Mom Shares the One Parenting Promise She's Kept and the Positive Impact It Has Had On Her Son

The Reddit mom vowed she'd never be one of those parents who says, "Because I told you so."

An image of a mom hugging her son.
Photo: Getty Images.

You'll have lots of plans for parenthood before you're actually in the thick of it, and then, a lot of those ideas are subject to change based on, well, real life. But plenty of parents vow to stick to certain family traditions or to avoid toxic behaviors ahead of welcoming a child—and end up doing just that. A mom on Reddit was recently reminded of just how well she's stuck to her one pre-kid promise.

Writing under the handle u/mistersender, the original poster (OP), explained that she has two kids, the oldest of which is 13. "I have heard a lot of soon to be parents and new parents talk about things they promised they would never do—and then inevitably end up doing anyway (e.g: 'I will never yell at my kid' or 'I will never use my shirt to wipe their boogers')," she wrote.

And 14 years ago, when the OP was at her baby shower, someone asked her what she would "never" do. "I wasn't sure how I would parent then, but the one promise I made myself, and my son, was that I would never answer their questions with authoritarian answers like 'because I said so' or 'because I'm the parent and you're the kid,'" shared the Redditor. "I absolutely hated it as a kid myself and didn't understand how that could possibly be a good way to parent."

She went on to share that a couple weeks ago, she and her 13-year-old were chatting, and he mentioned that he had been watching YouTube shorts where people talked about "relatable" things, and one was about having parents who say "because I said so" or similar.

"He said he stopped for a moment and realized he could not relate to this at all," noted the OP. He then said, "Mom, thanks for not being that parent, it's really nice, and I'm super glad I can't relate to this."

The Reddit mom admitted that she didn't burst into tears immediately, but "man, it felt good." "I'm glad he appreciated how hard it was to always answer his accrued 10 billion questions in the past 13 years," she joked. "He's a talker."

Other parents applauded the OP for sticking to her vow. u/mojojolop wrote, "I'm sure having such a considerate parent has a lot to do with how thoughtful he was in thanking you. Way to lead by example!"

Some, especially those with younger kids, couldn't help but relate. u/coral_reef_ wrote, "Thank you for sharing this, and good timing. I have an almost 5-year-old who is just now asking 'why' very often. It can be hard but I've promised myself to just explain things instead of 'because I said so' because it just doesn't feel helpful. Sometimes things seem so obvious why (i.e. why brush his teeth), but he's so young and loves understanding things, and I am the one to help! High five to you!"

u/DWhitney123 shared a similar promise she made herself, writing, "My mother never said 'I'm sorry.' And she told me if you apologize to your children, you give up your control, and I swore I would never be that kind of parent. I apologize to my twin daughters when I overreact about something, or if I discipline them for something they didn't do, and when I'm just plain wrong. I say sorry if I'm a little grouchy or if I don't act very nicely."

She continued, "I'm still in control, and I ain't no wallflower parent. But my mother was wrong. And my children trust me more because they know I will apologize and admit fault when I am wrong. And like with your son, the payoff is invaluable. There's no price tag on that feeling you get when you know you did it right."

No doubt the OP has plenty of reason to feel proud. Her experience proves that no matter how many wild and crazy turns parenthood takes you through, it's still possible to declare—and stick to—certain "nevers."

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