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how much freedom do you give your tween?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Jareds_mommy, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Jareds_mommy

    Jareds_mommy DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2007
    so how much freedom do you give your pre-teen and how old are they? I am trying to decide how much to give ours
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  3. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    As you are the one who knows your tween best, it would need to be your call. I will point out that just because it's Disney, doesn't necessarily make it any "safer". You are on a small floating city with lots of different kinds of people onboard.

    I know the number 1 rule should be: you are not to go into ANYONE ELSE's room, and NO ONE else can come into our room.
  4. DisneyFans222

    DisneyFans222 There's a Mouse in our House :)

    Jan 20, 2013
    I agree with PrincessShmoo, you know your tween best. My tween and I will be taking our first Disney cruise shortly and have been discussing all aspects of each others comfort levels as far as freedom and boundaries within the context of what we each are looking most forward to experiencing on this amazing vacation. This "brainstorming" is helping to narrow down what will the "freedom rules" with my tween. All the best in navigating a happy medium! :)
  5. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

    Feb 25, 2003
    It depends on how many cruises you have been on and how familiar with the ship your child is, along with how responsible they are at home. DS started having signout privs at age 8 with strict rules. He usually hung out with a friend from the boards those 2 weeks. DD was 10 before she had "freedom" -- as long as she stayed with her brother. Later that year when she was a month from turning 11, she had freedom along with her three friends from previous cruises. The girls were good about pairing up if someone needed to go back to their room. They also stayed in contact with the wave phones if they were going or doing anything that deviated from the last plan. That was #8 for our kids so very familiar with the layout and finding their way from point A to point B.
  6. KBT35

    KBT35 Mouseketeer

    Oct 6, 2011
    I gave my DS 10 signout privileges BUT he had to contact me prior to leaving via wave phone to tell me where he was going. He was really only away from me a few times when I went to Palo for brunch and then for dinner.
  7. boettmb

    boettmb Earning My Ears

    Sep 27, 2009
    Last April we gave our 13 yr old son a lot of freedom. THe second day he met a friend and the two of them were constantly together. We had a white board in our room for communication. He knew what restaurant to go to each night and only one night he was a little late. No big deal. He had the time of his life on that cruise and we are planning on giving him the same freedom this April when we go again.
  8. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    You know your child. Will they follow your rules?

    I allowed sign out at age 9 after an incident in the Lab which would have been prevented if the CM had listened to DD! However, the rule was she could sign out and go to the cabin. ONLY to the cabin. And that was at least her third cruise on the Magic. I also have no concerns about my daughter's ability to behave and follow my instructions when on her own; I'm actually more concerned if she is with friends. I have a theory that 1 teen brain + 1 teen brain = no brains at all!

    We have seen episodes of tweens terrorizing stateroom hosts, stealing from their carts, etc. while the poor host was walking that fine line as to what he could say to a guest. We took care of that incident. We've seen tweens knocking on stateroom doors and dashing--nuissance value, but not horrible. Would this be your kid?

    Totally echo NO ONE IN YOUR ROOM and YOU DON'T go in any other cabin. Violation = you'll never cruise on my nickel again. Can you trust your kid?

    There is no right or wrong answer. Each kid is different. But don't have stars in your eyes. Bad things happen to good kids, and sometimes they happen on DCL.
  9. daboof

    daboof Mouseketeer

    Jul 27, 2009
    I bring 2 way Radios to use with my 12 year old
  10. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

    May 18, 2005
    Depends on if they are 11 or 13. My 11 year old is allowed to go to the club, and if he wants to leave it to get a pizza or a pop, he needs to go with a friend. If he wants to leave the Edge, he can come to his room. If he is going somewhere else, he needs to ask permission.

    My 13 year olds had a lot more freedom, but bottom line is, I want to know where they are. I won't say no, but I just need to know.
  11. REM10134

    REM10134 Earning My Ears

    Aug 26, 2012
    Our DS 13 had a lot of freedom. He was "encouraged" to join us for the show, but required to join us for dinner, each evening. We gave him a curfew each night, which varied depending on circumstances. And we had a few set check-in points during the day, along with the 'don't go into any staterooms' rule. He made a group of friends the first day, and hung out with them as much as he could. He had the time of his life. We all had a great time.
    DD 8 didn't have, or want, much freedom. She liked to stick with parents for the most part, but did take advantage of some of the kids activities.
    DS is now 17, and DD 13. We let him choose a family vacation before his high school graduation in May, and that's why we'll be on the Fantasy in March. DS 17 has already asked "will I have a curfew on this cruise?" (the answer is yes, btw). I'm interested to see how much freedom DS13 will want.

    As has been said, you know your child, and the ship isn't completely safe. But, it's a pretty good environment to loosen the reins a bit and let them have a little more freedom and responsibility.
  12. Jareds_mommy

    Jareds_mommy DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2007
    he is pretty good, but I can totally agree with the the more tweens, the lower the brain used
  13. dsnydaddy

    dsnydaddy DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2010
    This is the very thing that I am struggling with as well. My son will be just shy of 12 on the next cruise. (this is his 7th cruise with Disney. So, he's well aquanted with the ship) I get a bit nervous about the amount of freedom that he'll have. He's a great kid so I have no worries about mischief that he may get into.
  14. JnDRader

    JnDRader Mouseketeer

    May 29, 2012
    This pretty much nails it. We went on our first cruise June of last year. My daughter had just turned 10. She was incredibly bored in the lab so on the second day we reluctantly agreed to allow her to roam the ship. We were with friends and family and she had "pre-met" another 10yo girl via email before the cruise.

