Translated from Russian original by Joanna Dobson
In decision-making processes related to the upbringing of children, you can ask yourself one simple question: “Do the child’s actions inhibit Gene Preservation in another or restrict another person’s Freedom of Choice?”
If the answer to this question is yes, then you can safely impose an absolute ban on the child’s actions. If the answer is no, there is no need to place any restrictions on the child at all. They must simply be helped to understand the situation and then make their own decisions.
Here are some practical examples of the classical instructions we give to children:
“Share your toys”. No child is obliged to share their toys with anyone else. The child should decide for themselves who they wish to share their toys with based on how they get on with the other children around them. If a child does not want to share then he or she won’t share with these children either. Beyond that, it is preferable to let the child make their own decision. Naturally, a child’s parents can help clarify the situation but the decision must remain the child’s prerogative.
“Don’t tease or kill animals”. There must be an absolute ban placed on this kind of behaviour because it undermines the realisation of Gene Preservation in animals. The ban does not apply to the cases where a child needs to preserve his/her own gene, e.g. eating meat or killing an animal which attacks a child.
“Don’t fight or hit other children”. It all depends on the situation. If a child beats another motivated solely by aggression then this behaviour must be stopped totally because it contradicts Gene Preservation (and/or Freedom of Choice) in the case of the other child. A child has the right to hit another when provoked in defence of individual Gene Preservation (and/or Freedom of Choice).
“Be obedient”. No child is obliged to be obedient to their parents in everything. According to rules of communal living, the child and parents need to establish cooperative relationships so that the child understands what kind of behaviour is totally prohibited and why (it is the parents’ task to explain the reason for a boundary, preferably by applying the principles of The Last Faith). Parents may advise their child to act one way or another, but should never force them to act in a certain way.
“Be tidy and diligent”. It all depends on the situation. For example, in their own rooms children should be allowed to arrange their toys and belongings however they like. In communal rooms, in accordance with the basic rules of communal living, the child should take into account the wishes (freedoms of choice) of his or her parents, brothers and sisters.
“Don’t be indifferent”. A child must choose for themselves whether a particular situation causes them concern or not. No child is obliged not to be indifferent.
“Respect the elders”. No child is obliged to respect the elders simply because they happen to be greater in years. Respect must result from a child’s Freedom of Choice.
“Love your parents”. A child is in no way obliged to love their parents. This is entirely a matter of Freedom of Choice. One may simply hope that during the early years of life that a child spends living together with its parents, close affectionate relationships will be formed that will last throughout the child’s life.
It should be noted that the parents mostly have no Freedom of Choice about whether they love their children or not because parental love has its foundation in Gene Preservation. This explains why some parents spend their entire lives loving their unloving children.