Has anyone ever complained about your kids at the parks?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by aristocatz, Sep 6, 2010.

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  1. MDDisneyDevotee

    MDDisneyDevotee Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for posting this, mousireid. I have a fourteen-year-old with Asperger's (an autistic spectrum disorder) and he still has meltdowns. You would not know he's on the spectrum just by looking at him or even in casual conversation. There have been times when I have just wanted to melt into the ground because of the looks we get sometimes. Please be aware that roughly 1 in 100 children are affected by autism, many of whom are on the end of the spectrum which allows them to function to a degree that their disability is not readily apparent to the casual observer. To put that in perspective, in 2009 there were 17.2 million visitors to Magic Kingdom. If half of those were children Magic Kingdom may have seen around 86,000 children on the spectrum last year.

    All this to say, please try to remember that you really have no clue as to what challenges the family your judging deals with irl. I try my best to look out for the signals that my son is struggling to maintain and diffuse situations as best I can when I've missed the earlier signals. I have also spent many a meal outside in the car with my son so he would not disrupt the rest of the restaurant, gone home early from an event (or a park) when he's reached the tipping point, apologized for my son when he's been disruptive and make sure I'm staying on top of his tendency to fidget and want to find something to do with his hands. I'm human though and sometimes I miss something. And as mousireid said so well, no amount of 'whuppin' in his earlier years would have made him less autistic.
     
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  3. pampam

    pampam DIS Veteran

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    I'm very pleased that you posted this. Many people think that just because a child has special needs they can't learn. You, on the other hand have shown how you try to cope and teach your child better behaviour skills. These skills can be taught anywhere-home, WDW, etc. And that's what a good parent does. They don't ignore bad behavior, but they teach, distract, dicipline, and reward good behavior. Parenting is a 24/7 job, and I applaud all you parents who are working at raising your child to rise up to the best he or she can be. Sorry, I didn't mean to take this thread off topic.
     
  4. burnurcomputer

    burnurcomputer DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the last the posters. My oldest has ADHD, Tourettes, anxiety disorder, speech aprexia (plus a few more). You would never know by looking at him that he is not "normal". You would see a boy who is snappy and does some things that may seem funny to you. My 2nd oldest has ADHD also, as do I. We are just a family out to have a good time at the House of Mouse. My oldest sons ticks are mostly verbal, but he does have some ticks that are not. I understand that it can annoy other people (and have had people make passive agressive comments about it) but there is nothing he can do. And hearing the muttered comments from those around us only makes his anxiety worse. Add in raging puberty from him and the starts of it for my 2nd and you have some kids that others may see as badly behaved, at times.

    I lack a filter for noise. For example, at a sit down resturant I can hear the conversations of at least the next 4 tables around me. I can hear the music piped in with clarity. I can hear the clock ticking. It can be overwhelming. Its like being a toddler.

    What do I think of kids whose parents are in the middle of a melt down? I think that they are doing the best they can, in the situation they are presented. Am I right 100% of the time? Maybe not, but I'm more then willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I would hope that everyone would remember that a little kindness and joy will spread better then a sour comment :thumbsup2
     
  5. torsie24

    torsie24 Mummy to a perfect princess.

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    We don't have kids yet, but I can't say at any time on our WDW trips have any kids being upset/naughty really bothered us.

    A few times children would start crying in shows etc, but in all cases the parents went outside with them, or watched from over at the side and rocked them a little etc.

    One day we were getting back to AKL and there was a Dad sat on the bench outside Zawadi on the way back from the bus stop, and he had a tiny cinderella (maybe 3 and 4) who was absolutely screaming her lungs out, stomping her feet, just generally seeing red.

    He was keeping an eye on her that she wasn't getting in anyone's way, but wasn't talking to her and just letting her get it out her system. People were walking by and glaring like he was stood there provoking here. I just smiled at him and said "we all feel like that at the end the day sometimes", and he seemed so grateful.

    I'd bet good money she was back in her stroller and fast asleep within 5 minutes or so, but kudos to him for just taking her outside and letting her get over it.

    I mean we can all get overwhelmed in WDW with all the sights and sounds and heat, and when you're little I think it can be a bit too much to handle!
     
