We've been hearing a lot about how Scientology's sway over Suri Cruise was the breaking point with Katie Holmes. Word has it Scientologist handlers watched Suri's and Katie's every move, Katie couldn't discipline Suri the way she liked, and Suri had already started the bizarre "sec checking" process of being asked a bunch of wackadoodle questions while hooked up to a machine. But when it comes to being a kid Scientologist, it doesn't sound all bad. In fact, parts of it sound downright awesome.
Scientology apparently teaches parents that kids aren't mindless amoebas to be helicopter-parented into a quivering mass of future anti-depressant addiction. No, Scientology kids are treated like ADULTS. Yowsa. A Scientology expert explained in the Daily News:
[Tom and Katie] seemed to be following the Scientology philosophy that kids should make their own choices and be treated like adults.
She says this "pseudo" adulthood isn't healthy for a child and "cringes" at reports of Suri wearing high heels and makeup and staying up late with Tom and Katie as they had long dinners in restaurants.
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Apart from the high heels bit (I was a tomboy), this parenting style doesn't sound much different from what I grew up with. I didn't grow up with Scientologists, but with a hippy mother who generally treated me like an adult. Not that I didn't get into trouble on occasion, but the main rule of the house was, "Get back by dark." And that was about it.
On the other hand, I was naturally a pretty good kid. I took on paper route delivery jobs; I got good grades without trying very hard. There are other kids who probably NEED micro-parenting. But growing up with a laissez-faire mother allowed me to figure out what I wanted out of life and then go for it.
Obviously, a 6-year-old like Suri shouldn't be making all of her own decisions. But I applaud the idea of viewing children as people with their own ideas about life -- ideas that may conflict with yours. And then letting them make their own decisions and mistakes -- within reason, of course.
Now if Scientology can just do away with that E-Meter thingy.
Do you think children should be treated more like adults?
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