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. Shreggor

    Shreggor Mouseketeer

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    I have autism and I am almost 35 years old. I have had melt downs at WDW also. I am mentioning this because I am proof that adults have meltdowns also. The worst one recently was in January when our Southwest flights early bird check in did not work properly and we wound up in the C group. I have serious issues being close to strangers and being in C group on SWA usually means not being certain of sitting with who you are traveling with. The idea of not sitting on the plane next to my fiance was very, very scary (I mean terrifying) to me and I just lost it.

    On the bus from CBR to Epcot, I just started wailing crying about it and my poor fiance just kept trying to calm me down. I'm sure there were some rolled eyes but normal people really don't understand the sensory issues and some of the seemingly odd fears that some people have. When we got to Epcot, we went over by the lockers and my fiance called SWA to try and upgrade our seats to business class so we could be guaranteed early boarding (I don't ask for early boarding for medical reasons because I hate the staresÂ…). While he was doing that, I just sat on the ground crying.

    It was awful but so was the terror I felt at the idea of having to sit next to a stranger for 4 hours on a plane.

    I'm sure some people made some remarks but I didn't hear it. I've seen other adults have meltdowns as well, probably for other reasons but you never really know.
     
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  3. phyllis1966

    phyllis1966 Something witty

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    I absolutely agree with all this. For the most part (trying not to make a sweeping generalization here, but...), keeping a youngster up until midnight at WDW is tempting the fates.

    DD's first trip to WDW (or anywhere) was at age 3 1/2. She was leery of the characters for the first few days, but her behavior was otherwise polite, just as it was at home. Her one meltdown (actually one of only 3 she ever had as a toddler) was in Seaworld when we asked her to give the camera back and she wanted to take photos. We took her off to where there was no foot traffic and waited until she calmed down (about 5 lonnnggg minutes). When she realized she wasn't getting her way, it was a few sniffles, then over. We got a few looks, but we did the best we could by removing her from where there were lots of poeple, so as few folks as podssible would have to listen to her.

    As Sammie said, being proactive really helps. It can be an over-stimulating place for little ones (and many adults, unfortunately), but keeping them well-fed, well-rested, and occupied goes a long way.





    :sunny:
     
  4. LaurieN

    LaurieN DIS Veteran

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    :worship::worship::worship::worship:GOD BLESS YOU!!!! My son has mild aspergers (very mild thankfully) and to look at him he looks like every other 8 year old boy. However he has social and senosry issues and doesn't always behave like every other 8 year old boy. This is all so new to us and I have not yet developed that "thick skin" I should have, it still hurts BADLY when I get a look of judgement from someone who has NO IDEA what it's like. That being said, I've been luck while at WDW, he's been able to keep it together and we haven't had any public melt downs. It's very distrubing to me how quick people are to judge the parenting of others when they don't know the whole situation.
    Laurie:goodvibes
     
  5. mickeyluv'r

    mickeyluv'r DIS Veteran

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    Funny you should say this because our family members are (mostly) truly night owls. If ever we would be tempted to misbehave it is not so much during late night hours; it is during the early morning hours, before we've had a chance to fully wake up. One reason I love WDW so much is that the all-day exercise means a relatively easy sleep. However, if it's late-ish, and any of us are unhappy about ANYthing, the assumption of those around is that we're over-tired. So, um, trying to say this as mildly as possible....yeah, there's exceptions to that rule too.

    [Before I say more, let me say, I've put shorthand here....this is in no way a commentary directing others how to parent. Only a few simple ideas that have worked for me.]

    One favorite time in our family, we were leaving HS at 11:30pm. We did a fair amount of hopping that visit. The two smallish kids inthe family asked what park we were going to next. I said it was bedtime. They started mildly cheering for, "One more park!" and bouncing up and down a little in their seats (Nothing loud or obnoxious, just happy) Everyone around had a good laugh, as most were obviously exhausted.

    As a frequent visitor to WDW. I think I've seen it all, and almost all sides. Yeah, some parents are doing their best. Some are obviously not making good choices. Kids don't come with manuals.

    As a teacher, the one thing I've solidly learned is that there is no one size fits all approach to parenting or teaching. (It's actually one of my prime concerns with our country's approach to education and ed reform It's often of the form "every child will..." norm. But this is a whole other thread topic.)

