I really can’t remember what the issue was, but there she stood, all 40 inches of her, telling me why she should get to do what she wanted to do. Part of me just wanted to end the conversation quickly with a “because I said so,” but I was willing to participate in a little banter.
I probed with questions, searching for why she thought her suggestions were reasonable. I could see the wheels turning. I laughed inside to myself that she was no match for this skilled trial lawyer (although, I knew I would need to be extra sharp after she goes from 40 inches to 60 and has a teen after number in years).
After each road she took resulted in a dead end, she exclaimed, “Fine. Have it your way.” I just simply said, “Ok.”
Later, I noticed her being obedient with what I had asked her to do. The pain and frustration that was present just a few minutes earlier had disappeared. Normal conversations resumed and the night went just like always.
I was proud of my daughter. She had a position and was willing to state it. She gave it her best. Her best wasn’t good enough that night, but she’d held her ground before having to surrender to her immediate authority. I felt good about that. Sure, there are times when “because I said so” is the right answer. However, from time to time, why not allow your little ones to reason, to form an argument and state their position? There can’t be anything wrong with that, right?
Prepare them while they are still within your reach and influence.
Someday, it won’t be you asking the questions.