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Old 01-07-2013, 12:03 AM   #91
TowMater92
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I was 12 when my parents turned me and my then 14yo sis loose at the parks. We went to parks ahead of them(yes we rode the scary Disney Buses and boats by ourselves ) We went to Typhoon Lagoon by ourselves the last day while our parents packed. We did all that on our first trip to WDW and that was before cell phones.

Here's my question do you let your kid go to movies/arcade/park/walk to a friends house by themselves? If you answer yes to any of those then why would you have a problem leaving a 12yo waiting at a gift shop with cast members everywhere you look and families all around?
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:12 AM   #92
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My DD is 11 and doesn't do the bigger thrill rides. She waits in line with me until I'm ready to ride with DS then a cast member takes her to the gift shop/child swap area...she is "alone" for 5 maybe 10 mins. But I know she won't even look at anyone until I get back to her.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:52 AM   #93
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Just thinking about this - and, honestly, I don't view WDW differently than the 'rest of the real world' ... and, in as much as I feel that way - I wouldn't leave my 12 y/o DD alone. Not because I don't trust HER - I trust her implicitly. But, in all honesty - call me jaded or whatever - I simply don't trust the rest of the world... And, I don't think that WDW is an exception. Now, to be fair, DH and I are considered to be more 'cautious' than some of our girls' friend's parents ... but, that doesn't really bother me... I prefer caution to regret...

All that said - I'm sure that chances are GREATLY in the favor of such a situation being PERFECTLY OK - with no problems at all ... I just probably wouldn't enjoy the ride (or whatever I was doing while DD was alone), for worrying myself silly!

I'm sure that my 12 y/o and her 10 y/o sister find me highly annoying ... but, again - I prefer caution to regret.

Just my opinion!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:36 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowMater92 View Post
I was 12 when my parents turned me and my then 14yo sis loose at the parks. We went to parks ahead of them(yes we rode the scary Disney Buses and boats by ourselves ) We went to Typhoon Lagoon by ourselves the last day while our parents packed. We did all that on our first trip to WDW and that was before cell phones.

Here's my question do you let your kid go to movies/arcade/park/walk to a friends house by themselves? If you answer yes to any of those then why would you have a problem leaving a 12yo waiting at a gift shop with cast members everywhere you look and families all around?
You were raised right! My guess is that most of those answering NO don't let their kids do any of those things!! Overly paranoid parents are a very scary thing. I know a lady who will not even let her 12 year old stay home alone for ANY amount of time If she leaves the house to run any errand, the 12 year old has to go with her! Parents today seem to think they are all powerful and nothing bad will happen as long as they can see their child. They also seem to think their children are completely helpless infants. 12 is apparently the new 7!

The one that I don't get at all is the "what if the ride breaks down and we're stuck on there for an hour?" That would stink, sure, but it's not like the child is going to up and die because they have to wait that long. Any normal kid would realize no one has come out the exit in a while, ask a CM what is going on, and then wait. If you are really afraid that your 12 year old would freak out and panic in a situation like that you are not doing your job as a parent and your kid is going to be unprepared for the world!
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:09 AM   #95
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Let her walk through the queue with you two and then use the "chicken" exit. Her wait alone will be minimal.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:17 AM   #96
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My sister and I were 12 and 13 when our parents turned us loose in the Magic Kingdom.
My parents let my sister and I loose in Fantasyland when we were 7 and 9. This was in the days before cell phones, so we just had an agreed-upon time to meet up with the folks at Tomorrowland Terrace and went on rides until then.

Unless a kid was supremely irresponsible or developmentally delayed/mentally challenged, I'd have no problem leaving him or her alone for a little while.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #97
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I know a lady who will not even let her 12 year old stay home alone for ANY amount of time If she leaves the house to run any errand, the 12 year old has to go with her! Parents today seem to think they are all powerful and nothing bad will happen as long as they can see their child. They also seem to think their children are completely helpless infants. 12 is apparently the new 7!
I have a coworker whose daughter will be 13 later this month who isn't allowed to stay home by herself when there's no school, even though her dad is home by 2pm. So she'd be home alone from about 8am to 2pm. She has to come into the office with her mother and hang out in her office with her iPad all day. She and her 8 year old sister had a babysitter all summer.

