Don’t Bypass Your Child (Part 2)

Children Love to Help

This is the second of two (perhaps more) posts on the subject of bypassing your children – and in this context, bypassing means to ignore their efforts to help or do work that is theirs, and instead doing it yourself.  

I realized after writing my last post on the topic that there is so much more that could be written on this, and so many other facets to the issue.   The facet mainly covered in the first post was that the more you bypass them and don’t let them do the work, the more you’re grooving in the fact that they don’t do the work, and you do.  I.e., you cop all of the work and end up as an overworked parent.

Making a More Responsible Child

Another facet of why you don’t want to habitually bypass a child lies in something that is one of the bare-bones basics of Scientology.  If you look at the Scientology symbol, it’s an S with two triangles.  The bottom triangle – the Affinity-Reality-Communication triangle, is covered in depth in this video.  The top triangle, however, is the one relevant here – the triangle symbolizing the interrelationship between knowledge, responsibility and control.  (more info)

In an issue L. Ron Hubbard wrote for the Executive Series of organization policy letters, he wrote the following:

“It is hard to fully know something or be responsible for something over which you have no CONTROL, otherwise the result can be an overwhelm.”    – LRH  (18 Feb 72, THE TOP TRIANGLE)

So, obviously, whether you’re training an employee or raising a child, you would want them to have maximal control of their work area or their environment.   But that’s where, again, this mechanism of the habitual-bypass comes in.  

As I watch my daughter grow up, she is constantly finding new things about which she can be responsible, and which she can control.  She found out she could push the buttons on the microwave, and if she uses her step, she can load her own food into the microwave & cook it.  She found out she can control a rag and a spray bottle, so when she spills something, she expects to be able to clean it herself.  Et cetera. 

Now, the problem comes in when you all of the sudden, randomly (to them) interrupting that control and asserting that they can’t do it for whatever reason (you’re late for work / they’re taking to long / they suck at it / they’re making a mess / etc).  What happens then?

The mechanics of that, LRH discusses in another organization policy, this one written on 24 March 1985 and entitled RESPONSIBILITY, CONTROL AND DANGER CONDITIONS:

“An executive can tend to occasionally sever somebody’s responsibility line.  it’s a technical point.

“As one definition of responsibility is to defend one’s control of an area, an exec can sometimes tend to sever that control point.” – LRH

He then goes on to detail that this is why execs continue to get repeatedly pulled into an area – and the same applies to parents.  That if you habitually bypass your child (or junior employee) and fail to take the necessary steps so that they can be responsible for the area you just bypassed them on – they will assume it is NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY and will relinquish control for it.

Just THINK about that for a bit.

imageIt applies to potty training.  It applies to why kids don’t clean their rooms.  It applies to a lot of things.

Again, I’d fully recommend a study of all of these related policies – they’re all available in Organization Executive Course Volume 0.   But at the very least, do the free course on Ethics and the Conditions which gives you the essence of these factors and what to do about it. 

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6 Responses to “Don’t Bypass Your Child (Part 2)”

  1. Diane December 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    What an awesome set of articles! This is so true and I understand even from my own experience how it can be difficult to let a child do something themselves or wait for it to happen but the above data is absolutely by my observation and my professional experience true. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Lester December 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Nice. I like your examples. I can see how this has happened so much in my own life and in others’ lives.

    • Tad December 14, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks!

  3. Doug Hogg December 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    It is interesting to look at the KRC Triangle with regards to children in school where we want them to get knowledge but we are not letting them have much responsibility or control in their lives or in the society. My own son came to hate math by the end of 2nd grade. We found out that the problem was that he didn’t have any application for it in his life, so it appeared to him that math was useless (and boring). He didn’t understand why he was being taught how to add and subtract, etc. when it wasn’t helping him. We had to start allowing him to have some responsibility for earning things that he wanted and control over his own money. Happily, he then gradually gained an understanding of how math was useful and today he is a robotics engineer.

    • Tad December 14, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      Well, I’d say that was a successful application of the KRC triangle, then! :)

  4. Calla Gold December 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    This blog post really explains the important concept of letting your kids control areas and tasks and gain talents.
    It’s such a valuable advice. Someone happily shared it with me when me son was young. Sometimes I gritted my teeth as he “destructively” helped me. But if I thanked him and asked him if he’d like to learn the secret of doing it even better he often said yes and from that moment on did it in a more acceptable way.
    He’s 19 and a paid intern, paid tutor in two college departments and is very independent.
    That is some powerful advice. Thank you for writing it up with such a great simple style.

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