    Our daughter thrived with the freedom. She kept a wave phone on her and always kept us informed if any of her plans changed. She knew not to go into the stateroom of anyone that wasn't in our travel party and not to bring anyone into ours. It was still stressful on the parents though! It was not an easy decision but it was made easier knowing who she was running around with and occasionally we'd see them outside of normal meeting time.

    Each child is obviously very different though. Our daughter is rather sheltered but a stickler for rules.
  15. torian

    torian A whole day can be ruined with a bad cup of coffee

    Mar 11, 2008
    My two tweens were given complete freedom.

    They knew the rules:
    Tell me where you are going (I did the same)
    Tell me if/when that changes (I did the same)
    Do not talk with strange adults
    Do not go into other people's cabins
    Don't leave food/drinks unattended

    They had their cards with charging privileges. I think they bought under $10 on their own :)

    I was so proud of both of them. This was our first cruise and they behaved incredibly well. Much better than most of the other kids their age and many of the adults on the ship - especially during the last two days of the cruise.
  16. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

    Sep 27, 2003
    For ours, we found that as the week went on, we gave them more freedom as they demonstrated they could handle it and be responsible. We started with letting them go up to Deck 9 for snacks on their own and back, then "meet us at ____ at a specific time" if they wanted to hang in the cabin while we stopped in the shops before dinner, etc. As they demonstrated that they knew there way around the ship and also how to TELL TIME (LOL) and were punctual, we let them have more freedom - but not to just roam the ship - but for coming and going on their own. They also had a curfew which we set each day after reviewing Navigators and depending on what was happening in their youth group, that time would vary.

    Same rules as others - no going into someone else's cabin and no one coming into ours (even when gathering items for a scavenger hunt - you can wait outside or your partners can wait outside). No running in the hallways. No running on the stairs. No riding the elevator just for fun - you could ride it if you were going from Deck 2 to Deck 9 (Deck 2 is where their club was).

    We always make new DIS friends through our meet groups and I have my kids come to the Meet and Greet either onboard or if we meet up at a hotel pre-cruise - I do that and tell the other DISers that if you see my kid doing something they are not supposed to do, please feel free to snatch them up by the neck :)

    But OP, it really is up to you and what you and your tween feel comfortable with.
  17. emtmom0104

    emtmom0104 DIS Veteran

    Feb 14, 2010
    My duster just turned 12 a few weeks ago...last year we bought a set of walkie talkies for her, nothing over the top expensive, the set of two was like $70. We gave her the freedom to sign herself out of the clubs and pretty much do whatever she wanted except leave the ship. She did have to call us and make sure that she had heard our voices before moving anywhere on the ship. I didn't trust her with the wave phone, it's $250 to replace 1! I would rather her lose something that cost me less than half that belongs to me. When we went to Nassau we gave her the option to get of for stay on. She chose to stay on. I let her know when I could no longer hear her and let her know I would call her when we got back to the boat. She had no charging privileges but did have her KTTW card so she could go to the room. We had no issues. You know your child best, I was very hesitant to let her go but DH said I had to. I figured it was a good start since she couldn't get off and she had to be on the ship somewhere not off 10 miles away. Hope this helps!
  18. princesspiglet

    princesspiglet DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2001
    I WISH I had this problem! LOL

    My DD10 is an only child and chooses to be with us at all times. On our last cruise I offered to let her have some freedom and go to the lab, get herself some snacks, etc, but she didn't want to. She did not want to leave our side! She kept saying, "this is a family vacation and I want to be with my family". :rotfl: I was begging her to try out the kids club just so I could have a few minutes by myself to read a book!

    She has decided that this cruise she will try out the lab for a few hours a day, but the majority of the time she will be with us. I am looking forward to those few hours!!;)
  19. BrennaM

    BrennaM Mouseketeer

    Dec 11, 2007

    My kids are just like yours! I gave them total freedom last march when they were 14 and 13 years old, following many rules of course...but do you think they wanted to go off on their own? Nooooo We love hanging out with you Mom and Dad! hehehe not that I am complaining. I'm going to enjoy all the time they want to hang out with us, cause I know it won't last.

    They did make the odd trip up to the top deck to get food, or to go down to their aunt and uncle's cabin during the summer for our Alaskan cruise. I suspect this July they will venture out even more on their own.
  20. Magic3forme

    Magic3forme Grand Slam club members

    Jan 26, 2005
    with the wave phones its makes it easier to communicate with our kids.

    our son at age 9 last year had check out priviledges... he had to text us and let us know he was leaving the club and where we was headed next. he would just go get ice cream, then come find us. we did not give him spending on his card.

    our dd 12 met a bunch of kids on the ship and they were together all the time. she did have charging priviledges.
  21. tinkerbell 766

    tinkerbell 766 <font color=purple>If I can't fly, let me sing. Or

    Sep 12, 2007
    I have no problem with trusting DS (13) as far as behaviour and following rules are concerned, I do, however, worry about his handling of a wave phone. I am terrified he will leave it somewhere, or lose it and we will be stuck with the charge!!!! He is likely to be so engrossed in an activity at Edge or somewhere, put it down and forget to pick it up. I realise he could attach it to himself with a lanyard or a clip, but it is easy to detach it, say, in the bathroom, and forget it.
    I understand there are phones everywhere (in the hallways, kid's clubs etc.), you can use to call wave phones. Are they abundant? Could he use these to keep us updated with his whereabouts and his plans?
    What have other parents done?

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