Now, I can see not wanting to leave a 12 year old in charge of an 8 year old all summer, but send the little one to a sitter and leave the 12 year old at home!
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #98
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I have a coworker whose daughter will be 13 later this month who isn't allowed to stay home by herself when there's no school, even though her dad is home by 2pm. So she'd be home alone from about 8am to 2pm. She has to come into the office with her mother and hang out in her office with her iPad all day. She and her 8 year old sister had a babysitter all summer.

Now, I can see not wanting to leave a 12 year old in charge of an 8 year old all summer, but send the little one to a sitter and leave the 12 year old at home!
My son is 12, going on 13 in April, and im not comfy leaving him alone from 8am-2pm. Not in a million years. No way. Its not that unusual. I know several ppl with kids my sons age who feel the same way. Two hours, fine. But not something like 8-2.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:03 AM   #99
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Of course! Heck, I took the monorail to MK by myself for the day when I was younger than that. Dd11 has walked to and from school alone, walked to a friend's house alone, has even navigated a large hotel alone (dance competition, she slept in, I was in a ballroom with dd9, so dd11 had to find us).

Actually, next year she might be walking to school alone, 1 1/2 miles, like her older siblings did. Like her dad and I did when we were that age. She is very aware of her surroundings (there have been reports of vans trying to lure kids here), and knows what to do if she feels uncomfortable.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #100
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I would not. On our last trip there was a guy, standing about 5 feet from his wife, looking at two fully-clothed young women (19 - 22ish) rubbing his "business" with his palm/fingers and kinda licking his lips. This was in a store, out in the open, not concealed in the darkness at all. He was escorted out by security. He didnt appear to be drunk and didnt appear to have a mental disability. His wife was totally oblivious to his actions prior to security showing up.
This same thing happened at a local coffee place here, after school, filled with middle and high school kids. Someone called the cops, and he was arrested. Should I not allow my kids to go out for coffee after school because some pervert might be there?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:14 AM   #101
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This same thing happened at a local coffee place here, after school, filled with middle and high school kids. Someone called the cops, and he was arrested. Should I not allow my kids to go out for coffee after school because some pervert might be there?
Good point! This stuff can happen anywhere. I do feel safer at Disney than any place else thou. There are CM's and families all around. If you taught your kid about safety and what to do if s/he is in trouble, then everything should be ok.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #102
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I think there's something empowering about being trusted to be alone for periods of time. I think you'd be sending her signals that A. She's not capable enough to be alone and B. The world is a scary place. I would prefer that my kids have the confidence that I trust them and they can handle most situations.

Yes, the world can be scary. But the odds that something will happen in a well-staffed gift shop are so so low. And the reward is high. You lengthen the rope and you DD learns to be independent. It's part of the process.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #103
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My son just turned 12 and I would be completely okay with him doing this. I agree with all of the PPs that say that it does depend on the child, and if you think she's capable, then go for it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:11 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Maggie Lizer

My parents let my sister and I loose in Fantasyland when we were 7 and 9. This was in the days before cell phones, so we just had an agreed-upon time to meet up with the folks at Tomorrowland Terrace and went on rides until then.

Unless a kid was supremely irresponsible or developmentally delayed/mentally challenged, I'd have no problem leaving him or her alone for a little while.
I was 11 or 12 when I started taking annual trips to cedar point an six flags with youth group. We were along/with a friend or 2 all day. Had a meeting point once at lunch ad then to be back at the bus. You have to start somewhere and consider they should be ready for a job by 15 or 16 I think a day at the park would be a piece if cake.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:14 AM   #105
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I would most likely not do it. Things happen. Rides get stuck. Sudden bad weather. It's just me but I wouldn't enjoy the ride.
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