Thursday, April 27, 2006

Psychiatry at work...

I recently saw someone trying to treat his child like a dog. He was at the mall, and the child was wearing a harness attached to a leash held by his father. I suppose if one believed (as the psychiatrists have been promoting for the last century) that we were all soulless animals, then it would make sense to treat a child like a dog, control him as you would a dog by guiding him at the end of a leash, stopping him from going where he wanted to go.

It reminded me of this quote from L. Ron Hubbard in the book "A New Slant on Life" which I used when helping my own children as they were growing up:

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.

That's how I treated them. In that same book, he says

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.

When I negotiated with my children from this viewpoint, cooperation could be had. Whenever I negated this and tried to "lay down the law" or come up with some kind of punishment for bad behavior, I got only sullen resistance and looks that could kill. It took more time than simply cuffing them about (as my parents would have done to gain compliance) but my children are sane and effective adults now. Like the rest of Hubbard's advice, it works if you actually do it.

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