I took a seminar once about color and personality and at the time my personality was called orange, so I assigned the orange duck to my oldest daughter because she’s the most like me. The other two girls have a specific duck too, but for other reasons.
When we’re in the car and two of them are at “high argument” status, I arrange them accordingly, and when the argument is over, I lay them down due to battle fatigue. If one of the girls does something special (like empties the dishwasher without being asked) her duck gets alone time and the others get put away for a bit because let’s face it, at that moment I have a favorite.
My daughters all understand the duck system and normally all three of them are on display but sometimes one finds herself riding in the console. The duck punishments are never long but it gets the point across that mom is not happy. It’s on those occasions they soemtimes ask what they can do to get out of the console and back on the dashboard. I say, “Well, why are you in the console?”, which usually leads us right into a conversation about better behavior followed by a slow and deliberate climb of the duck to the coveted center spot. I know this sounds a little crazy and maybe it is, but parenting teens requires creativity, patience, persistence and anything that works – even if it’s a bunch of rubber ducks.