    Every child is different. While there are some methods that are poor practices, finding the best approach means going down the master list of 'best' practices until you find the best fit.

    One factor is cultural expectations. They vary greatly. One child expects to be yelled at, others have always had quiet parenting. Some kids will misbehave until you handle it the way the child expects, or until they learn that school has different methods than home. Sadly, we're really not ALLOWED to simply hug children - especially beyond 2nd grade. Some kids are easy, some kids, through no fault of the parents, are more challenging.

    Then again, I've seen lots of parent sat WDW clearly doing the wrong thing. Clearly some parents actions escalate the behavior.

    As an outsider, the best practice is to avoid escataling the situaion with negativity. Often the best remedy is to do as an ealy poster said and use diffusion. Model positive redirecting. In short, I also carry a cache of Mickey stickers. I also love the silly band idea! Often a simple smile does WONDERS! (or a sympatheitic look)

    When it is your family member or child disrupting others, a simple apology does wonders!

    Children have an amazing influence on each other. A sticker or silly band or smile or invitation from another child often carries extra value. And will help your own child make positive choices in their conduct. As a teacher, it's truly gold when a child of poor conduct sees to helping another child through their misbehavior. A moment of revelation can do miracles. If you a child, it may be worthhaving them hand out the stickers/silly bands!
     
  6. bytheblood

    bytheblood DIS Veteran

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    I have only 1 child and we have never had any issues with her behavior in public. Never a meltdown, tantrum, etc. How I was so blessed I have no idea. We never experienced terrible twos or anything of the sort.

    However, if my daughter did behave that way, I would make her apologize as would I. I would NEVER just go on like it didn't matter or hold the opinion that the other guest can just get over it. (I know that is not what you are insinuating, OP)

    I also do not believe in bribing children with rewards for good behavior. I believe that children should be taught manners and respect and they should understand that poor behavior, manners or lack of respect brings on consequences they probably do not want. ;)
     
  7. Withacy

    Withacy DIS Veteran

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    I don't have any children of my own, though I've taken other people's children (nieces & godchildren) to WDW on my own on 4 occassions. Only one really came close to any meltdowns - my then 7 year old godson, but I was able to nip those in the bud very quickly (pulled him aside, spoke with him quietly, said that we could leave if he was upset - and MEANT it). Obviously, most of my trips have been without children.

    I realize that children get over-stimulated, tired, have issues, etc. I don't get upset by that (other than the fact that no one really likes hearing a child cry). What does upset me (and will cause me to give dirty looks) is when parents refuse to deal with situations.

    I'm sorry, but far too many parents claim their child is just trying to get attention, so THAT is why they're ignoring them. There's a time and place for that - perhaps. But I personally think it's often parents self-justifying when they don't want to deal with situations. It's not OK to ignore so called "attention seeking" behavior when it includes other people (like hitting or throwing things - or screeming at the top of their lungs for 20 minutes in a restaurant).

    And after all my many trips, I'll say that most of the meltdowns I've witnessed involved children who looked exhausted being pulled/pushed/even bullied by parents trying to get to...the next thing.
     
  8. Pakey

    Pakey <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/509

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    We are an adult only group (our youngest is 29) and we've only had one experience where I wanted to complain about a child but it's too rude to do so.

    We were eating dinner at a TS restaurant, seated next to a table with mom, dad, 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son in a high chair. I'm guessing on the kids' ages. The boy in the high chair screamed through the entire meal. His high chair backed up to one of my son's seat and I'm not exaggerating when I say the child screamed/cried through the entire meal.

    The parents ignored him. In fact, they ordered a second beer after they had finished eating and the dad was talking away to the mom really enjoying their time together. Their daughter was an angel, sat there and colored, but that boy in the high chair really needed to be removed from the restaurant. It ruined our entire meal, and I'm sure the other diners seated in that section felt the same. My 29 year old son has anxiety issues and had to leave the restaurant partway through his and waited outside while the rest of our party finished our food because he couldn't handle it any longer.

    Meltdowns happen, I always feel bad for the kids and the parents who are so embarrassed because they think their children are the only ones to misbehave at WDW. But to leave an unhappy toddler for an hour in a high chair and act oblivious to it was beyond what I considered reasonable.

    We have been to WDW at least 20 times and this is the only time I've ever noticed a situation where I thought the child needed some attention/the parents weren't doing their job.
     
