Know Your Because (first posted at

It will be only moments into parenthood or pregnancy, for that matter, when you will be faced with an interminable string of questions from friends and family (and sometimes even strangers) about your earliest parenting decisions; birthing, naming, feeding, sleeping.  Just when you think you’ve answered them all a whole new crop will come along.  Even your little one will descend on you with an endless list of “whys” about everything from the nonsensical to the profound.

Wise parents make it a mission to know their because.  In other words, they make active choices with intent.  They are prepared to answer the question, however it might be phrased, “why do you do it that way?”

Ultimately, you will come to realize that parenting is a series of choices; some will be well thought out; some, a reaction to events as they occur, (but choices non-the-less).  Some approaches will work for one family and not for another.  There is no one right path, but every path is fraught with the judgment of others.  Create your map or you will lose your way.

Begin by invoking health, safety, and the law as non-negotiable; they are the no-brainers of parenting. Riding in car seats, washing hands after toileting, running into the street, are never up for debate.  Most other things are subjective – I can show you a book that says you should never have a family bed, and I can show you a book that says you should only have a family bed.

To aid in the determination of your because, integrate some information from the “experts,” along with your gut, your experience, your lifestyle, and your beliefs.  Consider the age, stage and personality of your child.  Facilitate your thinking by saying “I am making this decision because…” Be alerted if your response has anything to do with not wanting to rock-the-boat, or how you will appear to others.  If that proves to be your underlying motivation (congrats to you for your honesty), you are on a slippery slope and you are unlikely to confidently sustain your path.  Parse your own values further.

Learn your because, know your because, and honor the because of others.   When disagreements arise or concession is warranted you can always simply and confidently state, “isn’t it interesting how different families do things differently?”


By |September 24th, 2009|All ages|0 Comments

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