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. TenderDonkey

    TenderDonkey DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2010
    "...Also, does anyone on here set up incentive systems for your kids? (i.e. "If you behave, you will get ____at the end of the day")..."

    I had to laugh at the incentive systems. Growing up it was If you behave, you will get to continue living at the end of the day. The best advice was just know your child. If they sleep 10 hours a day and it's cut to 6 there is most likely going to be a problem.

    I typically don't confront the child but the parent. When my DD got punched I went straight to the father.
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  3. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

    Apr 8, 2009
    As far as schedules and Disney. I agree with the PP that schedules change for Disney. Naps are required. If they fall asleep in the stroller at night that's fine, especially since I have little ones and big ones to contend with. Even with staying on a "normal routine" you will get melt downs at the end of the day, since a day at Disney is no way normal. Overstimulation, heat and lots of walking can tire a kid out by 5 or 6. I'd rather take the nap midday (which at this point only my youngest naps regularly at home) and try to extend our day. We are planning our first trip to WDW (have been to DLR numerous times) and will be there for 2 weeks. We will be adjusting to a new "living situation", eating habits and time zone. I fully expect my children to act up on occasion during the transition (if I don't expect it I cannot be prepared to deal with it).

    I think that's one pitfall parents fall into: their normally angelic children acting up on a fun vacation. They don't expect their 5 year old to have a meltdown since its not the norm at home. They aren't prepared to discipline their child at Disney. Our first trip to DLR with kids, my oldest was 4. By day 3 she was overly tired and freaked out at our character dinner. DH couldn't understand why our normally agreeable child, who had not been afraid of the characters until 5 pm on day 3, was completely hysterical at Goofy's Kitchen (for her 4th bday party BTW). The lesson of the trip: Disney Magic can't make DL the "Happiest Place on Earth" when you have an exhausted 4 year old.
  4. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008

    Not judging other people's choices, but this is why we waited until my daughter was 7 to take her to Disney World. I didn't want to deal with a little kid who had no idea how to handle all the stimulation, new experiences, and possible change in schedule. She had to be mature enough to understand, listen and accept decisions.

    We are VERY conscious of my son's behavior (autism/PDD-NOS). He is constantly moving, possibly singing or talking to himself. He may even touch someone if he wants to see their shirt, or cap or cup. We stand in line with him facing us, hold his hands or hug him, talk to him to keep him occupied, and try to sit away from people so his talking, etc. won't disturb folks in a show. We have found that the front row works, since he is not bothering people in front of him!

    He had one VERY SERIOUS meltdown in Tomorrowland in June. Sat down in the middle of the walkway, yelling No and refusing to move (because we wanted to go back to the room). My DH and I took turns talking to him, but we did not grab him, pull him up or drag him away. I'm way past caring what other people think - I just needed to rationally get him to move on his own. Plus there was room to walk around him :) I'm sure the folks waiting in line for Stitch had a few opinions, but I could care less. Otherwise, we try to avoid his behavior impacting anyone but us. (and why the GAC is a godsend, because the intolerant people would hate to be in line with him!).
  5. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

    May 7, 2006
    "I'm sorry"

    Such a simple phrase that, when used, can defuse some of the worst situations. If your kid does something to negatively impact the people around them, as simple "I'm sorry" would do wonders. Did the kid swing the line rope while you were distracted for that one moment and hit someone? "I'm sorry my child did that" would be a huge step in the right direction. Did the kid get a little too excited with their sword and accidentally hit someone? "I'm sorry he hit you" is the correct response.

    Pretty much I think it comes down to two really simple ideas. One, if your child does something to someone, apologize. Two, if it's ongoing and negatively effects all those around you, go somewhere else until it can be calmed down.

    What I mean by two is the dreaded tantrum in a restaurant, show, or ride line (or really any confined space). There are numerous people all in a (relatively) small location. As such, if your child is doing something to impact the enjoyment of others, then you need to remove them. If they are screaming during the show, then leave. If they are running around and yelling in the restaurant, then leave. If they continue to ignore you about swinging on the ropes, then leave. There is no reason to allow your child to bother a large number of people by their behavior.

    Now, on my 2007 trip, I did complain about kids twice. They were even the same kids. Once I complained to a CM because the parents were allowing their children to run around in the landscaping (not the grass... the landscaping) and did nothing when they started to pull up grass and flowers. I spoke to a CM about that because they were destroying that I knew people had worked on. The CM asked them to keep the kids out of the landscaping and the parents did seem to listen (but didn't apologize).

