Letting kids roam wild and free?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by jjje, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

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    This is all great information. Our upcoming cruise will be my kids first. They will be 14, 10, & 8 at time of sailing. I was 12 when I took my first cruise, and I was allowed to roam as I wanted. I wasn't alone though, usually with my aunts who were a year older & a year younger.
    But, things are different now. My DS9, is a boundry-pusher. DS7 just doesn't like to be alone, if he doesn't know where I am, he is afraid he will never see me again. DS13 is much more responsibile, always has been. I will give him more freedom, and, their half brother, also who will be 14, will be cruising with us. (I invited his mom & her family). We will start off with x amount of rules, see how it goes, and maybe lighten some up.
     
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  3. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Mine were 12 and 16. I think in the week, other than my 12 year old going to the one thing she went to in a club, and the day DW and I went to wine tasting, they wanted to do everything with us. So they had the freedom to go anywhere on the ship, but didn't use it.
     
  4. Summerl30

    Summerl30 Mouseketeer

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    Maybe I am naive (this is our first family trip), but I can't fathom not spending most of the trip with the kids. If they want to spend it in the kids programming, I have no problem with that, but its our family vacation...so if they aren't in the kids program, I would expect they would be with us. If I wanted time away from my kids, I'd vacation without them (we do every year).
     
  5. moomy-san

    moomy-san I'd rather be in O'Gills.

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    My oldest was 10 the first time we cruised. She is incredibly responsible and we allowed her to wander and go to movies without us. We had strict rules... the most important one was to keep in constant contact with us and to alert us if she changed locations. We also told her in the theaters to sit by a Mom with kids... not by herself in the last row. She LOVED the freedom. On our second cruise We also allowed her and her little sister to go to dinner and the character breakfast by themselves while we were at Palo. They were very excited to do that... especially because we didn't have table mates so our servers took very good care of them :) Our older daughter then dropped little sister off at the club and then went to a movie. When we go on our next cruises our daughters will be 12 and 8 and as long as they stay together they will be able to roam the ship.
     
  6. SunshineCruiser

    SunshineCruiser Mouseketeer

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    I never let my 12 year old wander around the ship by himself, but I was fine letting him go to and from an agreed destination by himself.

    By age 13 I was comfortable with them wandering around the public areas of the ship so long as they had at least one of their new friends with them at all times.

    I now have a 10 year old that I would not allow out of my sight unless she was being supervised in a kids club.

    I'm always checking on the kids, I do let them have a fair amount of freedom, but I also worry. I just do my best to strike the right balance just like at home.

    A good thing to compare it to might be how you treat your kids in a mall. And your comfort level may change toward the end of the cruise once everyone knows their way around better. Do you let your 12 year old wander around new mall by themselves, do you let them walk down to their favorite store on their own and tell them you will meet them there shortly, or do you keep them by your side? It is all what they are ready for and used to.

    In my opinion, if we saw a 5 year old wandering a mall or theatre by themselves we would be very concerned, and the same thing goes for a ship.
     
  7. Time4Family

    Time4Family Earning My Ears

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    Lol. This is how I felt too. Then we got to the cruise and my 13 year old wanted to do activities in the Edge and my 10 year wanted to do thinks in the club. They always seemed to be at different times. So, we made a rule that we had breakfast and lunch together and the rest would just fall into place (my 10 year old spent more time with us). We all had a great time and have wonderful memories from our family vacation. Breakfast and dinner times were loaded with great conversations about either what happened during the day or what we planned to do. We did go on the islands together.
     
  8. Grandma4ever

    Grandma4ever One day closer and still counting!!!

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    It is so sad that there are bad people. But there are and they are every where. As far as allowing kids freedom while on board it is a personal decision. If you allow them to walk around your neighborhood unsupervised and they know what to do if they are approached by a person with ill intent then by all means allow then similar freedoms on board. However, if they do not already have those freedoms and do not know what to do if they are approached then hold them close.

    Disney keeps it as safe as possible but please do not be fooled in to a false sense of security. Whatever your decision it will be the best one for you and the family. Relax and enjoy the cruise.
     
  9. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    I'm so glad I'm not the only one! On our first Disney cruise, DD was 11 and DS was 8. (They're now 22 & 19 :goodvibes) They both stuck to us like glue, and we all loved it. My husband and I didn't care about the spa, or "adult only" activities, because we, too, could go do those things on a trip by ourselves. Neither one of them liked the kids' clubs, they never did, even on all of our subsequent cruises.

    It wasn't until they were each at least 14 that they were allowed to (or even wanted to) go off by themselves, and by that time, we were always cruising with friends and family....people we'd met through the DIS on the Meets threads, and had become very close with.

    It makes me nervous every time I see other people's kids out and about by themselves, like the little 5 year old going to get ice cream....and we see it all the time. :sad2:
    On one cruise, we saw three really little kids do nothing for over an hour except ride up and down in the elevator, pushing the buttons. Where were their parents?? Of course, if someone were to say something to the parents, I'm pretty sure they'd think there was nothing wrong with the kids being alone...I've heard it dozens of times "But it's DISNEY..."
     
  10. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    Excellent points and advice!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  11. lynnemcb

    lynnemcb Mouseketeer

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    i think its all about being sensible - dd 11 years went to edge this years cruise, made a group of friends and had the abillity to come and go from there - she had to carry wave phone all the time - not go on any outside deck, call me when she left the club and say where she was going and never to leave alone. Had a bit of difficulty with this initially as worried for her but as days wore on she was very sensible. She went to edge till 1am and we met her at the elevator straight up from there when she left - meant lots of very late nights for us but couldnt have her walking back at 1am herself. We were on hawaii cruise 14 days and she had plenty of time to make some good friends and because there wasnt many kids on the ship we met them all and this made it better in terms of knowing who she was with.

