I’m a Scientologist and a parent. What does that mean? The answer sums up a lot of why I started this site in the first place. And although I’ve written over 200 articles on this site so far on the subject, I’ve never actually just summarized what it means to me to be a Scientology Parent.
Applying One’s Religion to Life
With any religion, there’s a massive difference between simply calling oneself a member of that religion (i.e. “I’m a Scientologist”, “I’m Jewish”, “I’m a Mormon,” etc.), as opposed to factually applying the principles of your religion to life.
I’m sure there are plenty of Christian families that were “raised Christian” but the parents never went further in applying the tenets & values of their religion than taking kids to church on Sunday & saying grace at the dinner table.
I would submit that Scientology, as an applied religion, has an even greater variance than most between those who’d call themselves “Scientologists” and those who actively apply Scientology principles to their lives. By this, I mean that Scientology is something you do, not something you just “are” or something your “parents raised you as”.
As such, I personally find the tenets of Scientology to be intensely applicable to parenting, and have been trying my best to seek out and learn for myself those parts of my religion which are most applicable to being an excellent parent. It’s a constant process of learning & comparing what I learn to what I’m trying to do as a parent, and through such, to improve the well-being of my family. I’m most certainly not perfect. But I’m certainly giving it my damndest to being the best dad I can.
Summary of my Views on Being a Scientology Parent:
So, with that, I’ll try to summarize what it means to me to apply Scientology as a parent, and with that, give a summary of what’s important to me as a parent:
- Allow children to contribute to the family: I feel that children need to be able to contribute, and be allowed to help. The easiest way to get them to start rebelling and being a problem is to refuse to let them help. Articles on such: Toddlers Want to Help, Letting Kids Contribute on the Farm, These Terrible Twos Aren’t Too Terrible.
- Be in communication: This applies to both communication with your children, and communication with your spouse too. Too often I see tantrums that simply were the result of the parent not taking the time to actually communicate with the child and find out what’s happening – or to adequately communicate to the child what’s going on. So many upsets & problems can be averted simply by the use of good communication, and also by the assumption that the child actually should be consulted & communicated with (instead of assuming they’re just a brainless brat). Articles: Communication: The Key Element in Parenting
- Knowledge of the Reactive Mind: There are innumerable situations as a parent in which one simply needs to understand the mechanics of the reactive mind and how it works. Usually, kids are fantastic. Then, sometimes they start doing bizarre things – tantrums, refusals to cooperate, hitting, yelling, other odd reactions to life. Same as grown ups: illogical reactions like that are just your reactive mind. Understand how it works, and the right solution for reactive situations becomes readily apparent. Usually, it’s simple application ofScientology Assists, or may be even as simple as just fixing the child being hungry or tired. Articles: Facing Force with Reason, Scientology Pregnancy Assists
- Ownership of their Own Belongings: When you give something to a child, it’s theirs, not yours. Article describing this: Control of a Child’s Posessions – A Lesson in Parental Willpower
- Set a good example: I can’t stress this enough. Children learn by example, so as a parent, one needs to set a good example for them in all ways. The means manners, that means how you conduct yourself around your spouse, how you act when you’re tired, how you brush your teeth, EVERYTHING. Articles: Children Learn by Mimicry – So What are You Teaching Them?, Teaching Good Manners to a Child
- Find the Why: Everyone knows that Scientologists are not cool with psychiatric drugging. But the reason for that is that it is an ineffective attempt to short-circuit & bypass the need to find out why a given non-optimimum situation is happening with your kids. Kids hate school? FIND OUT WHY. Kids having tons of tantrums? FIND OUT WHY. Kids not eating well? FIND OUT WHY. Don’t drug them & then hope that sweeps the problem under the carpet. Your job as a parent is to make sure your kids grow up to be capable, responsible, happy adults, and if there are problems with that, you FIND OUT WHY and handle it. Watch this video, it explains my point.
I’ll likely add to this list as time goes on, but if you follow my site at all, you’ll see I’m opinionated on a number of other factors in parenting. Namely, I don’t let my kids watch network TV, and instead focus on projects, doingness, and being OUTDOORS.
But I hope that answers any question as to what I believe, and what being a Scientology parent means to me. It means I am applying my religion in any way I can find, to the end of making my kids happy, healthy, and more able to be responsible for their own lives.
Tad Reeves is Scientologist, a website systems engineer, and a parent of two adorable children. He has a great time applying Scientology as a parent, and keeps up a website entitled ScientologyParent with tips and successes that he, his wife, and his friends have had in applying Scientology to the joys and challenges of parenting.