"Because I said so!"
Every parent winds up saying this, whether they like it or not. What's the alternative? Sit there and debate with your 11-year-old on the merits of a new toy truck or a face tattoo of them fatally stabbing a policeman?
No, in these situations it's best to quickly put your foot down and make it clear who's the boss. Arguing with them on everything will only undermine your authority and turn your kids into confrontational, spoiled pricks. Besides, what can possibly be gained by arguing with a child?
"You lost, kid. I get your dessert tonight."
The Surprising Benefit:
Actually, science says that those fights provide excellent opportunities for your children to practice their reasoning, discussion and negotiation skills. So as long as they are using rational arguments and calmly explaining their point of view to you, don't immediately go all alpha dog on them and end the conversation with the "Because I said so" trump card. Your willingness to have a discussion might actually save your younglings from a life of alcohol and drugs down the line, according to researchers from the University of Virginia.
Although raising a wuss means you can force them to wear stupid costumes and dance for you.
In their study of 157 13-year-olds over a period of two years, they discovered that teens who learned how to stand up for themselves and intelligently argue their point could later use those skills in other situations. Specifically, against the boogeyman of all parents everywhere: peer pressure.
It turns out that persuasiveness is a pretty useful thing in a school environment, especially when it comes to declining a hit of heroin to the eyeball during recess. In the study, kids who mastered the art of arguing by first practicing it on their folks were then 40 percent more likely to say no to all sorts of vices, while those who were constantly shushed by their parents responded to most bad influences with a submissive "Yeah, sure, whatever ..."