The teachings of Scientology stress taking control of one's own life. The auditing process that is central to Scientology involves, among other things, confronting fears, embracing freedom, and fully experiencing life. Scientology extends these values to the raising of children. Children, like adults, have a right to self-determination, and limitations to that right will negatively impact the child and create strife in the parent-child relationship. Therefore, children should be raised in a safe manner that does not stifle their creativity, self-worth, self-determination, and contributions to the family.
Children Have the Same Rights as AdultsWhile children have different needs than adults, they are not inherently different. Generally speaking, any behavior that you consider inappropriate between adults is inappropriate to display toward a child. Such behavior includes:
- Physical violence
- Yelling and screaming
- Arbitrary (non-consistent) treatment
Self-DeterminationEvery human being seeks to control his own destiny. Children should be able to explore and learn on their own terms whenever possible. If a child is allowed into a room, he should be able to investigate its contents. If there is something dangerous in the room, it is the parent's responsibility to remove said object rather than constantly telling the child "don't touch" or "don't do that."
Likewise, a child should be allowed to break his toys. If the toy is his, he should be able to do as he pleases with it. This is not to say that there won't be consequences for a broken toy (a parent certainly isn't required to replace the toy, for example), but children should be able to experience the consequences of their behavior and determine for themselves how belongings should be treated.
Let Children ExploreParents are tempted to mold their children into the shape they think most appropriate. Instead, they should be encouraged to seek out their own paths, as they will more enthusiastically follow a path of their own design, rather than being driven down one of their parents’ choice.
Encouraging and Rewarding ContributionsChildren naturally want to participate in family activities. However, because of limited ability, parents sometimes discount a child’s contributions. Children yearn for acceptance and a sense of worth, so a child's contribution to a conversation, task or creation should be acknowledged and encouraged.
People naturally want to contribute, and they become suspicious of people who contribute to them more than they can contribute in return. Children recognize parents as the source of live-giving food, clothing, shelter and love and attempt to return the gesture according to their ability. At first, it is only through outward shows of affection, but even these should be recognized as they gifts that they are. Later they will start giving presents and attempting to get involved in family activities.
Reasons For Disobedience in ChildrenChildren generally act out because it is the only method they have for retaliating against bad behavior first shown to them. They cannot effectively defend themselves against such treatment, so instead they rebel, ignoring rules and being generally disruptive in an attempt to regain some sense of control in a life that appears arbitrary.