Single parents everywhere, lend me your ears, for I have an inside tip that will rock your parenting world. In fact, this one’s so good that even married parents can use it (just don’t tell anybody where you picked up the tip. I’d hate for word to spread that I ventured into the world of thinking I know how to parent in your world).
It’s called the mother duck tactic. I can’t take the credit for coming up with this; I learned it in a Love & Logic course. And it works.
You know when you go somewhere with your child, and they tend to show off a rather large collection of stalling tactics all along the way? Noah, come on, let’s go. [ignore Dad and keep doing what he’s doing]. Noah, I said let’s go, move it. [Further Ignoring]. Noah, I’m going to count to three. [Eyes roll, wait until 2 1/2, 2 3/4, then start moping over at a snail’s pace]. Thank you, let’s go… NOAH! What are you doing? Let’s go! [further ignoring]…
I could keep going, but you get the general gist. In fact, you know very well that this dialogue will repeat over and over at every stop of your errand running madness because you have kids or you have seen kids. Every kid does it. Every kid knows that in public, mom or dad are *just* a bit more lenient and they can get away with *just* a bit more.
But what if I told you there was a magic way to make them come running and you wouldn’t have to fight them at all? It’s called the mother duck tactic, and it works. Have you ever watched a mother duck? She doesn’t nag her ducklings. She doesn’t quack or even turn to make sure they’re there. She doesn’t growl and say in a barely audible voice, “if you aren’t over here before I count to three…” No, the mother duck just swims or waddles off, and it’s the job of the duckling to keep up with her.
And you, my dear friend, are going to start being that mother duck. When your child is stalling, simply turn and slowly start walking away. Turn a corner. Don’t look back. The first few times, this puts your child into momentary panic mode and they immediately run to catch up or find you. If they ask why you took off, the answer is simple: It’s not my job to make sure you’re with me.
With Noah this tactic has done absolute wonders. He knows that his job is to keep up with dad and not get left behind. Just remember, don’t look back. If you do, they’ll own you. And let’s be honest. They already own you at the super market.
Have fun waddling. Of course, if this doesn’t work, you can always handcuff them into a cart.