The Goal of “Growing Up”
“Perhaps the single most important point for parents to follow is the importance of giving goals to a child. And the most important goal is that of growing up to be an adult.”
“A child should have responsibility and independence commensurate with his status as a child. He should have things which are wholly his and about which he decides everything. But under no circumstances should he be possessed automatically of as much right as an adult in the sphere of the home. To give him this is to remove the main goal of his life: growing up.” –LRH
The above quote is from L. Ron Hubbard‘s article on A Child’s Dignity and his Goals from the Successfully Raising Children Course.
I know that Toys R’ Us will make more money if children never want to grow up, but as parents we all do want our children to ‘grow up’ and be able to be independent, responsible, happy adults who can create their own lives. As such, what incentive are you giving your children to ‘grow up’? Do they have things that they’re looking forward to that grown-ups can do? Or are you demonstrating to them that life is arduous, that work sucks, that being married sucks, and that the only thing that’s any fun ever vegging out on the couch in front of a movie?
It is continual food for thought as children grow up. As their abilities and awareness grow, how can you continually demonstrate to them that it’s a great idea to grow up?
4 thoughts on “The Goal of “Growing Up””
Love this quote! We try to reinforce this idea all the time. Growing is great. You get to decide what you want to do, wear, eat and when to sleep. All the decisions are yours! Plus you can drive and have money.
🙂 Indeed! The trick I’ve found is in finding things that are _REAL_ to them as they are growing up. What was real to my daughter at 2 years old, was that growing up meant being able to wear big-girl undies. Being a grown up now is starting to mean, “when we go to a toy store, I can have my own money and get what I want.” This whole game only works when it’s really real to them.
It’s incredible how this quote can be interpreted. Some parents want to keep their children tied to them and believe that it’s having the desired effect.
Quite so. And obviously – we love our kids immensely and want to be with them every step of the way, but the whole point of this “parenting” thing is to (eventually) work yourself out of a job.