Recently, coincidentally, I read two books with remarkable similarities. You’d not think there was much overlapping advice in How To Survive A Robot Uprising and Cheap Psychological Tricks for Parents, but the techniques for dealing with children and automata run amok are mostly interchangeable.

Test yourself. Which of these tactics refers to sugar-addled toddlers and which to killer cyborgs?

Stay out of sight
Individual ——– may be weak and dim-witted, but as word spreads the entire swarm will react as a single organism to engulf and destroy you. Kicking an anthill is no fun when the ants are the size of a pit bull.

Stay calm and seem uninterested
No matter how hard you try to make your point in your best stentorian English, no matter how emotional you get, ——– just looks at you with that “whatever” look.

To save a comrade: First merge, then separate
Run to a comrade, deliver a quick bear-hug, and then dive in a random direction. A ——– might temporarily lose track of your identity during the hug, especially if you are wearing similar clothing. You can gain precious seconds while the ——– reacquires its target.

Distance before familiarity
Brief exposures and slow movements toward the object reduce fear and create an atmosphere of familiarity.

Administer punishment within minutes of misbehavior
The ——– who sees the behavior should deliver the punishment immediately instead of waiting until the other ——– gets home to do it.

Memorize your lies, or be honest
A ——– has a stellar memory and laser-beam concentration. If ——– doubts your veracity, this menace may refuse to listen to any further emanations from your slobber hole.

Useful, eh? Doubly so for those of you who skipped the adoption route and built android children instead. Good luck out there.