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Old 02-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #31
stitch1094
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Originally Posted by crisi View Post
I'm pretty much the opposite - unless your kids are special needs or have behavioral problems, by ten and twelve mine had better be able to spend two hours in a hotel room alone (and did). If they can't do that at twelve - with cell phones and at Disney, which is a relatively safe place, and in a hotel room designed to be pretty child safe - how are they going to ever go to college at eighteen and live in a dorm? How are they going to manage a Spring Break trip with their friends in college? Are they going to be the only ones staying at home for the middle school overnight? The Senior Trip? You have five years between twelve and eighteen to get them ready to be adults - it won't happen magically on their eighteenth birthday and if it doesn't happen in baby steps, they are going to not be ready and miss out on some of the life experiences that make tween and teen years.

As for the family vacation, we spend time both as a family and as individuals and as subunits - its part of being a family - for the kids to understand that Mom and Dad do Mom and Dad things. And since we spend time as a family all year long, we don't need 24 hour a day togetherness on vacation.
Comparing a 12 year old to an 18 year old is interesting. Are you saying we should start teaching a 12 year old to drive because if they cant figure it out by 12 then they wont have a chance at 18? How about calculus? I fail to see how leaving a 12 year old unattended in a hotel room relates to how an 18 year old will manage in college. I would certainly hope that at 18 you would be be more responsible and mature than at 12. I also fail to see how leaving a kid alone in a hotel room is this fantastic life lesson. Maybe I have lived a sheltered life but my parents never left me alone in a hotel room. My wife's parents never left her alone either and I am proud to say that I have never even thought of leaving my kids alone in a hotel room. Like I said, different strokes for different folks.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:58 AM   #32
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I see nothing wrong with what you want to do.

By 12 I was touring parts of WDW alone and without a cell phone. I was also babysitting the neighbor kids alone. I was responsible for my younger brother after school. At 18 I went to WDW with my 12 year old brother and no parents. We didn't spend the trip together all the time and my mom knew it. I went to pleasure island most nights and my brother stayed at the resort swimming or playing in the arcade. We did our own things in the parks but ate meals together at a minimum.

My brother and I turned out just fine and really appreciated and valued the independence we had as kids.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:01 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1094 View Post
Actually, yes I am un-trusting. In today's world where you have teachers, religious leaders, neighbors etc who take advantage of kids its better to be untrusting. Maybe dumping wasnt the best choice but leaving kids alone in a hotel room, to me, is irresponsible. And really, letting a kid roam with a cell phone does what exactly? Do you except a young kid who might be in trouble to remain calm and collected enough to call for help? Most adults can't do that. There are many ways for kids to learn to be independent. I think leaving them alone in a hotel room isnt one of them.
yes, i would expect our preteens would call (especially, since they call for every other thing). however, our experiences differ: most adults i know would (and have) use their cellphone when they need help.
i understand your perspective, and that might work for you and yours (we also don't know what or if there are experiences/perspectives that made you feel that way).
in general tho, i agree that the majority of preteens want and need that small level of trust and independence...their parents will most likely not be there to moniter the first time they encounter drugs, an offer for a ride where the driver is drunk, etc.
imho, a little bit of trust (especially in a controlled situation, with preteens such as OP described) will helps give kids the confidence to make the right decisions even when mom & dad aren't there.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:30 AM   #34
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I personally would not, but these are very personal decisions, and are especially specific to the individual child, so I'm not sure I would ever base my decision on what somebody else does. I would certainly agree that some children at age 12 are much more capable than others, and in an environment like WDW one would assume things are quite safe.
If you do leave them alone, I would consider taking the keys to emphasize to them that they will be locked out if they leave.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:31 AM   #35
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and of course it's with the understanding that the kids are comfortable with it as well. I think people often forget what it's like to be a kid and how enjoyable it was to granted a bit of freedom from our own parents! I remember my Mom asking me, over and over, "Are you sure you don't want to come?"

The OP that stated dumping her kids, I took it as an exaggerated, funny comment, just as my son tells me now, "Just remember, I'll be the one picking the home!!" It's all in jest!

Just because the parents want a dinner alone, or the kids want a bit of freedom doesn't mean you love each other any less! It's just part of growing up!

