Therapy and Counseling Center
for teens & adults in Newton, Sparta, Vernon
and Sussex County New Jersey
MA, LPC, NCC
973 . 632 . 6617
The Quote of Last Resort:
..............I am your Parent and What I Say Goes
When parents get worn down by arguing with their teenage children, they will often resort to saying something like "I am your parent and what I say goes." Another, similar response might be, "Because I said so!"
Teens then think their words and feelings have gone unheard. So parents need to be very careful about using such phrases.
When this type of statement is used to settle an argument, it does not make the parent right. Based upon their authority parents may get compliance, but only because their teenagers know it is useless to go on arguing. Such a parental approach not only does not solve the problem, it may actually make it worse.
Don't let it come to that. The idea is not to close off communication but to promote it.
When there are disagreements between teens and parents, teens need to know that their parents are listening to them.And parents need to know that their teens understand the reasons for the parental decision, even if the decision does not make their children happy.
When the dispute cannot be resolved, the parent's expectations and the consequences for non-compliance should be made clear... firmly, calmly and quietly. This allows teens to make choices rather than become angry and frustrated in response to "because I am your parent and I say so".