Newton’s Laws of Kid Motion

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Summer is upon us. If your summer is anything like mine, this means your kids will be around, 24×7 for three months. To prepare you for the onslaught of the non-stop presence of your children, with nary a camp to offer a reprieve, it would do well to keep in mind these three laws of kid motion, paraphrasing the brilliant observations of Sir Isaac Newton.

Law #1: A child at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force (parent), and a child in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force.

Television watching will continue unabated unless a parent grabs the remote and forces kids to go outside and play. At that point, kids will remain outdoors, running amok, until you’re hoarse from calling them in.

Law #2: The older the kids, the harder you’ll have to work to get them to do anything.

(The original version, if you’re curious, is F=ma. The greater the mass, the greater the amount of force needed to accelerate the object.)
Little kids can be won over. You want to take them to the art museum on a rainy day, a vague promise for a treat to follow will often suffice. Older kids need convincing, cajoling, more overt bribing. And the museum? If you didn’t instill that love when they were younger? Forget about it.

Law #3: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If one brother does something to annoy the other brother, the other brother will retaliate in an equally annoying way. If it is not balanced, i.e. there is an unbalanced force, then the one reacting excessively will be punished.

There you have it. It may not stop your kids from fighting, but maybe the knowledge of these fundamental truths will help you understand their nature. I’ll leave the advice of how to handle it to the experts. So…experts?