Some DIS statements come off as harsh when that's not the intention at all, and then from that comes judgement and condemnation! Time for a chill pill!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:31 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1094 View Post
Comparing a 12 year old to an 18 year old is interesting. Are you saying we should start teaching a 12 year old to drive because if they cant figure it out by 12 then they wont have a chance at 18? How about calculus? I fail to see how leaving a 12 year old unattended in a hotel room relates to how an 18 year old will manage in college. I would certainly hope that at 18 you would be be more responsible and mature than at 12. I also fail to see how leaving a kid alone in a hotel room is this fantastic life lesson. Maybe I have lived a sheltered life but my parents never left me alone in a hotel room. My wife's parents never left her alone either and I am proud to say that I have never even thought of leaving my kids alone in a hotel room. Like I said, different strokes for different folks.
At twelve, we have been talking about driving for years. My kids are quizzed on "ok, how would you get home from here"? And "look around, what do you need to be careful of if you were driving?" They get permits here at fifteen, so they are driving in just a few short years from twelve. I don't expect them to learn it all when they spend twenty hours in drivers education, I want it cemented over a longer term so the thoughts are habit long before they have their foot on a gas pedal.

(And my daughter is good at this, flighty though, so 'watch for small kids' needs to be a habit before she drives. My son is better at paying attention in the act, but far less likely to think...he's a great one for "I didn't think" and "no one told me." So telling him two hundred times that the corner near our house is slippery all winter might save me body work).

Last edited by crisi; 02-26-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #37
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It would depend on the kids. I did it many times with my kids when they were that age. We also let them wander the parks together unsupervised. Note that they are now 23 and 25, both have great jobs, DS graduates with his Masters this May and DD gets her next May. Neither were ever in any trouble and they still love Disney. They talk about the fun they had while away from the "old folks".
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1094 View Post
Actually, yes I am un-trusting. In today's world where you have teachers, religious leaders, neighbors etc who take advantage of kids its better to be untrusting. Maybe dumping wasnt the best choice but leaving kids alone in a hotel room, to me, is irresponsible. And really, letting a kid roam with a cell phone does what exactly? Do you except a young kid who might be in trouble to remain calm and collected enough to call for help? Most adults can't do that. There are many ways for kids to learn to be independent. I think leaving them alone in a hotel room isnt one of them.
Kids can do more than we give them credit for:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500202_162-6288591.html
Quote:
When a 7-year-old boy, identified as Carlos, called 911 from a locked bathroom as armed robbers held his parents at gunpoint, sheriff's dispatcher Monique Patino fielded the call.

"I felt the fear in his voice, both of them," Patino told CBS' "The Early Show" Thursday, referring also to Carlos' 6-year-old sister, who he had pulled into the bathroom with him.

"There's some guy. He's gonna kill my mom and dad. Can you come?" Carlos said over the phone, even imploring Patino to "bring soldiers, too!"

...Even though the intruders broke down the bathroom door, to the terrifying screams of the children, they fled once they learned Carlos had called 911.
http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/lo...olice-custody/
Quote:
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police have arrested three people accused of breaking into a home while an 11-year-old boy was inside.

It was around dinnertime Thursday when police officers surrounded the home to rescue the boy after he called 911 on the three teenagers who had entered the home to ransack the place in search of items to steal.

...Police officers said this boy did everything right. Though the burglars fled the scene, police eventually caught up with them and all three were arrested.
http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2012/...ly-house-fire/
Quote:
5-Year-Old Boy Saves Family From House Fire in Beacon, N.Y.

A family in Beacon, N.Y., is lucky to be alive after a fire consuming their kitchen (pictured below after the blaze) threatened to consume their home in flames as they slept. The hero who saved them? Their 5-year-old boy.
http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_ne...ves_woman_from
Quote:
14-Year-Old Boy Saves Woman From Rapist While Babysitting Younger Siblings
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1198747
Quote:
Boy, 11, fights off pitbulls to save 5-year-old sister
Maleik Carr and his little sister were on their way to school when the two unleashed dogs escaped through a hole in a neighbor's chain-link fence and attacked.
http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/94...-chanucah-fire
Quote:
Boy saves family from Chanucah fire

A nine-year-old boy’s quick thinking saved his family after Chanucah candles ignited their home last Friday.

