A trip to JJB Sports the other day coincided with me reading an article about President Obama's Middle East speech. Basically Obama blew it with his comments, so what does he do? He reverses course pretty damn quick. He employs his spin doctors to assert Damage Control. It's the same as poor old Harold Camping and his 'end of the world' prediction yesterday. I guess they will say that his ideas were 'misunderstood'. Although I did feel like I had been placed in hell this morning when it was all kicking off in my house.
Let me explain a bit about Damage Control. It's a term that is used by the navy in situations that might cause the sinking of a ship. Damage Control has also been adopted for politics, media and project management to describe the actions needed to deal with a problem that might bring danger or a negative reaction. Thanks, Wikipedia!
The Obama article and yesterday's non-Rapture got me thinking about the events that occur in this house and how, basically, The Husband and I are guilty of Damage Control Parenting.
Take the situation at JJB Sports. The Tweenager is really into cricket at the moment. Which is great because he is slightly better at it than he is at football. And he is crap at football. Anyway, all week he had been asking for cricket stuff and being the lovely supportive parents that we are, we promised that a trip to JJB Sports would be forthcoming, depending of course on his behaviour. We agreed with him on four things which quickly went down to one after his usual attitude and mumbles of "Whatever!". So off we trotted to JJB with The Tweenager excited about getting a bat.
Of course we're talking about my family here and a nice little trip to one store never goes as smoothly as you might think. The Tomboy, realising that The Tweenager was getting something and she probably wasn't, kicked off big styleeee and demanded cricket stuff too, even though she hates the game. The Toddler had just fallen asleep but pinged wide awake, sensing he was also missing out. The Tweenager, catching on that his special moment was about to be ruined by his siblings starting freaking out/moaning/whining/Tweenagering which, combined with his sister's tantrum, really wound up The Husband.
"THAT'S IT!" shrieked The Husband. "Nobody is getting ANYTHING!"
Cue my dash to the disabled lift with the pushchair.
"But Dad-deeee!" cried The Tweenager. "You promised!"
By this time I was heading for the exit.
I decided to keep out of it. Hell hath no fury like The Husband in a mood. I hid behind the footballs and waited. Ten minutes later, The Husband appeared with three very happy children. I'm wondering if disciplining has actually worked for once. Then I spotted the shopping bags. Oh yes, The Husband has backtracked on his original outcry and bought The Tweenager a cricket ball, The Tomboy a gym top and The Toddler a tennis ball.
"What's all that?" I asked sweetly.
"Damage control." replied The Husband, grinning.
I am all for Damage Control Parenting if it makes things easier. I know it's probably the anti-discipline method, but who cares?! If you can retract or reverse your actions to avoid a major kick off then do it.
I'll await Wikipedia's revised entry.