    The second time I complained to the waitress because these kids were being allowed to run around the restaurant and were causing a dangerous situation (it was a buffet, CP to be exact). Well, before the CM could do anything, the kids ran INTO Tigger. Smack dab into him while he was spending time with another family. Lets just say the family was firmly escorted out of the restaurant after that...

    Not once did I complain about a general meltdown, because the parents were doing what they could every time I saw one. Not once did I complain about a kid being "loud" because they were excited about seeing Mickey. Not once did I complain about a kid wandering in front of me because they were so caught up with what was going on around them. No, there is a HUGE difference in those things compared to the 2 incidents I DID complain about.

    So, all I ask of parents is... at least TRY to do something. Don't sit there and ignore it and allow it to impact other people. If you are trying, then people have a lot more patience then they would otherwise.
  6. 2disneyboys

    2disneyboys DIS Veteran

    Feb 20, 2009

    :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: so funny but so true. It would never have occured to me to get something for having been good as a child...rather...I was always glad that I had't gotten a spanking or lost a privilage!!! :rotfl::rotfl:

    I know people with a lot of success with incentives with their kids behavior. That has never worked for us and I'm fine with it. for me, dh & our kids, LOSING something works better...they tend to feel the impact a lot quicker and it seems to stick better with them. In our family, you don't EARN fun or stuff/ you get to have fun until you misbehave then you loose said fun. Like you said, the key is to know what works best with your child to achieve the desired results and to be consistant about enforcing it!
  7. Sammie

    Sammie DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 1999
    See my previous comments about setting the schedule for the weakest link in the group. If you are taking a two year old then that child's regular daily schedule determines the schedule for everyone else.

    Too many people want to cram as much as they can into the vacation, with the often heard, to children comment, "Do you have any idea how much this trip is costing us and you want to do what, Go take a nap or swim in the pool???? :sad2:

    I mean seriously do adults think you can take a small child into a place with thousands of other people, in the heat, tired and hungry for hours and they not melt down.

    One does not have to be parent, a child specialist, a teacher, a pediatrician to realize that is a recipe for disaster. Even adults who are tired, hot, hungry are going to melt down. Why does anyone think that is a fun vacation is beyond me.

    It is common sense, sadly some adults just don't seem to get it.

    Seriously if a parent is not willilng to adjust their schedule at WDW around the child's ability, then maybe they need to wait until the child can handle it on the adult schedule.
  8. Withacy

    Withacy DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2008

    I think the vast majority of people are understanding when parents are dealing with a difficult situation - and the looks are most likely in sympathy. Obviously, there are over-stimulated, tired adults who will behave badly themselves and be less than understanding (and again, just like your children, they may normally be lovely people who are just not themselves at the moment). And there are people who are just jerks. But most of us understand.

    It's when people ignore their children, do nothing to correct it, or even add to it that we get upset.
  9. LaurieN

    LaurieN DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2009
    I have to agree with you...Know what your kids can and can't handle!!!! This past trip was our first trip we were able to see fireworks because in the past the boys just couldn't stay up that late. We also have learned (the hard way) not to travel to WDW in the hot summer months as my kids just don't handle the heat well, we now go in Nov and LOVE IT!!!!!
    As for planning: DS8 has Aspergers and needs a schedule so he and I make a plan together. He picks what character meals he would like, I make the ADR's and pick what days we should go to what parks. We don't map out the entire day since that would put too much pressure on him and god forbid we were late for something (that's when his meltdown would happen).
  10. Shreggor

    Shreggor Mouseketeer

    Jan 21, 2010
    No kidding. We were all kids once. And plenty of childless or childfree people work as teachers, nannies and the like.
  11. moscow

    moscow Earning My Ears

    Jan 15, 2008
    This is our philosophy as well. We are planning a surprise trip for our DD (age 7) and DS (age 16 months) in December. Since the trip primarily is for our daughter, we will let her set the schedule. We are using the 2-day Dumbo or Die plan from touring plans as a general guide for touring the MK, but the schedule will be up entirely to DD. If she wants to return early to the hotel to swim, then that is what we will do. (For her, the MK IS Disney, so she would prefer to spend most if not all of her trip there and because we are letting her set the schedule, that is what we will do.)

