The Art of Parenting is comparable to The Art of War. Anyone can be a parent, but to succeed you need skills, tactics, and a hard wall to whack your head on multiple times.
The art of war
Roughly 2500 years ago, Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a strategy book based on Chinese warfare and military thought.
In short, it describes different tactics on how to have a winning strategy. Calculate the strengths and weaknesses of yourself against the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy. To be successful the most tactical way to victory is to psychologically destroy the enemy before the war even starts.
It’s an interesting book, give it a read.
The Art of Parenting
I bet your thinking, “what on what earth are you rabbiting on about Damion”…
The art of war describes how to be victorious by psychologically destroying the enemy before an outright war can begin. A Parent/ child relationship is exactly that. However kids seem to have the upper hand. I swear, somewhere along those 2500 years, children have read this book and adapted.
Kids have mastered the ability to psychologically destroy their parents then wage war against them to completely be victorious.
That one eventful night
Come on, let’s be honest, how many of you thought “let’s have a child, we’ll love it unconditionally, run through fields all merry on a summers day and have such a perfect life”.
You probably did, but how much did you have to drink!? The practice is the fun part… and we all know what I’m talking about. The real hard work comes in from the minute you bring your child home. You’re on your own!
Laying the plans
Those of us with kids will, have, at some point, had a plan. A plan of how we will manage our kids, look after them, cherish and care for them. I’m sure you’ll have been told “it will come naturally, in time”. We set ground rules, the Do’s and Donts, the can and cannot’s. We teach our kids the best we can, so we can give them the best start in life.
What’s that saying…? The best laid plans…?
They’re smart, kids. They’re like the elite soldier you see on the TV. They’ve been preprogrammed with the art of war over centuries. All they need is a little programming and a little learning and wallop they’re a psychological fighting machine.
They’ll meticulously plan their form of attack and more than likely succeed without you even knowing it. If you stuck Chuck Norris in a room with a kid, Chuck would come out weeping. And that saying something!
Those of you thinking of having kids, naturally, artificially or adopting, I will give you a little insight into why I believe parenting is comparable to the psychology of The Art of War.
In order to prevail, or at least survive, you will need the following in your arsenal:
- A wall, door, chopping board or something hard to hit your head on
- Something to talk to, like a Brick wall
- A swear jar (you’ll become wealthy)
- Something strong to drink. Alcohol, Tea or coffee. (Alcohol will heal the wounds faster)
- First aid kit
Don’t confuse this word with Tantric… That’s the naughty, hanky panky stuff that is going to get you into this warfare.
A child tantrum is something you need to deal with. Regularly. They’ll wear you down with a constant ultrasonic wave of “dad, dad, dad, dad” and “can I, can I, can I”. You’ll give in just to stop your ear drums from perforating. If you’re in a shop and this grenade goes off… act like it’s not your child. Roll your eyes and look around as if your not with them.
To remedy this when you finally get home, all dishevelled and absolutely knackered… stick a fiver in your swear jar, mumbled swear words count. Maybe just one firm thud of a hard surface. No alcohol is required, as you’ll become accustomed to the tantrum, you can plan ahead in future.
This is a tricky one to deal with. You’ll need the brick wall at the start of this and you’ll continue to use it. You’ll also need a first aid kit.
Bike riding, scooters, climbing, running, sticks, stones, play fighting, operations and general stupidity will all inevitably end in some form of physical injury. I’m not just talking young kids here, kids in general. Age 4 or 45, we’re still someone’s child. You MUST prepare yourself to have a conversation with the brick wall.
Shouting “slow down” or saying “it will get better soon” in a caring, loving way, won’t work. Talk to the brick wall, it is more effective. It will most definitely be your fault. Stay strong and reiterate that you gave clear instructions to a brick wall. Oh yeh, give it a magic kiss and blow away and stick a plaster on it if need be.
Unfortunately in this war, strength is not available. You will on a regular basis ask Christ for strength. He won’t give it in these circumstances. Feel free to just keep asking for it if it pacifies you. When you go to sleep, you’ll dream about achieving something with the strength. But it’s not real. This is classic psychological warfare.
There isn’t one. I’d say depending on the assertiveness of the way you ask Christ for strength, I’d probably go mid range with 2 or 3 headbutts to a door. And a small drop of something strong.
As time goes by
As time goes on, you’ll have either mastered how to deal with certain confrontations and battles or at least figured out your best form of defence.
You will, though, over time get to the teenage stage. This stage of parenting can be the toughest. Teenagers are no longer the elite of psychological warfare, they are the master chiefs. They have the ability to manipulate, torcher, dishevel, and grind you down to dust. Thanos’ finger snap has nothing on what a teenager can do.
Neither party will win this battle. There is no such thing as gratitude or appreciation. Everything you do will be your fault, even if you didn’t do it. You did, just accept it. If you feel you’ve won a battle, don’t be complacent. There is no such thing as a gracious defeat. They’re tricking you into a false sense of security, be prepared for a counter attack.
The brick wall will be needed for approximately 5 years, on and off. It will become your best friend. As will the chopping bored, you don’t need a wall to whack your head on. You’ll be doing it multiple times throughout the year so a chopping bored face palm will do.
There is a certain point in time in each year when an annual purge occurs. There are no specifics on this. You have to be on the ball all of the time. By surprise the elite and master chiefs will pounce on you with great vengeance. If you have multiple kids, they will conspire against you and plan the greatest war of the year. All, at the same time, they will confront you and create an elaborate strike force. Unfortunately you cannot win this war. They will divide and they will conquer.
Ride it out. You’ll be challenged with sleepless nights, tantrums, disobedience and hormonal strops. Be prepared for a pincer movement, this will involve one or multiple injuries from one or all children at the same time. This whole process will last, normally no longer than 24hours… each year.
You will need everything in your arsenal to help you through it. If you have backup, call it in. If you can, call special ops (grandma) for immediate evacuation.
For this, you’ll definitely need a brick wall. Alcohol, a first aid, and a very hard wall to bang your head on. Multiple softer taps of the forehead to the wall should suffice.
The armistice will only commence once your kids have left home. For some this can go into their 30’s… good luck with that one! I have no advice for that just yet.
The war will never be over but it will mark the end to hostilities. There will be cold wars in form of telephone silence and argumentative text messages. These are easier to cope with though, just don’t reply.
My final advice
If you get a red mark on your forehead, your hitting it too hard.
P.s. Always Drink responsibly.