Share your stories of being *That* family

musika

Everybody wants to be a cat.
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
We just returned from a week at WDW which was eagerly anticipated by the whole family. And I have to say.... I felt rather let down through most of it. My kids' behaviour was just off the wall ridiculous. We took lots of breaks, we didn't wait in a ton of long lines... but my 4 year old was just being completely irrational at least 50% of the time (which he does at home too, so I really should not have been surprised). We were the ones with *those kids* in line who were yelling at each other, pulling on the ropes... to the point of time-outs on park benches to decide if we stayed in the park or not.

Please make me feel better and tell me I'm not alone! It really put a damper on my enjoyment of our vacation and I found it really hard to find the magic in the day.
 

Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
How many kids/what age? We have 2 older kids who fought with each other over everything - until we had a third kid 9 years after the second. Now, maybe it's just the third kid, or maybe it's the 9 years of additional experience, but we have had -zero- of "those" episodes since the 3'rd kid came along. Seems like we just know what all 3 of them need a lot more than we did before, and really THAT knowledge is what has stemmed the outbursts and kept us all a lot more even-keeled.

My advice - have another kid - what could go wrong? 😉
 

Rory607

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
The only Disney trip we’ve done without those moments was when our oldest was the only kid and not even 2 yet. She was super easy-going and it was so much fun. I didn’t know how lucky we were at the time!

On our most recent trip the kids were good overall, but super-tired the first day. They were definitely fighting in line, being grumpy and we almost went back to the hotel. But luckily they snapped out of it.

The worst was when we took my mom and we just went at too fast of a pace. By the end of the week she was exhausted(despite saying she was fine) and she snapped at my H pretty badly in the middle of Epcot. She went off by herself and then my husband was getting mad at me and saying he would never travel with my mother again! Luckily, the kids fell asleep in the stroller and we went to Germany for a beer😆
 
  • Boopuff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    We have adult "children". When it comes to Photopass we are "that" family. We have the photographer take tons of pics, magic shots, etc. Sorry. I like to get my $$$ out of memory maker!
     

    Tyra1276

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2019
    Oh yeah, we were totally that family when we were there in December. My 2 year old was getting overwhelmed, seemed like every 5 minutes of the week long trip. Screaming, tantrums, etc. It was fun :-/ But there were so many magical moments with him that it is hard to remember how truly horrible he was at times lol
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    I have an only child so no sibling fighting, although he does have a sister by another mother who is 6 years older than him. I did take her with us one year when he was around 8 or so and I did have to have words with them in the car on the drive down and from Daytona to WDW a few times. No problems once we got to Disney. I'm that, I'll turn the car around parent so I can't remember a melt down in public. And I have actually turned the car around and just gone back home so no idle threats from me and my son knew it. I was also a single mom and had been known to take my son to visit the bathroom for a "discussion" if he got out of hand. Thankfully, for some reason that never happened at Disney. I think he was just so happy to be there that he didn't want to screw it up. Oddly enough, now that he is an adult, there have been trips to Disney where we have had to go different ways for a while because he was pouting.
     

    tamerbelles

    Bippidi Bobbidi Buckeye
    Joined
    Sep 24, 2015
    Yes, we have been there! Despite our best planning and intentions, both of my kids have had meltdowns in the parks. The worst is when you're in a restaurant and just want to leave but can't because your meal isn't over (and you know half the reason they're upset is because they are hungry!) ... A waitress at 50s Prime Time could clearly tell that was the case with my son and luckily played it up as part of the schtick. He eventually ate and was a different child. WHEW!

    Also I can commiserate with the poster above on fighting with in-laws. I about lost my cool on my FIL because he complained about EVERYTHING at WDW. Lesson learned: Disney isn't for everyone ... Don't vacation with those people!
     
  • DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    Something my family has learned to be of immense importance in terms of any family outing or vacation is being very careful with our expectations. And now, even for the simplest day trip, we discuss everyone's expectations ahead of time.
    A.) It allows you to know ahead of time if everyone's ideas of a fun time don't align.
    B.) It helps to go over your plan out loud and ask yourself if you're being realistic.

