I don't use this phrase because it's parenting-from-authority. I view my role as parent-as-guide rather than parent-as-authority-figure. I have authority, sure. I have experience and knowledge and a mature brain, and all of those things help me guide my children. I hold the Experience-Knowledge-Mature Brain trump card, if you will, and I will throw it down when things are getting out of hand. (Heh. I almost said tricky. Uh, whoops.)
Besides, if I can't articulate a good, rational reason for wanting a child to something, then why am I trying to get him to do it? And if I DO have a good, rational reason, then why on Earth wouldn't I share that with him? I'm trying to lead by example here--they need this information!
I was perusing the Ayn Rand Lexicon site this morning for a longer post I'm working on, and I came across this Ayn Rand quotation (from “Causality Versus Duty,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 98, my emphasis).
[Immanuel Kant's] view of morality is propagated by men who have never heard of him—he merely gave them a formal, academic status. A Kantian sense of “duty” is inculcated by parents whenever they declare that a child must do something because he must. A child brought up under the constant battering of causeless, arbitrary, contradictory, inexplicable “musts” loses (or never acquires) the ability to grasp the distinction between realistic necessity and human whims—and spends his life abjectly, dutifully obeying the second and defying the first. In the full meaning of the term, he grows up without a clear grasp of reality.
I thought that was interesting! Guide your kids, and give them your reasoning, lest they do what you want them to out of a sense of duty.