What I want to say to my daughter:
My darling child: I know that there are many times when you don’t like or appreciate the decisions I make, or the rules I set forth, or the limits I place. I’m very sorry for this, but my job as a parent is to protect and nurture you and to prepare you for your future as best as I can. Sometimes I am attempting to protect you from risks and dangers that are tangible and immediate. Sometimes I am attempting to protect you from unpleasantness and peril that might happen in the future if you continue on a certain path of behavior. Sometimes I am attempting to prepare you for the vagaries and uncertainties of adult life. The demands I place on you are not intended to be cruel or unreasonable, but are instead imposed in the hope that you will be challenged and will grow in a positive fashion from the experience, whether it be in the areas of responsibility, education, or morals. The lectures I force you to endure are not meant to bore and nag you into submission, but are lessons from my own life experience that I hope you can learn with far less hardship than I endured. I want the absolute best for you, and pray that you enjoy a long and happy life, full of every possible opportunity and well-prepared for inevitable disappointments. To that end I must sometimes weigh your immediate gratification against your future potential, and make a choice that is based on my own experience and knowledge of a world that you are still largely ignorant of.
I will sometimes make mistakes, and will sometimes make decision and demands that you truly feel are unreasonable and illogical. In this event, I will steel myself to not be swayed by outbursts of emotion, invectives, or inappropriate behavior, and, in fact, the aforementioned behavior will most likely encourage me to enact reprisals as I continue to do my best to shape you into a responsible, and mature adult. That being said, I will be more than willing to listen to a reasonable and calm argument, backed by facts, experience, or compelling anecdote, and I promise you that I will hear your argument with an open mind and a willingness to change my position.
I love you.
What I actually say to my daughter:
Because I said so! And stop whining!