    It sounds like maybe your expectations weren't terribly realistic---like maybe you were hoping the Magic of Disney would enthrall your kids enough to stop some of their very common, very typical, very age appropriate tendencies such as squabbling with one another, impatience in line, etc. We find our kids have *more* behavior issues when they are incredibly excited---leading up to a birthday or Christmas, and on vacation. It's like they've used up all of their patience anticipating the holiday or event and when the big day/week/trip arrives, they have empty tanks!
    Even now, when my kids are older,we still try to remind them in advance of the things that will happen that they won't love, and to have plans A,B,&C in our minds for dealing with those things. Because even big kids can get impatient or grumpy if they get too tired or the waits start being consistently long.

    We've definitely been there, done that, and all you can do is try to learn from it for next time. I'm sorry it put a damper on things for you. :( Better luck next time!!


    (I know we have stories, but I'm drawing a blank on any particular ones right now. I will say, though, that DS #1 went through a phase where the types of things he might eat in the parks---fries, nuggets, soda---"special treats" in other words, would randomly make him immediately sick...like puking all over the ground or once even while we were still in the restaurant! That phase was a real joy, let me tell you. Ugh! Because, of course, this is the kids who adores trying new foods and eating out. Now, my youngest--stomach of steel, but hates everything. "Have kids!" they said. "It'll be fun!", they said. ;) ;) ;) )
     
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    DisLiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2018
    Just to add, I think a hard part about parenting in a Disney Park is that there often isn't a convenient quiet place available to "pull over" as a family and try to chill a situation out. And leaving is often tricky, because it takes a darn long time to leave a park, and many folks are dealing only with Disney transportation. Who wants to deal with a tantrum on a bus or a meltdown on the monorail---not me!!

    So one thing we try to do is to either have some sort of quieter places in mind ahead of time, or scan around each new land or area as we go through in case we need to go have a moment away from the crowds to deal with an issue.
     

    serenitynow

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2005
    Yes, we have been That family at Disney. Below is just one of my old posts on the subject ...
    OH yes, magical Disney moments we have had -

    - large crowd at Epcot Character Spot, our 4 year old boy having his picture taken with Pluto. Pluto leans down to take a picture and the 4 year old screams out "Pluto touched my private place". You could have heard a pin drop. Poor Pluto.

    - Same trip, same 4 year old at the Port Orleans French Quarter bus stop at night. It was our first family trip with an ECV , first time getting it off the bus, so DH was watching me to make sure I got the ECV off the bus okay, he gets off, 4 year old doesn't get off the bus. Bus pulls away to stop at all the Riverside stops. Parents get hysterical.

    - 2 year old grandbaby loves the elevator. Loves to randomly push the buttons if not stopped. Every time an elevator door opens, he runs on. Lost him twice when get he runs onto an empty elevator and pushes the buttons. Everybody freaks out.

    - Family rule #1 is no whining at Disney. We are waiting for the ferry at the close of Magic Kingdom one night. Everyone is tired and cranky. I have reminded the group about Disney rule 1 a few times already. One grandson begins the whine I turn around and say, Rule 1 and 3 year old grandson says "That means stop the freaking whining"! Except he uses the real F word at the top of his lungs. Unfortunately, people laugh, so 3 year old files that one away to repeat many more times throughout the trip.

    - Same potty mouth 3 year old grandson at Epcot begins the potty dance. I ask him if he needs to go potty, he says okay and whips it out. I scream, no not here. Hold it until we can get to a bathroom. So he literally is holding "it" and I have to tell him to put it back in his pants.

    - Same 3 year old while stuck on the monorail finally screams "I need a drink, dammit". A fellow passenger screams back "Me too".
     

    Orionreplay

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2019
    We were that family too. Standing in line forever. My 9 year old son begins thrashing the ropes, hitting just about everyone near us. We're apologizing to everybody with our eyes and smiles and trying to get him to stop. My 12 year old daughter gets fed up with him and begins punching him. He now retaliates, but is leaving the ropes alone.

