It's OK dads, there's no need to pretend around us, we get it. Kids birthday parties - they're enough to strike fear into even the manliest of fathers!
Planning a bowling party at AMF for your own kids is one of the best days of the year (right?), but when it's someone else's kids the running, screaming, crying and food throwing is tantamount to torture.
We hear you!
Unfortunately, there's no avoiding them. And the twisted truth is that the more popular your child, the more of these screamfests you'll have to attend. That's why we've consulted the best survival experts in the business (Bear Grylls wouldn't be fit to clean these guys' boots) and come up with this handy survival guide that should see you through your next party (relatively) unscathed.
We'd advise keeping this guide with you at all times, but if you do find yourself mid-party without it, just remember the three Ps - preparation, protection and planning!
1. Preparation is key
Usually you'll have a few weeks notice of an upcoming party - use this time wisely. Practice small talk - you'll need it when you meet all those other parents you only ever encounter at these occasions. A well-rehearsed laugh is vital too. Kids do funny things at parties, and no matter how juvenile they may be you'd better laugh at them, otherwise you'll get evil stares from all the other parents.
2. Protect your shins
Children hyped up on sugar run, trip and kick their way around. This puts dads' shins in real danger. You're getting older and your legs can't take the battering they once could. Protect them with some solid shin pads.
3. Plan your exit strategy
Get creative with this. You might 'get a call' from a mate whose car has broken down. Or perhaps you can sneak off with the other dads for a game of Laser Skirmish. Whatever it is, make it foolproof.
Now go forth brave fathers, armed with the tools to survive even the toughest of kids parties.