Dad U was at a bookstore with his family on today's beautiful Mother's Day afternoon (....I mean with his beautiful wife on Mother's Day....). One of those bookstores with a special kid zone, complete with train track. Yes! Unless you are reading to them, you can wander off and lose track of time like you used to be able to (ED: hmmmm). I returned with a book for them to put on my Fathers Day list,
and sat down amongst them.
Shortly after that it was time for one of the other families in the zone to leave, when something amazing happened (at least it's amazing in our culture, in this day and age). The Dad said:
"C'mon Kiddy-Kids, lets go".
He was already moving when he made the announcement, and cleared the perimeter as he finished. He was making for the door at a steady pace, and didn't even glance back.
.......HE DIDN'T NEED TO........ His crew, two kids of about 7 and 5, were trailing him up the isle, hustling to catch up, while a VERY pleased Mom brought up the caboose.
No whining, no stragglers, no buts, whys, pleading, or flopping.
Instant obedience. Amazing.
Wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall in their house? To watch how they operate. To hear the rules. To see the carrot and the stick. To feel the respect. Dad U suspects there might not be a great deal of political correctness involved, but a whole lot of common sense. And, one of the great keys to discipline: CONSISTENCY.
We keep a tight rein on our crew, and have experienced many moments of parenting pride over exceptional behavior, but in those five words, and the response, it was clear that I had been in the presence of a master. What a Dad.