    We reached a point where my wife had to stand in front of her and I had to stand behind my son to keep them separated.
     
  • gtpoohbear

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2008
    We've had a few over the years. OP, 4yo is the absolute worst, so I feel your pain! Both of mine were extremely difficult at that age. I think that with time, we start to remember the good parts of the trip, and are more easily able to overlook the bad. But no one says it's easy.

    The worst of ours was in 2014 (DS was 4yo, no surprise!). He had been happily playing at the Boneyard in AK, while we waited for our Everest FP. To say that he was not ready to leave when it was time is the understatement of the year, lol! Luckily, it was one of the only trips that we brought a stroller, and we did finally manage (between DH and I both) to forcibly strap him into it. Over an hour of non-stop screaming, crying, kicking, flailing, etc. ensued. We thought he would settle after a few minutes of riding in the stroller, but we were wrong. I really didn't understand how he even had the stamina to go on for that long, with that level of intensity. And ohhhh, the looks we got!

    After about 20 minutes, DD (11yo at the time) got so upset about the whole situation that she started having her own meltdown. And then DH started having a meltdown too because he was so frustrated with both of them. By that time, I'd had it with all 3 of them, and stomped off on my own to go ride Everest, lol! They were all still going at it when I got done. It was a rough morning, to put it mildly.

    As it happened, DS had his tonsils removed right after that trip. And I have to say, it was like a different kid came out of that operation. He's now 9yo, and I don't think he has had a full-blown meltdown since then. It truly changed our lives. But at the time, we were still in the thick of it, and these massive temper tantrums were a near daily occurrence. His sister had them too, but unfortunately hers never had such a clear fix.
     

    Rory607

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2016
    After about 20 minutes, DD (11yo at the time) got so upset about the whole situation that she started having her own meltdown. And then DH started having a meltdown too because he was so frustrated with both of them. By that time, I'd had it with all 3 of them, and stomped off on my own to go ride Everest, lol! They were all still going at it when I got done. It was a rough morning, to put it mildly.
    My H does this after a certain point, too. Ugh. When ours were tired/grumpy last trip he started getting so irritated and annoyed at them. I asked him calmly to please act like the adult and not add to the bad behavior! I knew he was ticked at me, but he didn't say anything and his attitude did improve. And guess what...so did the kids, lol. We went on to have a good day, but I felt like I had 3 kids for a while.
     

    CalSea12

    Desperately needs a dose of the magic!
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2011
    Almost once every one of our trips, which is like every year!
    Our first family trip was pretty magical unless we were on the bus. My now 8 year old but then 2 year old freaked out every time we got on a Disney bus. She would freak out so much that she would kick, scream, and bite me. I did everything I could to hold her and my tears in. It was so embarrassing. That trip my husband also lost his glasses and so for about 3 days he only had 50 percent vision. He learned quickly to always bring a back up pair.

    Then on my mother/daughter only trip with my at the time 4 year old (the same 8 year old as above) she threw a 9.0 Richter scale of a fit at Cape May. I had to stop eating my very first plate of food and get our bill because she wouldnt calm down.

    On our trip when she was 5 she screamed that we were kidnapping her and we weren't her parents just because she didnt want to leave MK. She caused such a ruckus that a CM had to check us out lol that was fun.
     

    mjkacmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2006
    My kids were 4, 4, 6, 9 and 11, they didn’t bucket at all during the 10 day vacation, until the ride from the airport home. However, I had a not good moment when ds4 refused to ride test track. He is fearless, I knew he’d love it, but no. I told him if he wasn’t going to ride, we were going back to the beach club. So we walked back to the beach club. I had planned the perfect vacation for months, how dare he said no😂.

    Anyway, I eventually realized I was crazy, and when both 4 year old started crying at the MK fireworks and wanted to leave, I said no problem, and the 3 of us headed to the buses.
     

    DisneynBison

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2012
    Of all the trips ours have went pretty well. "And there it is", that is what I tell my wife when a family is having a meltdown by us and we are waiting for one of the parents to say "IT" . I will just say wait for it, wait for it......................, the saying we are waiting for is "Do you know how much I paid for this vacation.............." That is when I look at my wife and the "And there it is" comes out.

