In a refreshing change from the depressing procession of portraits of early-childhood neglect and despair recently adorning the magazine's covers, Us Weekly switches gears to spotlight the development of Suri Cruise, Hollywood's Happiest-Seeming Toddler™. But while raising an 18-month-old genetically engineered by Scientology's top baby-fabricating technicians to unquestioningly obey its parental custodians might seems like an easy task, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes still find themselves needing the guidance contained in Dianetics Chapter XVII Sec (c), "On the Emotional Maintenance and Discipline of Your New Child-Unit." Says Us:
Additionally, Holmes, 29, and Cruise, 45, have a hard time saying no to Suri. But it's not simply because they're pushovers.
"It's all about being positive and supportive," says the couple's friend (Hubbard advised parents to "try to be the child's friend.") As for discipline, one former church member tells Us that Scientologists do not scold their children, but instead explain that bad behavior (like throwing a toy) is the "wrong action." (A Scientology rep tells Us, "How a parent disciplines their child is left up to the parent.")
Cruise and Holmes, says their pal, are very lenient and do not like to give Suri too many rules: "Suri pretty much does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. If she fusses before bed, they let her stay up later. If they want her to go swimming and she cries, they'll take her out. If she whines about food, they'll ask her what else she wants to eat. They always want to please her."
Of course, this understandable leniency is counterbalanced by the constant presence of the two Scientology-approved nannies assigned by the Celebrity Centre to ensure that Suri continues progressing along the Bridge to Preschool Obedience. For example, each time the precocious child takes the brightly colored toy saw from her Fisher Price tool set and pretends to cut through the chain on her mommy's ankle-shackle, a minder is always close by to gently admonish her that she's engaging in a "wrong action," even though Holmes' natural maternal instinct is to let her daughter do as she pleases.