I’ve put a fair bit of thought into how I approach parenting my kids. Possibly too much. I figured that if I was going to be a parent, I might as well be the best one I knew how to be, and put enough forethought into the major pillars of how I was approaching parenting.
In keeping up my Twitter account, I’ve been told by folks who read the National Enquirer, and other such reliable sources of information, what they think I do as parent. Unfortunately, with as many misunderstandings as there are out there about a new religion like Scientology, folks tend to make up information to fill in what they don’t know. As such, I figured I’d outline a bit what a normal Scientologist like me holds important in the area of the upbringing of children.
Now, I must say that this isn’t an attempt to delineate how all Scientologists approach parenting. It’s how I approach it. Obviously, many of my opinions draw from my studies in Scientology, but other Scientologists may have different approaches. Have a Scientologist friend? Ask them what they think. I’m sure they’ll tell you.
- Find the Why. As opposed to explaining away difficulties one’s having in life or problems one is having with the kids or in the family, find the root cause as opposed to a mere explanation. More info: Video: Investigations – from the Volunteer Ministers free on-line course
- Set a Good Example. If there is something that you desire in your children, make sure you’re doing it right yourself. Children are excellent mimics, and will mimic your terrible reactions to things just as well as your good manners and pleasant habits. More info: Article: Children Learn by Mimcry – So What are You Teaching Them?
- Ownership of a child’s possessions. When you give something to a child, it’s theirs. It no longer belongs to you. If you want to maintain control of something, make it clear that it still belongs to YOU not them. That way you build up their own self-determinism and responsibility for their belongings. Example: My daughter just got a new Barbie doll from her grandmother. Pretty clothes and all manner of girly accessories came with it. What does she do first? Take it into the sandbox and bury it in the sand so she can play with her brother. Bite back your urge to tell her not to get it dirty – it’s hers. More on such: Video: Scientology and Raising Children
- Understand and use good two-way communication. As in, as much as possible, try not to be the kind of parent that Hiccup’s father was in How to Train Your Dragon. Observe and listen to your children, and understand what they’re trying to communicate to you. Make sure that when you communicate to them, they understand it. The importance of this I think cannot be understated. Article: Communication – the Key Element in Parenting
- Allow children to contribute in the family. Children naturally want to help, and adults, I think, naturally think their attempts at help are annoying. But, if you let them help, and allow them to get better at it, my feeling is you’ll nurture children who are contributing members of the family and of society. Scientology Handbook course on Children
- Continually better your understanding of the mind and life. One thing that Scientologists generally do, is to generally work to better their own understanding of life. As a parent, you’re hopefully going to be right more than you’re wrong, but you’re still going to get plenty of things wrong in how you handle life, your spouse, and the family. So, constantly work to better your understanding of things so that, for the parts you got wrong, you can hopefully do it much better next time.
Here’s a link to a video that explains the above points further.