The Daily Groove

WordWatch: "Because"

Today, look out for the word "because" in your prose. Notice that the word is almost always followed by an explanation, justification or reason that subtly assigns power to some external condition.

For example, suppose you decide to leave the park and your child asks, "Why do we have to go?" If you answer, "Because it's time to get ready for dinner," then you're essentially saying that the event called dinner (or time itself) somehow has power over your lives.

A truer, more empowering response would be, "We don't 'have to' go... I'm choosing to go." In other words, you are the cause... not the clock.

Parents unconsciously avoid such empowering statements for fear that it will lead to a power struggle. But you have a choice about that, too. You can choose to express power with (rather than over) your child.

With a little creativity, you can "be Cause" together.

Comments (closed)

need vs want

This past week i have been practicing saying "I want to..." or "I want you to..." instead of "we have to" or "you need to". It is a great reminder to myself that I am free to choose everything in my life. It also causes me to think about why I want to do something, and sometimes question if it is really what I want to do or if it is something I feel I have to do. I like the idea of "Because I choose to" being a valid reason for my kids to (choose to) do what I say. I hope that it will teach them that I am never sacrificing myself in raising them, but joyfully choosing to. I think that it will help them to see me as a person with my own feelings and desires, rather than someone who "has to" take care of them. And I hope that it will also encourage them to take joyful responsibility for their own choices and their own lives.