Monday, August 02, 2010

The High-Risk Job of Raising Kids in the 21st Century

It can be really hard to raise kids (or be a kid) today.

Teen suicides, crime at schools, school shootings, lots of opportunities on the Internet to get into even more trouble.

And with both parents working, sometimes multiple jobs, and more single-parent families than ever before, there's less time to spend with kids and more opportunity for them to get into serious trouble.

Are there guidelines parents can use to help their kids avoid the minefields and come out safe, well-balanced young adults who can be happy and live up to their potential?

There's one point of philosophy I apply that steers me through the rough times and helps me have more good times. It's something I learned from the Scientology Handbook by L. Ron Hubbard."Children are not dogs. They can't be trained like dogs are trained. They are not controllable items. They are, and let's not overlook the point, men and women. A child is not a special species of animal distinct from man. A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth." Okay. This may seem pretty obvious. But if you're like me you've seen an awful lot of kids whose parents don't seem to know this. And maybe you've failed to treat kids like this a couple of times yourself?

What does this have to do with kids getting into trouble? Well, when kids are brought up like this, they are more self-determined. And that means they will take more responsibility for themselves, their friends, and yes, even their parents.

In this same article, Hubbard wrote "The sweetness and love of a child is preserved only so long as he can exert his own self-determinism. You interrupt that and to a degree you interrupt his life."

"Aw honey, you don't really want that" (yank).

"Shut up!"

"If you don't knock it off right now we're leaving."

Of course moms and dads say and do that. What choice do they have?


Here an example of how this gets out of hand––witnessed one overstressed evening last week at Targets.

A mom in her mid-thirties was having a bad day. She had two kids with her. They were fighting over who should push the shopping cart. Then the fun began, with more fights, tantrums, and the inevitable smack across the bottom to one of them (and from what I could tell it was a classic case of injustice with the wrong kid getting nailed for it) followed by loud wailing and a quick exit from the store.

But what mom missed was that before this got out of control the younger kid had picked up a toy and was playing with it and having a great time and mom grabbed the toy put it back on the shelf, grabbed the kid's hand and pulled her out of the isle and over to another section of the store.

Hello? Last time someone treated me that way I hate to tell you what happened to him!

It's not necessarily easy to apply this guideline. But it's worth it, because it really works!

My advice? Treat kids the way you'd treat anyone else. See if it doesn't make your life (and theirs) a lot more livable. Read on how Scientology kids and parents mastered this part of their life. Click next

A good, stable adult with love and tolerance in his heart is about the best therapy a child can have.~~~L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion

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