  6. winterman

    winterman DIS Veteran

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    I raised two great kids who knew what behavior was acceptable and what behavior would not be tolerated. What bugs me at WDW or anywhere else, is when bad behavior is ignored by the parents. Mom and/or Dad are having a conversation or talking or texting on their phone and the kids are running wild. How many times have you been some place and a kid is trying to the attention of their parent. "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom" on and on. I can hear them, how come Mom can't? How long would Mom tolerate being ignored before she blows her top.

    I saw this at a McDonald's last week. Dad is sitting at a booth next to a toddler in a highchair at the end of the table. A boy around 5 or 6 is standing waiting. Mom arrives with the food. Boy wants to sit at the end, Mom wants him to move in on the seat. She must have told the kid 10 times to sit down. She finally gives up and slides in. There was really no good reason for Mom not to give the seat he wanted at the beginning. What she teaches him by finally giving in is that he can get anything he wants if he argues long enough.

    My theory is : Don't sweat the small stuff. The kids will be more cooperative on the important stuff.

    BTW, I have never made any comment to a parent whose kid is being 'bad'. (Or to the kid.) I do not need an apology from a parent, unless the kid has actually bumped into me.

    :cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:
     
  7. hcmommy

    hcmommy Mouseketeer

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    My 21 mo. old had a kicking, screaming, biting, hitting fit outside of Goofy's Candy Co. I put him in timeout on the curb and he never calmed down after a minute or two so I had to take him all the way to the car with him acting this way and wait for DH and other son to get finished in the store so we could leave. He was tired and could not express himself and that is why he was acting that way. Not because it's tolerated at home. I got many stares and dirty looks even though I was doing the best that I could. I disagree that he acted that way because it was tolerated at home. Sometimes no matter what you do your kids have a mind of their own and do things anyway. Whether or not you try to correct the problem is another thing. Someone walking by probably thought I was just ignoring him on the curb when really I was giving him some space and time to calm down, when he did not then I removed him from the situation. I did not stay in the store with him like that, I took him outside. While I agree you should not inconvenience other guests and I go out of my way not to even at home, sometime you may be walking up on a situation where you have no idea what is happening. If you didn't see our situation from beginning to end it would have looked like I was not handling it when I was.
     
  8. onnawufei

    onnawufei The Girl With the Ninja Turtle Tattoo

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    Well to be fair, IASW does have that affect on some people. ;)

    I don't have children and don't plan on having any because I freely admit I don't have the patience for them. So yeah, kids bug me sometimes. But when one is having a meltdown I'm pretty understanding as long as the parents are trying to diffuse the situation. If they're obviously ignoring the child, I'm going to get annoyed, sorry if this is your parenting style but I'm just being honest. But even then it has to be pretty extreme for me to say something about it, even quietly. The last time I actually said anything about someone's child out loud was when I was in Wal-Mart and the mom was talking on her cell phone pushing her cart while the children seriously were running up and down the aisles and screaming at the top of their lungs. :headache: Hopefully I do not run into this family at WDW.

    [ETA] After reading the post above mine, I did want to clarify on what I mean when I say it annoys me when people ignore their child's tantrum. I can't speak for everyone else, but I generally mean this in places like restaurants, rides, etc. Places where you're in close quarters or having a meal/entertainment experience that can be brought down by screaming children. If I walk past a screaming child I'm probably not going to pay attention unless it sounds more like a "I'm in pain" or "I'm in danger" scream. But if I'm on a ride and the parent is ignoring their screaming child then I'll definitely be bothered. As long as parents take other people into consideration it's all good.
     
  9. Vickis3js

    Vickis3js DIS Veteran

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    We waited until my kids were a tad older before first going to WDW. Mainly because time and money was the issue. My kids were 6, 7, and 8 when we went and I knew how to read them and knew how to divert any behavior that I don't find acceptable. If they had acted up I would leave a park and go back to the room. Its my vacation yes but its everyone around me's vacation as well. My children know to keep their hands to themselves. If its not theirs there is no need to touch it. No need to swing on ropes or lean on things. My expectations of my kids are not on vacation because we are.