    DS 8 went to lab and did not have self check although this is allowed for an 8 year old - cant see why really however some kids did do it. Depends on the child I suppose.

    Prior to this cruise they've been together in LAB only occasionally although would need to say my daughter had a great time on this cruise, made great friends and enjoyed her vacation more than if she had been spending all her time with us.
     
  12. danfromca

    danfromca <font color=royalblue>Earned his ears, now wants y

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    It's interesting reading this (and similar) discussions to reflect back on my own childhood. At age 8 I was allowed to roam Disneyland alone with a friend. By age 9 I had run of the neighborhood on my bike, including shops on the main street nearby. At age 10 I rode a mile to downtown, walked into a bank, and tried to open a savings account. They did have to call a parent finally to sign, but I did succeed. At 11 I had free reign in the city by bus alone, and could go downtown in the evening with friends. We had no cell phones of course.
    I'm pretty sure the world was a lot more dangerous then - but I'm confident that even then I was at much greater risk of being hit by a car than being kidnapped.
    Were my parents negligent in giving me that much freedom? I'll bet many on these boards (as measured by today's standards) would say yes.
    But the self-reliance and independence that I gained by having that freedom has been invaluable. And I'm sometimes sad for some of the "kids" who I see go off to college almost incapable of functioning on their own.
    I have the utmost respect for parents who want to do everything possible to keep their kids safe from even the most remote risk. But I also think it's important to remember that even safety has a price. :cool2:
     
  13. disprincess4ever

    disprincess4ever DIS Veteran

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    It's true that kids are fine when their on their own, the problem is when they become a pack. On the cruise I went on, there were groups of pre teens and teens that would wander around together, often later at night. They didn't seem to be causing any trouble, but when it's 11 pm and you've eaten no sugar and have no supervision, who knows what they could have been up to.
     
  14. kristinfly2

    kristinfly2 Mouseketeer

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    This thread was very interesting to read! Kids are all so different and mature at such different rates! Before our 11/3 cruise our 11 yo DD was not happy that we were keeping her out of edge. We weren't comfortable with her being in with older kids as she is easily influenced. We checked her and her into the lab and her three younger siblings into the club on the first morning to try it out. Well, we ended up almost not being able to drag her out of the club! She would have spent her whole cruise in there if we had let her! LOL. She didn't even like the lab where there were more kids closer to her age. She loved the high energy of the club and got to meet a ton of characters! It was a great time for a tween to be a kid again! :). She is really hoping we go again next year before she turns 13 (she turned 12 a week ago) so she can still get into the club! :)
     
  15. dbarker

    dbarker DIS Veteran

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    On our previous cruise, DS12 (age then) was allowed full reign of the tween club and the pool area....period. He was allowed only to come / go to those areas. With that said, we checked on him often. (Most of the time, he was not aware we were checking on him).

    I'm a firm believer that kids will be kids and that peer pressure is a very strong nemesis to parents. Therefore, we try to limit the opportunities for peer pressure to go awry. DS will never be allowed to roam freely all over the ship.

    As a parent, you are very aware of your child's personality. Every child is different and every situation is different. And sometimes you have to make adjustments mid-stream. (Oh, the joys and torments of being a parent).
     
  16. ppony

    ppony Artist in residence DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Just wanted to echo the "you know your child" sentiment. Yes, its the others we need to worry about as well. That plays into it. How are they around others? My 12 y.o. gets lost in a parking lot :rolleyes1 , and panics easily, so free roaming would be limited to going to the pool and arcade. That's about it...for now. I have dreams many times weekly of losing my family on the ships. :scared:
     
  17. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    On one cruise we had a large extended family occupying a long row of cabins across the hall from us. I can't begin to tell you how many times a child knocked on our door looking for a cousin. This was despite the fact that we put a magnetic sign on our door specifically to help them recognize that this door did not belong to their group. Yes, there are kids who can't remember which side of the hall their room is on or where grandma's room is. I'm sure it never occurred to the parents that their 9 or 10 year old couldn't handle running down the hall and knocking on the right door.

    No, I wasn't a gritch. Beyond placing a large magnetic sign on our door, I didn't get ugly.
     
  18. ppony

    ppony Artist in residence DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Kcashner, I'm horrified at what happened to your daughter! Both the incedent and that the authorities just let it slide. :furious:
     
  19. realityland

    realityland Mouseketeer

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    Sadly, yes, there are bad people on the ship. Probably an extremely small fraction of people aboard ... but nonetheless, they are there. This is today's society. Parents must be hyper vigilant at all times. Scumbags, dirt balls, pedophiles, felons and con artists are all looking for someone to take advantage of - even on a cruise ship. Maybe even more so, b/c some may be lulled into a false sense of security.
     
  20. jjje

    jjje One time I saw a guy wear cut-off jean shorts to d

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    I've loved reading other people's take on this. If nothing else it has reassured me that I'm not the only protective (some might say overly) parent out there. The funny thing is I discussed this with my son further and he had somehow gotten the idea into his head that "freedom" on the ship meant he would wander around doing whatever he wanted and we would all follow him and do what he said. So once I burst his bubble he said he would prefer to stay with us anyway. :lmao:
     

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