We have a smoke alarm, which alerted my nine-year-old son, Shmuel, who quickly rang 999, and ran upstairs to alert my wife. He learned about fire safety at school,” said Mr Dunner.
“If he had hesitated a minute it could have been a tragedy. The smoke was so thick,” added the 38-year-old father, who said his family were becoming trapped as the front door became impassable due to smoke and flames.

“He was a hero for acting so quickly.”
http://abcnews.go.com/US/memphis-boy...ry?id=14984631
Quote:
A 10-year-old Memphis boy is being hailed as a hero after police said he fended off a would-be abductor who tried to snatch his little sister.
This is just a quick sampling from a Google search. Kids can do amazing things, if they need to and are taught what to do. In the end, WDW is a pretty safe place with lots of cast members willing and able to help, they just need to be alerted. Outside of the berm; however, it is not as nice of a place, yet we give children more freedoms at home than we do at WDW.

You are entitled to parent as you see fit, and no one is discounting this. Please note that there are many other parents that do not share your parental point of view, which is also fine. However, choose your words carefully, as we lack the ability to see body language or intonation to help with the context.

For the record, we only have one child (DD7), and we have not let her go alone yet, mainly due to being the only kid-aged person on our trips (however, my DW would argue that there are two kids on the trip ). If we eventually bring a friend for her to spend time with, we would probably be a little more relaxed, especially at 12 years old.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:49 PM   #39
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To me the question would be, would you do this at another location other than Disney.

If not, I would not do it at Disney. There is much that goes on, that never makes to the media.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #40
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My kids (now 17 and 19) have always loved it when we "dumped" them. We dumped them in their hotel room (yes, they had their own room next to us) in London when they were 11 and 13. We left them with crappy Pizza Hut, no working cell phones, and the television, while we went downstairs and had dinner. They begged us not to have to sit through another meal of bangers and mashed or kidney pie. I refuse to eat Pizza Hut at home let alone in England. Problem solved--everyone happy.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #41
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To me the question would be, would you do this at another location other than Disney.

If not, I would not do it at Disney. There is much that goes on, that never makes to the media.
Well, there are places I WOULDN'T do it. But they tend to be places I wouldn't be terribly comfortable.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #42
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Well, there are places I WOULDN'T do it. But they tend to be places I wouldn't be terribly comfortable.
Here's the thing about Disney, much like cruises, overall they're fairly safe but things happen and there are a lot more things that happen than you ever hear about because Disney has control of much of the information that is released. Overall I tend to agree that there are risks everywhere, that cell phones help and that it depends on the kids but there is risk and likely more risk that if the parents are with them Disney or otherwise. Personally I would be OK for the right kids if I were within walking distance but otherwise, I'd put them in a kids program where they'd likely be happier anyway and even safer though nothing is 100%.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:14 PM   #43
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I would do it as long as the kids are responsible. We left ours alone and went down for an hour to have a night cap in the lobby. We also let them walk back from the pool at Kidani to our room at Jambo.they called us when they got back to the room and we got to enjoy some time with our youngest. I can be overly cautious at times, but kids need to learn how to be independent. And although a 12 year old is not 16 or 18, they need small tests of independence to get them ready for the responsibility of driving and going off to college. My older 3 boys were more than happy to go back to the room and watch some football.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:33 AM   #44
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Actually, WDW is the first place we ever left our kids without a babysitter, I think when they were 11 (girl) and 9 (boy). We felt comfortable leaving them in the room together - staying at Boardwalk and going to eat at Flying Fish, for example. It's right downstairs! They had a phone, we had a phone, and we'd call them a couple of times. At home, we waited a couple of more years before leaving them home alone. And alone meant with each other - if we had plans, they had to be home together.

We used to take them with us to restaurants like FF and Yachtsman, but they were miserable, and when the kids aren't happy, neither are we. They are teenagers and still don't like long dinners out...I'm looking forward to leaving them in the room in exactly 3 weeks to go eat at BlueZoo!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:55 AM   #45
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Well, there are places I WOULDN'T do it. But they tend to be places I wouldn't be terribly comfortable.
The point being, if you are uncomfortable leaving any child in a hotel room at other locations then that logic should also apply at Disney World.

It is not as safe as people believe it to be.
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