    NOW for my BIGGEST pet peeve of all excuses. The kid could be special needs. My youngest is autistic and her disability is NO excuse for bad behavior. We've worked hard on expectations, behavior, and reading her moods. I know when she has had enough and its my job as her parent to protect her and to teach her how to handle it and how to remove herself from things. We've canceled coveted ADRs and meals we had talked about for months because I knew she wouldn't do well. I don't regret any of it either my DD didn't have a melt down and thats all that mattered!

    Now I do keep things in my bag to keep her occupied and focused on one thing instead of all the surrounding stuff which can be a lot for her. We have Ipsy bags and small pad a pen for her to draw on.
     
  10. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    A friend and I had to get after some kids for horsing around in line for Mission:Space (climbing on the barricades and swinging) and bumping into us (the younger ones. The supervision appeared to be big brother, who was around 14 or 15.) Not that I care that much if kids horse around while waiting in line, but when they start bumping into you it's not cool.

    If there had been a parent present I'm sure they would have gotten "cut that out, guys" before we had to say it.

    (The other thing for parents to watch - learned this staying in Bay Lake Tower - is the tendency of bored kids to push every button in the elevator. The little ones who do this don't know any better and just like to push buttons - plus the parents are there and stop them before they get very far - but the tweens who are supposed to have gone down to the pool and decided it might be more fun to mess with the elevators....they should know better)
     
  11. CathieArms

    CathieArms DIS Veteran

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    So far, we've been mostly lucky. The worst I've had to deal with is a smart mouth from my teenager, and I've made it very clear that I won't tolerate it. Vacation or not, I expect my kids to behave appropriately for the situation.

    But, I've been lucky. I don't recall any meltdowns or anything of the like at WDW. But, I'd basically follow the same rules I do in everyday life. If they're rude or offend someone, I'd expect them to apologize. If they had a meltdown, I'd expect them to straighten up or we'd go back to the resort. Meltdowns - for my kids - are usually a sign of being overtired or overstimulated, so I'd be heading back to the resort for a nap and try again later.

    Bottom line is that enjoying one's vacation doesn't mean allowing for blatant misbehavior. But, then, I'm a stickler for behavior.
     
  12. hcmommy

    hcmommy Mouseketeer

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    I agree that screaming in closed quarter is no okay. It gets on my nerves in a restaurant, line, movie theater, etc. even though I have two small kids. I have not gotten to finish many a meal because of my youngest! The only time I've ever stayed inside somewhere with him acting up is when I have a full cart of groceries and I'm almost done shopping.
     
  13. mrbghd

    mrbghd DIS Veteran

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    Unless the child has a physical disorder where they cannot control the movement of their arms or has another condition where they cannot control their behavior this IS intentional.If a child is swinging a chain intentionally and it hits someone it is intentional. That is the only thing kids do in line that actually get me to say something to the parent, and if they do not handle it a CM.

    As far as meltdowns and such those do happen and other than taking the kids and putting them to bed there is not much that can be done.
     
  14. Bradsdadg

    Bradsdadg Can someone give my party from Saturn a ring?

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    Nothing major here. Though a couple of years ago we were in line for the Great Movie Ride. And our son wasn't having any of the waiting quietly or standing still routine. He was about 3 at the time. He wanted to swing from the railings in line and cut in front of people...We got alot of dirty looks from people that time. Otherwise he has been pretty darn good overall!
     
  15. MotherofLandon

    MotherofLandon Mouseketeer

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    I'm really glad that you brought this up because I was going to bring it up had you not beat me to it. My DH and DS7 both have a disability but they are still both amazing people. They both have melt downs and it is not easy. DS a bit more then DH. We don't have issues with disrespect towards others as far as rope swinging or spitting or anything like that but screaming and whinning does happen. I do the best I can to keep things in check and have found that planning excessively helps alot. When I see a child screaming or acting up I immediately consider the possibility of a disability, it has become my normal way of thinking due to my own experiences. I wish more people could see the world that way. Its not always black and white, right or wrong, our world is 1000 shades of grey.
     