  9. LubsPoohBear

    LubsPoohBear Mouseketeer

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  10. tony609

    tony609 "I've Gotta Show To Do"

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    I didn't read through ALL the pages BUT most of what i did read was people are saying kids had meltdowns because they were tired or hungry or both. I don't have kids so how do you prevent this? I feel sorry for kids like 3-6 in a stroller at the Magic Kingdom at Midnight, having a meltdown or fast asleep. Shouldn't they be in bed? I am asking because we are considering taking my Dp Nephews (twins) 7 and niece 4 next year. I know they would like fireworks BUT I don't see that on our trip since 9:00 is past bedtime. Do you throw schedules out for Disney or do yu stick to them and do what you can?

    On another note. I do remember one child at DL having a fit, she was abut 5 and was very upset running around Ariel's grotto rest. (on a boat) in DCA. She was running around the rest. ruined a couple of our photos with characters..and others..she grabbed a table setting (knife,fork,spoon wrapped in a napkin) ran over to the edge and threw it into the water. Minnie looked at us and we just laughed. Minnie shook her head in disbelief.

    BTW I never judge a kid by a "moment" I am seeing or a parent. I don't know the whole story and looks can be diseaving. Beacuse I am sure, still to this day..some of the things I do if you caught it for just a moment might make people think "WOW" or "Whats wrong there".....i very rarely have encountered anything out of the ordinary,to me, at WDW or DL..except for the above, which makes me laugh to this day.
     
  11. Suellen

    Suellen DIS Veteran

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    Honestly I think knowing your kids limitations going in will help. If they usually get up at 8 and have lunch at 11:30 and nap at noon and all of a sudden they are:

    Up at 6 because they are excited ~ eat at 12:00 because that is when you got to lunch and got served and then are expected to skip a nap because well, after all, we did spend all this money.

    Of course there will be meltdowns.

    Our last trip was completely meltdown free because we let the girls lead the way. They decided when and where we went and if they wanted to spend the morning swimming and go to the park later we did that. Guess what? They didn't once get overtired, overheated or over hungry. It was actually the best trip we had. And we still got to do everything and everyone was happy doing it the whole time.

    I know it isn't practical for every family to let the kids take the lead ~ but the uber planners should take a few minutes to think about the kiddos regular day at home and try to meld the two into something that will make everyone happy.

    The chains drive me buggy. I wish they would get rid of them and replace them with something else. It is like some kind of kid magnet. They make my kiddos want to play with them. I would point out that the chain was going to hit and hurt someone and remind them they need to be mindful of others.... but I did have to do this quite often. Thank God we don't wait in lines more than 20 minutes (usually 10 is our max... but for something special we may do 20)


    JMHO ~ take it for what it is worth.
     
  12. Tink Mick Koda Miles

    Tink Mick Koda Miles Maribeth_R

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    Yes, they are intentionally swinging the rope but a small child that is 2,3, even 4 does not think about it hitting someone. All they know is they are bored and this is fun. Thats just silly to think a baby would understand that. Now I don't think its right to swing it and I would def stop my child from doing it right away but a 2 yr old would not take that rope and swing it because he or she is intentionally trying to hit you

    YEA ME TOO. UGH!!
     
  13. Withacy

    Withacy DIS Veteran

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    I have to agree with you.

    I can not tell you how many times I've seen kids who look completely exhausted - even kids who looked SICK - being pulled along by parents desperately trying to keep their schedule/plan/ADR, etc. They want to do everything - and they all look miserable! And I'm sure in their mind, they've convinced themselves that they were doing it all for their kids!

    I'll never forget one time we were in the movie at the Land Pavillion at Epcot (Circle of Life? I don't remember the name of it), and there were these two women sitting right in front of us, with 5 young children - most of them whining or crying. The two women were looking at one of those touring plan schedules (I have a membership, and recognized it) and one said to the other "we're going to have to leave after 10 minutes if we're going to get back on schedule".