    We did have a major meltdown last year with my 12 year old daughter and I try to be pretty nonchalant but man was she being a total well to put it nicely "crab". We were outside Avatar land and she just started being obnoxious like I had never seen before. I put up with a bunch till she got in my wife's face and she has never done that before. Well everyone in the area heard my response as she was told loudly and forcefully to settle down and to never do that again. I turned her around toward the front of the park and just said very loudly "March.............. to the buses". Well she did start and we followed and she got way in front of us but she took a left to go to the parking lot and not the busses. We stopped at the fork in the path and waited, I was surprised how far she got before she turned around and noticed we were not behind her and she was going the wrong direction as she has been to the parks a lot in her life and prides herself on knowing where everything is and how to get there. Well she got over it and to this day has never got in my wife's face again.
     

    fairygagamother

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2012
    We’ve definitely had those moments at least once every trip! By far the worst one was when my Dgd absolutely, positively did not want to stand in line for the Frozen ride. Her behavior was so bad that I think she was temporarily possessed! She was talking back, making awful pre-teen faces & refusing to listen to her mother. She is ordinarily a sweetheart & very laid back, so , not only was it shocking, it was terribly embarrassing. I’m sure everyone around us thought she was an out of control spoiled brat. And I kind of did too on that particular day!
     

    ucf_knight

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2017
    We just returned from a week at WDW which was eagerly anticipated by the whole family. And I have to say.... I felt rather let down through most of it. My kids' behaviour was just off the wall ridiculous. We took lots of breaks, we didn't wait in a ton of long lines... but my 4 year old was just being completely irrational at least 50% of the time (which he does at home too, so I really should not have been surprised). We were the ones with *those kids* in line who were yelling at each other, pulling on the ropes... to the point of time-outs on park benches to decide if we stayed in the park or not.

    Please make me feel better and tell me I'm not alone! It really put a damper on my enjoyment of our vacation and I found it really hard to find the magic in the day.
    I’m curious if you (or the others who have shared their stories) stay in the park all day. Even with breaks it’s tiring for our kids (6,4) so we get to the park at opening and stay till 1 then head back to the hotel for naps for our 4yo. We may go back to a park for dinner but never stay out past bedtime. We maintain the same schedule at home as we do on vacation and it’s worked for us so far.
     

    la79al

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2005
    This is comforting to read. My kids fight a lot at home if all 3 of them are together. I have 2 that get super grumpy the second they get too hungry, one of those that hates to drink but will get headaches from being dehydrated or getting too much sun, 1 that is generally never happy with what she gets and always wants more and a DH with very little patience. Our trip isn't for a few weeks and although I would love for things to go smoothly, they won't. I'm trying to lower my expectations for behavior so maybe they will do better than I expect.
     

    lorenae

    I'm going to Disney World!
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2015
    We were that family too. Standing in line forever. My 9 year old son begins thrashing the ropes, hitting just about everyone near us. We're apologizing to everybody with our eyes and smiles and trying to get him to stop. My 12 year old daughter gets fed up with him and begins punching him. He now retaliates, but is leaving the ropes alone.

    We reached a point where my wife had to stand in front of her and I had to stand behind my son to keep them separated.
    At least you apologized to the people who were in the path of the hitting. I spent a long time in the Safari FP line (it was a very long FP line- longest I’ve ever seen) being kicked and hit by a bunch of kids with a day who was on his phone and grandma on her scooter texting. They were aiming for each other, but I got kicked in the shins several times, full-on smacked into, and had ropes hitting me as they launched themselves from the ropes into each other. Not a word as the adults stared at the phones as we slowly walked through the line. I said “OUCH, that hurt” once but they didn’t look up and the kids didn’t stop, so I let others go in front of me to save my sanity (and legs).

    I know “kids will be kids” and that waiting is hard, but these were not small kids, maybe 9-13 yrs old. I think the adults just had enough and could tune it out.
     





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