Saturday, March 10, 2012

Influencing the Weak-Minded

Is it wrong of me to use the Jedi mind trick on my own kids?

'Mom! Mooooommmmm! Come play race cars wif me.'
You don't need me to play race cars with you.
'Mom, where are you?'
This is not the parent you're looking for.
'Mom, why are you hiding in your bed?'
I can go about my napping.
'Awesome! I'm coming in to play fort wif you!'
'Mom, that's a bad word.'

Not that it ever frigging works, mind you.

I am fully convinced of the Awesome Untapped Potential of the Mind. Trouble is, that "untapped" (or, in this case, un-desired-results-producing) business makes it tough to maintain my conviction sometimes. It's not that I'm lacking motivation in my efforts, though - for example, there have been a few** "select" situations over the years when I've been really desperate to make some small interloper or another go away, but I always figured it didn't work those times because my attention had been diverted to somewhat more compelling anatomical regions, ergo my brain was clearly not operating at its Jedi best.

And today, well, I think it's pretty reasonable to chalk today's failure up to my being half asleep. Full Jedi mastery is always easier when I'm not in my afternoon slump.

There's a slightly trickier alternative theory as well: it may be that the Jedi mind trick only works in the expected way on adults. Kids, on the other hand, will always do exactly the opposite of whatever it is you actually want them to do - except when they don't, which further complicates things - so in order to effectively manage their behaviour through mind control techniques one may have to employ the less well-known art of Jedi reverse psychology:

'Mom! Mooooommmmm! Come play race cars wif me.'
I am the best person to play race cars with you.
'Mom, where are you?'
You don't want to play race cars with your sister.
'Mom, why are you hiding in the basement?'
Race cars are less fun by yourself.
'Awesome! Let's play ball hockey! I'll get the hockey sticks!'
'Mom, that's a bad word.'

Or maybe I just haven't got the little hand wave down right.

** Possibly more than a few. You know how it is.

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