growing up

By Natalie C.

God, raising a family is not easy!

I don’t know that there is any right and wrong on raising kids. We do the best we can – and if can provide kids with the basic foundation so that they can do well in life, in whatever they choose to do, then we have succeeded.

I have been heavily influenced by my Dianetics and Scientology training, and I feel it has given me stable datums that are not just theory, but really workable and produce results. My two girls, both very independent, dynamic and intelligent individuals, are living proof of that.

Here is just one of the basic LRH principles I have been using and had great success with:

“One of the best ways to put children on a happy road is by offering them a little education. Interest them in the real world, and try to interest them in a hobby in which they can learn to use their bodies. Let them choose the hobby, and let them show how proficient they can become. Teach them walking tight ropes, or how to fry eggs. The world isn’t a bunch of selected subjects that somebody writes down in a book. This is the business of living, and if something is especially interesting to the child, that’s the thing to teach. If a precision control of the child’s body can be built up it will aid his sanity, raise his tone, and make processing easier.

“Just plain learning a skill isn’t good enough, because the farther that skill departs from practical application in the future, the less efficacy it will have in straightening out his mental and physical health. The child must see that what he is learning leads toward an actual need in his life. Give the child a feeling of pride in himself, and a feeling of independence about some certain thing. It is absolutely necessary that Johnny have reserved to him alone at least one sphere of action in which he is completely independent.

“A little boy walking downtown with his parents saw an accordion in a window and suddenly decided that he wanted to learn to play the accordion. After a session of whining and screaming he acquired a small accordion and, despite the cartoons, finally learned to play something. “I always thought it was a good idea to start him on the accordion,” they gloated, one after the other. They fought among themselves for the distinction of being the first to rec-ognize genius. Then they lowered the boom.

“You must practice an hour and seventeen minutes every day, like it says in the book. You’re not going to go out and play with that gang of rowdies.” It was no longer the child’s accordion and no longer his music. One day the accordion just “happened” to get smashed. The parents made their excuses – “You know how children are, they’re flighty and changeable. They don’t know what they want next.”

“The child had selected something he wanted to do. When he found it was not an independent sphere of action, he abandoned it.

“A child can be robbed of independence of action in numerous ways. Preventing him from making his own decisions by inflicting punishment upon him when his own decisions head him into trouble is one way. Another is to try continually to impress him with how nice everybody is to him, and how the world is all run for him, and how ungrateful he is. Another way, a particularly despicable and demoralizing way, is to work on his sympathy by getting sick, or tired, or discouraged when he does anything wrong.”

LRH, Book Child Dianetics

5 thoughts on “Helping kids grow up

  1. Excellent article, Natalie.

    My oldest daughter, 15, recently developed a strong interest in cooking and has been making some of our meals lately. It’s really fun to watch her create the food and to see how happy she is when we enjoy it. This article is a perfect example of letting someone come up to “create” and competence on a subject of interest.

    • Hi Scott — I have had the same experience too! My oldest learnt how to make 2 minute noodles at the age of 6 and OMG, he was SOOOOO proud. Wanting to make them for his friends when they come over — and show his competence on a) turning on the stove, b) boiling water, and c) cooking the noodles.
      We had the same with lighting the wood heater. He, like all boys, has always had a strong interest in fire, so I taught him how to light the fire using firelighters, and then kindling and so on. He was just thrilled that he was trusted to light the fire, and that he could do it, well.
      Each step is another step to independence. And I have found that his responsibility on both the stove and the fire is really high, as he has the knowledge and control to accompany it.

  2. My mother was very concerned that I be independent, and thus gave me numerous opportunities to make decisions which directly affected me on my own. What’s funny is that now, at 80, she bemoans how independent (self-determined/pan determined) I am. I think the majority of her reservation about it at this point is the fact that I don’t necessarily agree with her all the time about things. The irony amuses me.

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