    We were fortunate enough to get a room at the Poly facing the MK, so while I put DS to bed in the evenings, DH and DD will sit on the balcony and watch the fireworks at the MK. That way DS is able to keep on his nightly schedule (which makes all of us that much happier) and DD is able to see the fireworks with daddy!
  12. Michigan_Minnie

    Michigan_Minnie Disney Darling

    Oct 20, 2008
    No only not talk about your child like that...How about not talk like that where kids may hear you????!!!!! Wow. People are crazy!
  13. fairestoneofall

    fairestoneofall DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2007
    first, i agree with the PP who suggested asking their parents' opinions. but i will share my experience.

    when we go during the cooler season, my children (currently 5 and 8) can handle longer days. if it is a day that we know we'll be in the park late (say, for a party), we will take a break during the day. otherwise, they generally do fine going until 10 pm or so. we don't get up for rope-drop when we go during the cooler months, just because the parks tend to be less crowded.

    on our june trip, it was hot and crowded. so, we were making rope drop most mornings. however, we took a break every day (except our epcot day--my kids made it all day without any problems by visiting lots of air-conditioned shops, staying hydrated and taking breaks in the park). they didn't nap every single day, but we spent time just unwinding in the resort room. on our HS day, we left early, hit DTD and then called it an (early) night. we kind of played it by ear to ensure that they were okay.

    you just have to be willing to go with the flow. mine do well with getting a little bit less sleep on vacation, as long as i don't overdo it every day. if i made them go from open to close during the heat, without any mid-day break, they would've been grumpy and miserable. frankly, i would've been pretty miserable myself. ;)
  14. minniefan65

    minniefan65 Mouseketeer

    May 7, 2010
    I have to say (as others have) that DH has far more meltdowns than the kids. Sadly, I can't force him to go to the hotel room for a nap. The kids have always been pretty good about things. I think it helped that we rented strollers until the youngest was 7. We didn't have to carry anything, he didn't have to walk, and we carried plenty of bottled water.

    PIRATEGIRL007 DIS Cast Member<br><font color=purple>OMG! I am ab

    Aug 20, 2005
    We have the same rules at WDW as we do at home and make sure to remind the children of that upon arrival. Just b/c we are on vacation does not mean it is freebie week on discipline and they can run buck wild. If they are doing anything they shouldn't be like swinging the chains around or climbing on the bars in a que the first words out of my mouth are do you think that would be a good idea to do that and would you do it if we are at home? If either answer is no then they know to stop.

    Our kids are definately not perfect and have acted out at Disney before I can't think of any particular incident that anyone commented on to us. Our biggest problems come at lunch/dinner time with complaints about food and not wanting to eat this or that, table manners, being pigs at the table, etc and I am just positive that my DD8 turning around and pointing to a young couple kissing at Le Cellier and exclaining "EWWWWWWWWW" loudly was not welcomed and got some comments from nearby tables, but none directly to us.
  16. Tink Mick Koda Miles

    Tink Mick Koda Miles Maribeth_R

    May 24, 2006

    No you understood me incorrectly. And I said I would stop the child if they were doing it. And spitting is a whole different story. All I'm saying is my 2yr old doesn't comprehend that swinging that rope might hit someone. I by no means think they should be allowed to do it.
  17. fairestoneofall

    fairestoneofall DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2007
    i'm talking about people who have NO experience with children. those are the ones who seem to have the least understanding/tolerance and most knowledge. that's all.

    i was there once too. i was that non-child person who HAD a lot of experience with children. i was the one who said, "my kids will never..." well. i had kids. and they aren't perfect. neither am i. but i do my best. and they are good kids, but they are not perfect. they have their moments. they've never really been prone to tantrums, thankfully. but they have done some whining.
  18. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

    Apr 8, 2009
    Very true. And no matter how much experience you have, being the mom is a whole different ball game. I too was a "my kids will never..." and I have a friend that is a Kindergarten teacher that is still a "my kids will never....". I just smile and nod because until you ARE the mom, you have no way of knowing what your kids will do.

    I have 3 fabulous, fairly well behaved daughters that are in no way, shape, or form perfect. And now I have a "boy's boy" that has thrown the old ways of doing things out the window. I feel like I'm starting all over with him. He is a good boy and very sweet, but he is ALL BOY and a drastic change from my girls. The point being, unless you are in a particular situation, you really don't know what you would do.
  19. NLD

    NLD DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2008
    DD has only been once so far. She did have a couple "moments" last year, but nothing major. (Mostly just a few whining sessions, which we were able to curtail.)

