youth and explain what they really meant. I do so because they’ve been distorted and demonized by the mental health community as psychologically harmful, which is balderdash given that child mental health is 10 times worse today than it was in the 1950s, when their usage was commonplace.
The demonization prize goes to “Because I said so,” which when stated calmly and straightforwardly is nothing more harmful than an affirmation of the legitimacy of parental authority. The long form would be something along the lines of “I provide for your provision and protection; furthermore, I am not your peer. I am your superior in every sense of the term. Therefore, I am not required to, nor will I, justify my decisions and instructions to you. You will obey because that is what I determine will happen, and for no other reason.”
First runner-up goes to “Children should be seen but not heard,” which psychologists claimed reflected a generally negative attitude toward children (mind you, when the number of children per couple was significantly higher than it has been since). Wrong again! As the aphorism makes perfectly clear, the child in question could remain in the room and listen to adult conversation (be seen), but was expected not to interrupt (be heard) — a truly…
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