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Physics and the Art of Parenting | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Physics and the Art of Parenting

Bad Parentsphoto © 2009 Ward Kadel | more info (via: Wylio)
After learning the military engaged in kinetic military action, I realized that I, too, have engaged in many types of action as a parent, and I should update my parenting vocabulary. Parenting and physics have a lot in common. At times, they can be unpleasant or uncomfortable, but they are key to the source and balance of the universe.

Glossary of Terms and Formulas to Memorize

Action = ability to parent

Potential Parental Action – Parenting that is stored, ready to take effect. This is when you see your kids playing Ninja karate fighters in the store aisle, you’re paying for your groceries, and you know if you don’t do something soon, they are going to knock over the whole candy display or Bubba Jr. is going to whack his sister Sweetie Pie till she falls and screams.

A potential parental action is calculated by PPA = mgh. Your action is the product of multiplying the height of Bubba Jr. with the acceleration due to gravity of his Ninja kick and the speed by which you can get to him.

Kinetic Parental Action – Parenting in motion. This is when you pay for the groceries with one hand while you use your parenting voice with Bubba and Sweetie Pie while you grab whichever one is within your grasp to get them to stop.

A kinetic parental action is calculated by 1/2 mv squared. Or it is the product of the mass of said children, the velocity or speed by which you can get to them times 1/2 since you will probably only be able to grab one of them at a time.

Total Parental Action, or TA = KA + PA – The total action of parenting, combining the potential of you know what you gotta do and getting it done. Your children may be engaged in random motion, but your actions are the sum of everything you do to encourage their random actions into some semblance of order.

Mechanical Parental Action – this is the movement or potential movement of objects used in parenting, which might include carseats, leashes, or other restraining devices. Unless of course Bubba Jr. is a Houdini who can hack any computer, pick any carseat lock, and broke the leash an hour after you put him in it.

Chemical Parental Action – some who parent rely upon chemical bonds to coordinate actions. Some medicate the kids. Others self medicate to survive parenting.

Electrical Parental Action – parenting associated with the motion of charged children. This is the type of parenting required after your child has consumed a Red Bull without your permission.

Heat – parenting action that is transferred from one parent to the other as a result in a difference of parenting expectations or standards.

This is the end of my first parental physics study unit. When I have energy, maybe I’ll write the next unit, “Momentum,” otherwise known as the parenting of teen years.

(This blog was inspired by my teens’ studying physics this year, which holds the same interest for me now as it did when I studied it.)


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