    What schedule is worth making everyone miserable? :confused3
     
  14. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    Now this is just my two cents, so take it for what it's worth.
    We took our kids to Disney for 10 days when they were 7 and 5 (so pretty similar to the kids you hope to take). We did do the fireworks and evening parades and shows, despite the fact that our kids' normal bedtime was 8pm. In order to make this work for us (my kids do get cranky when overtired - especialy our daughter), we explained up front that a nap would be required every day. No exceptions, even though they were no longer napping at home.
    If we didn't nap, we didn't get to go back to the parks after our rest. They understood that we meant it and (of course) it helped that we lay down and rested also. This went a LONG way toward enabling us to make the evening entertainment. All that being said, our son did fall asleep once waiting for WISHES and dad was stuck holding him the entire time, plus the standing bus ride back to pop, plus the walk to the room. So keep that possibility in mind.

    Other than that, my only advice would be, ask their parents what they think? What suggestions do they have to prevent crankiness and tantrums. Since the kids are a bit older, their parents probably know every sign of trouble and the best ways to avoid it, so make sure they give you all the clues and signs and best ways to handle issues.

    Hope you get to take them and have a fabulous trip.
     
  15. grimley1968

    grimley1968 DIS Veteran

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    I have two, very different stories to relate, both of which involve misbehaving kids:

    - Once at Disneyland, we ate at Blue Bayou, the restaurant near PoTC there. It was an okay restaurant, but we had really looked forward to it. Anyway, both our DD's started acting up in the restaurant, mostly because they were bored. DW and I kept having to take each one outside and discipline them and get them to just settle down for an hour or so while we tried to enjoy the meal. To make a long story shorter, we didn't end up enjoying the meal, because of all the disruptions. Fortunately no one around us complained (at least not to our faces). But an older gentleman commented to me as he was walking out (and while DW had one of our DD's outside for a timeout), that he was impressed by how dedicated we were as parents, because we were willing to sacrifice our own enjoyment of our meal in deference to others seated near us and to teach a little bit of discipline during our vacation. I thanked him profusely for noticing that while being able to ignore the disruptions my kids were causing. I told DW about that when she got back to the table with one of the DD's. That made an otherwise disastrous meal a lot better for us, since we had some external affirmation that we were doing the right thing. Often, doing the right thing gets no notice by others. It's doing the wrong thing that usually gets noticed and commented on.

    - Once at 'Ohana, a kid (probably about 12 or so) was shining a laser pointer around the restaurant. They were seated with a huge group of probably 16-18 people. Parents (if they were around) were doing nothing to stop this behavior. The kid's pointer was being aimed not just as inanimate objects, but at people. At first I couldn't figure out who had the pointer, but saw the red dot periodically. I finally noticed the laser being pointed at the heads of people to my left. After calculating the general area the laser had to be coming from, I finally saw the light shooting out from under the table and could see the pointer was being held by the 12 yo kid. I watched this go on for a few more minutes while the kid kept pointing the thing at people (especially 'Ohana servers), and no one at the table did anything to stop it.

    Finally, I'd had enough and I confronted the kid right in the middle of the restaurant, and loud enough to be heard by everyone at that table. I actually walked over to the table and did it. I realized they might not know the kid had a laser pointer which was annoying others in the restaurant, and that made my response all the more necessary. If I had said something only the kid heard, he would have kept pointing the thing, so I made sure any "responsible" adults there heard. I simply said, "I see that you're the one pointing the laser at people's heads. Please stop." No one at the table said anything right then, or even looked at me, either out of sheer embarassment or rudeness (maybe a bit of both). But the laser pointing stopped for the rest of that meal.

    I can handle crying kids who are simply over-stimulated and/or tired. What I draw the line at is willful misbehavior by kids who should know better.
     
  16. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    We try our level best to maintain the same standards of behavior and discipline at home or anywhere else in the world. I honestly can't remember any tantrums from our two on our trips, but I'm sure we had a touchy moment or two. Every family does.
    I would certainly use a time out if necessary, apologize if necessary, and have no doubt that we would have left the parks if their behavior became out of control. I don't think this would ruin anyone's memories of the trip.

    I don't consider this an incentive system for behavior, per se, but we did have one rule on our first trip. We didn't want to deal with any begging for toys in the stores, didn't want to buy many toys, and did not want to carry souvies around all day in the parks.
    So, from the start, we explained to our two that they could look at all the souveniers in the park stores during the trip, but we were not buying anything until the end of the trip. We explained that this way they would know what they really wanted and wouldn't make a mistake, pick something, and then see something else they liked better later; but really it was for our own selfish reasons. :thumbsup2
     
  17. Beauty & the Best

    Beauty & the Best Its all so magical!