  16. fairestoneofall

    fairestoneofall DIS Veteran

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    i'll admit i had a quiet little tantrum on our last trip. i didn't kick, scream, bite or yell. i just complained about something to my kids and sister in a quiet voice.

    my kids aren't perfect. and let's be honest--we all have our less-than-stellar moments. the most my kids get is whiny, which drives me nuts. so, we have a rule about getting too whiny. for our last trip, i told them that i would not tolerate excessive whining. if they whined, were told to cool it and yet continued, that child and i would go back to the resort, sit on the beds and stare at each other. no tv. no pool. no playing. the other child would get to remain in the parks with his/her aunt. if a whine started, i only had to ask if that child was ready to go back to the resort and that would end the behavior.

    we did take it easy on the trip. i did not keep them in the parks from open to close because it was hot. it was too much for me, so i know it would be a lot for them.

    and in the event that my kids are pulling on a rope and hit someone, i tell them to apologize and get off the rope. it happens. and goodness knows, i've been hit with a rope multiple times. i just let it go.

    i will also say that i don't judge other children who may be having a tantrum. you just never know. none of us is perfect.

    and it completely cracks me up when those who do not have children give parenting advice. :rolleyes1
     
  17. MSLRAC

    MSLRAC DIS Veteran

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    How very sad of you to make such an assumption.

    DS has super sensitive hearing and we knew that going in. We avoided watching fireworks from inside the parks, we skipped the parades, we had ear plugs for him for the shows, DH stripped down to his t-shirt to cover our speaker at Sci Fi with his sweatshirt, I'd quickly grab him burying one ear in my chest and covering the other with my hand if something was unexpectedly loud...we did our best to accommodate his issues while not inconveniencing others.

    Things were going great until our last afternoon there. We headed over the the MK after lunch and arrived right before the parade was starting. DS was sound sleep in the stroller. He was covering his ears with his blanket and was unphased by the sounds from the train as we entered. So when DD asked if we could please watch the parade, we thought it would be OK. He did fine during the volunteer parade but when the music for the big parade started, he came up screaming and swinging!

    He had NEVER done that at home...NEVER! I grabbed him covering his ears the best that I could, told DH to stay with DD at the parade and made a beeline down Main Street to get him out of there. The whole time, he was kicking, screaming, crying and smacking at me. He started to claim down as we entered Tomorrowland and got away from the music. The first thing he told me once he calmed down was sorry mama and then he thanked me for making the loud music that scared him stop.

    So no, it didn't happen in public because it is tolerated at home. I happened because DS was suddenly overwhelmed and overstimulated but a parade.
     
  18. mrbghd

    mrbghd DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for doing this! So many parents refuse to "waste the money" by takign the kiddos back to the room for a nap. It is sad to see kids have a meltdown because they are soooo tired.
     
  19. Shreggor

    Shreggor Mouseketeer

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    That's usually how I feel when I have to leave the parks too... :lmao:
     
  20. TenderDonkey

    TenderDonkey DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you wrote that. We were in line for POTC and a child literally punched my DD6. The parents just looked at me and said he has special needs. I'm sorry but that is not an excuse. As parents we need to use common sense and control our children.
     
  21. LilGMom

    LilGMom <font color=red>It makes me want to Kiss on the li

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    For the most part my kids behave relatively well when in public because they know if they don't that there will be consequences. But, just like at home, there have been a few meltdowns and they were dealt with. If we were in a restaurant (at home or on vacation) and our kid(s) started acting up if a verbal warning didn't work than DH or I would leave the restaurant with whichever child was messing up so that we wouldn't disturb those around us. We don't have to do that now (kids are 9 & 5) but there were a few times as infants/toddlers that DH or I would eat in shifts.

    There was one time at DAK that our oldest (he was probably around five at the time) had a meltdown on the tram riding up to the front of the park. He refused to settle down so DH stayed on the tram, rode back to the car and went back to the hotel with him while I took the youngest into DAK. He was the model of a perfect angel the rest of the trip.

    We drive so if we tell the kids that we will cut our trip short due to bad behavior they know we will. We did this once and since we don't lose any money it isn't a big deal. DH & I put the kids into school when we got home and since I was already planning on having the time off, since we should have still been at WDW, DH & I enjoyed shopping and dining by ourselves. :)

    While I fully understand meltdowns due to being hot and/or tired we aren't going to let our kids run rampant regardless of where we are. If my child acts up too much in a line we will leave the line, BTDT, and it only takes once of doing that for them to realize that we aren't playing around. My kids have bumped into others while in line and they are told to apologize (sometimes they apologize on their own). But, generally speaking, they know what is expected and are reminded of that each morning before we leave the resort.
     
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