When you choose a contractor to work on your house or you consider a purchase or service of any kind, you expect a compelling argument for any costs you’ll incur in the course of the transaction.  It’s how you protect yourself from spending too much on stuff you don’t need; how you get what you need for a reasonable price. It’s one of the ways you find your way through the world.

Why, then, do we shut kids down when they ask for justification or explanation of things like homework and chores?  If we want them to be discerning consumers (not just of goods and services, but of social interactions, career paths, anything), it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The only possible explanation for the approach is that we think the only way to get a person to do something is to force them to; that it shouldn’t matter whether or not they can see the value in it.

If someone tried to force you to hire their company or buy their product, without answering your questions or taking your objections and concerns seriously, would you do it?