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    Just because someone does not have children of thier own does not mean that they have no experience with children.
     
  18. 2disneyboys

    2disneyboys DIS Veteran

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    DH & I refer to them as "magical meltdowns" and yes, we have seen children as well as adults experience them (I think I had 1 myself a few years ago:lmao:)

    Last year when we went for 8 days, on 1 day in particular my 6 year old was "driving the nerves" as I say @ home. When we were on this trip we had a routine RopeDrop - pool break mid afternoon - return to parks eve. Well my 6 year old was being annoying in line one day and I simply looked at him and said, "you know better than that, act your age. I say it again and you lose your pool time today" He immediatly stop and started acting right. (at our house, we don't make any threats that we are not going to follow through on 100%. There are other areas that I am probably more laid back than a lot of parents but this is a real stickler point for me!) anyway, about 10 mins later we got on the ride and when we got off, this lady that was standing near us complimented me on my son's behavior. She said something to the effect of she can tell my kids know that I say what I mean as the change in his behavior was instant and it stuck. My oldest son (9 @ the time) said "when my mom or dad say something they mean it and they don't mind missing fun just to prove it!" I got a good chuckle out of that one!

    Both my kids act up at times and I understand and expect it. They are only kids afterall. I do my best to be aware of thier moods and take into account if something is influecing thier behavior, however, when we have the behavior problems, we address them as appropiate (the same way regardless of where we are) and move on from it. I guess it really annoys me because I have some friends & family that let thier kids just run wild in restaurants and other places and say something to the sort of "well we have just has much right to be here as they do" and to a point, they DO, but not to the point of being disruptive to others. We try & train our children into recoginizing that there is a place and a time for all sorts of behavior and they need to learn how to recoginze where that place is and when it is. DH & I do the best we can and I can honestly say that I love my boys but can acknoweledge that they are not perfect--but neither am I. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Shleedogg

    Shleedogg DIS Veteran

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    My DD has definitely had meltdowns. She's only 22 mos, but has had a couple on our 5 trips. Honestly, most were our fault. We simply hadn't adjusted yet to Disney with a little one. Once we got the hang of it, she's been a dream. Always make sure we stay on a similar schedule to ours at home. She always gets an afternoon break for a nap, quiet time/pool time.

    The biggest meltdown when we went in March when she was 16 mos was that she didn't want to ride in the stroller, she wanted us to hold her. Towards the end of the trip we were just too sore and tired, she had to ride. Boy oh boy did she scream. We were outside though so I felt no need to apologize to people. Maybe I should have? :confused3

    If we have behavior issues this time, she will get one warning like she does at home, then we will leave whatever we are doing and she will get a time out. At home she hears that there's a time-out everywhere - home, grandma's, restaurants, the zoo, etc. Disney will be no different. However, those that get disgruntled about some crying in a line because it's hot, they've been waiting awhile I think need to take a chill pill. I would of course apologize to those around us and try to distract her, but remove from the line? No.
     
  20. onnawufei

    onnawufei The Girl With the Ninja Turtle Tattoo

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    Regarding people without children giving parenting advice, there's some basic stuff you don't need kids to know. I have no problem saying "When in a restaurant, don't ignore your child's tantrum because you are possibly ruining other people's meals". But I wouldn't dream of telling anyone how to deal with their child because I don't know them, I don't know their child and all of that. Not having children doesn't mean we're completely clueless, we just might not have all the details worked out.

    And grimley1968 (I absolutely love your name and icon by the way) that first story made me smile. Not because it ended up being a less than stellar experience for y'all, but that you actually cared enough to be willing to put yourselves second. After working retail and seeing how some people just ignore their children and let them do whatever they want, I really appreciate seeing people like you. I actually used to thank parents like you when I worked at Blockbuster. :) And I'd occasionally call my mom and thank her for not letting me get away with stuff when I was younger. :laughing:
     
  21. mrbghd

    mrbghd DIS Veteran

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    They are intentionally swinging the chain. If it hits someone it is the parent of the child's fault for letting them do it. It is not about what they think swinging the chain is; it is about what swinging the chain can do.

    So let me ask you this. If a 4 year old thinks it is fun to walk up to people and spit on them because he is bored, is that acceptable? According to you he is not thinking about hitting someone he is just amusing himself because he is bored.

    This type of action is beyond the "typical meltdown" type stuff.
     
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