Letting Children Contribute

A major tenet in Scientology with respect to the upbringing of children (and one that also happens to be total common sense) is the idea that children should be allowed to contribute.  As L. Ron Hubbard said in an article on children,

Children, in the main, are quite willing to work. A two-, three-, four-year-old child is usually found haunting his father or her mother trying to help out either with tools or dust rags; and the kind parent who is really fond of the children responds in the reasonable and long-ago-normal manner of being patient enough to let the child actually assist. A child so permitted then develops the idea that his presence and activity is desired and he quite calmly sets about a career of accomplishment.  — LRH

I was reminded of this when my 13-month-old’s grandma volunteered to watch her after my wife & I got back from a trip to Oregon.  She’s no beginner in Scientology, and so of course allowed my little girl to help her out during the day in her yard work around the house.  Next thing I knew, she was emailing me pictures like the following: 

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And then of course let her help with the prodigious amount of gardening that needed doing:

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You can read the full article in the free on-line course on Children, but the principle is simple enough:  when the child wants to contribute, let them contribute!

7 thoughts on “Letting Children Contribute

  • October 22, 2010 at 7:40 am
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    It makes me smile any time my little girl wants to help, and I see how early it starts in my little boy. We go out to feed the pigs every day, and I am amazed how Cyprus follows my every move so that he can learn to help out. I am being watched and observed all the time!

    Daphne loves to help me bake. Even if the measurements are a little bit off, it is a small price to pay for the fun we have in the kitchen together.

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    • October 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm
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      That’s awesome! I think I’ve seen a few of your Daphne Baking photos – and she’s so much cuter in person!

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  • October 23, 2010 at 3:39 am
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    This is great! I really try to keep this in with my kids too. Go, Mackenzie! (And go, Grandma!)

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  • October 23, 2010 at 4:14 am
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    Brendan LOVEs to help. He insists he has to sweep or mop the floor if I have the broom out. At 2 1/2 years old the dirt might not all come together, but the idea that he contributed is so statisfying to him. As a mother also trying to get things done, I’ll direct him to something he also can do and take a win, like spraying the high chair down out in the courtyard while I’m quickly cleaning up the kitchen. We have a nice system and as a result he originates more and more & sets a great example for his 11 month old brother who tries to do everything he’s doing.

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    • October 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm
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      I smile when I think of your son spraying his high chair down in the courtyard. That’s got to be awesome!

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  • October 26, 2010 at 3:10 am
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    In my opinion, this is the best thing for a child. Letting my daughter, Pennelope, contribute does wonder for her in terms of helping her grow into a responsible person. My little Pennelope may not like to clean up but I’ve learned with a little bit of patience a heap full of “making a game” out of it, she does it. Somewhere in the middle of doing it, and she then begins to feel happier. After the chore, she feels like she’s accomplished something and actually helped…and she has!

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  • November 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm
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    My daughter was just reminising about how she recalls when she was three yrs old and she used to stand on a chair to wash the dishes! She said she loved doing it.

    And I remember when my son was four years old I used to strap sponges onto his feet and we would wash the floor together! He loved scooting around on those soapy sponges!

    Sometimes I did have to do a little more clean up behind them but the had fun doing it and it was better than watching TV!

    Reply

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