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TipsForSuccess: Gift Giving

 Gift Giving

As a child, were you given a gift and then ordered how to play with it? Were some of your possessions under someone else's control? Are some of your current possessions still not under your control?

L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his book, Child Dianetics*:

"When you give a child something, it's his. It's not still yours. Clothes, toys, quarters, what he has been given, must remain under his exclusive control.

"So he tears up his shirt, wrecks his bed, breaks his fire engine. It's none of your business.

"How would you like to have somebody give you a Christmas present and then tell you, day after day thereafter, what you are to do with it and even punish you if you failed to care for it the way the donor thinks? You'd wreck that donor and ruin that present. You know you would.

"The child wrecks your nerves when you do it to him. That's revenge. He cries. He pesters you. He breaks your things. He 'accidentally' spills his milk. And he wrecks the possession on purpose about which he is so often cautioned. Why?

"Because he is fighting for his own self-determinism, his own right to own and make his weight felt on his environment. This 'possession' is another channel by which he can be controlled. So he has to fight the possession and the controller."

For example, you give your son a new bike and he leaves it out in the rain that night. If you say, "I'm taking away your bike because you can't take care of it," he makes the rest of your day miserable. If instead, you put your son in control of the bike, everyone has a happy day. "It's your bike, but you might want to dry it off and keep it in the garage at night so it doesn't get rusty. Do whatever you want."

*Dianetics: From the Greek dia (through) and noos (soul), thus "through the soul." Dianetics counseling finds incidents in the past to explain personal problems in the present. Based on the NY Times best-selling book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (


Giving Control to Adults

The above fact is also true with adults and helps explain why some people get upset.

For example, Bob the Boss hires Fred to clean his office. Bob says, "I was watching how you hold your mop. Both hands should be in the middle of the handle, not one on top. The cleanser you used in the bathroom is blue and it should be green. Also, the tread on your shoes might leave black marks so wear white shoes tomorrow."

Every morning is like this. Bob never really gives the job to Fred. One day, Fred writes "I QUIT" in black marker on the bathroom mirror. Bob the Boss says, "You just can't get good help these days."

Another example would be a friend loans you some money so you can buy a car. But your friend then insists you buy a certain car, tries to control how you drive the car and so on.

Some parents try to control an adult child's career. For example, the parent says, "I'll pay for your college education if you become a doctor." The parent is then enraged when the son or daughter quits college to hitchhike across Europe or become a professional surfer.

When you give a job, an idea, a gift, money or a life to someone, you must let them control it. Child or adult, nobody wants strings attached.


Provided by as a public service to introduce the technology of L. Ron Hubbard to you. 


Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.

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