    The worst was in Epcot when she had a Princess costume on for lunch with the Princesses in Norway. It was about 10:30 in the morning, we'd just gotten to the park, and were headed to Soarin'. She started melting down--the costume was itchy, it was bothering her, she was too hot, it was rubbing, etc.

    This was, of course, AFTER getting ready in the morning at the hotel, when I had tried to convince her to wear normal clothes to the park and take along the costume, but she refused. (In hindsight I should have brought along normal clothes anyway, but well, I didn't.)

    So anyway. I am a parent who tends to believe in kids making their own decisions (within reason) and reaping the consequences of those decisions (again within reason). So she had made a decision to wear this dress, and the consequence was that she was now uncomfortable. No, I was NOT going to leave the park and punish all of us because of that. I was NOT going to remove her back to the room just so some people would not have to listen to her tantrum.

    I did wait until she had pulled herself together enough BEFORE entering the Soarin' queue, so that all those people in the queue wouldn't be stuck with a trantrum-ing 5-year-old in very close proximity. However we did let her play it out.

    For the people who get upset at parents "ignoring" their children's tantrums, all I can say is that this IS a form of parenting. When my DD gets in a certain mood, she will feed off ANY attention directed her way and just escalate it worse. You can do consquence after consequence after consequence and she still will not stop, it just gets worse. There are certain times where the best parenting for her IS to just ignore it and let her de-escalate it herself.

    Now certainly I would apologize if she was really impacting someone else. Certainly I woudl remove her from a quiet show or a line (or not get in the line, as above) if she were doing a full-out tantrum.

    That being said, I also think it's a bit unreasonable to expect to go to a place like WDW and think you'll never have to be confronted with a crying child. I'll do my best to not let my crying child impact you... but by the same token I'd like the people around us to not judge us for having a crying child! ;) (Although to be honest, if someone is judging us, I'm not likely to notice because am usually focused on DD at that point.)

    If there is one thing I've learned as a parent, it's that kids will melt down occasionally... that kids go through stages and often outgrow their own behaviors... and that trying to maintain 100% control is unrealistic (and often counterproductive). Even with allowing DD to set our pace, to choose what we were doing 90% of the time (we went to MK five out of six park days, and yes, she got to choose what rides most of the time no matter where we were.... she and I did Barnstormer and Teacups I don't know HOW many times)... even with all that, there will be meltdowns and bad behavior... but it's not the end of the world. :)
  20. luckyprincess

    luckyprincess Dis Lord

    Jul 9, 2010
    :thumbsup2 Perfectly said! I would never be upset at a baby crying on a plane (oh,it sucks to be seated near it - no amount of patience is going to make it NOT suck, lol) because its a baby and they can't help it and that's not something that is a behavior issue. As well, when a child is misbehaving no amount of ignoring them is going to make them behave. They may tire of screaming or whatever but you are still being incredibly rude to everyone else if you let that continue in order to teach them that mommy ignores tantrums, imo. You can parent your child any way you like - but if it starts to disrupt or annoy other people and you could be doing something about it, well then that's when people get upset.

    As many have said, when you see a kid that is clearly overtired and overextended at the park you can usually tell. The difference is how its dealt with. As another poster said, when we misbehaved we went home - no empty threats, no negotiations and no begging us to behave. But then we weren't usually overextended either - they kept us on the same schedule we had at home, normally so maybe that makes a big difference. When we saw screamers last week that were overtired my bf and I would look at each other and say 'time for a nap' and laugh.

    I think as others also have mentioned - when a parent is clearly dealing with the situation then I don't blink an eye (I may feel sympathy though :goodvibes). Its when a kid is kicking the back of my chair over and over and over and the parent is actually sitting with them and watching it and saying nothing:confused3 Or when a parent lets a little snowflake kick the ducks at Epcot and says nothing until I yell at the little serial killer in training (for real - he was very scary and malicious and shouldn't have been let near animals without supervision). Or when you let your child scream nonstop during a show or movie that people are desparately trying to hear. That to me is taking a vacation from parenting.
    I don't think many would disagree but it IS the Dis....:rotfl:
  21. pensgirl10

    pensgirl10 Mouseketeer

    Aug 10, 2010
    Can't agree. It's never okay to let your hot/tired/bored child scream in close quarters to other people who are also hot/tired/bored and can't get away. Crying for a short time is one thing. We encountered that and it was fine, expected even. My teen helped distract a few kids with her pins and let them play with the little toys on her lanyard. But it's not fair to the people around you to let a child scream on and on.
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