I know – it’s vacation. There shouldn’t be rules. For my sanity, you couldn’t be further from the truth! We’ve got rules at home, at daycare and at school so it just makes sense to have them on vacation too.
Rule #1: Turn your listening ears on. This is a given, especially at Disney. There are so many people, things to look at and places to go that you have to listen to the group you’re with so everyone stays together. Normally this isn’t a problem with my boys but every now and again they get caught up in the excitement and zig when the group zagged.
Rule #2: You must try every ride once every time we visit. My husband and I instituted this rule right away when we started visiting Disney. My oldest son can sometimes be hesitant to try new things so initially the rule was “you must try every ride”. Once he’d tried the ride, he could then determine if he wanted to ride again or if he was done. On one trip, he’d followed the rule and rode the ride with his father and was not a fan. That’s when I added “every time we visit”. We had a gap where we didn’t visit Disney for about a year and so much can change during that time. Who your ride partner is can also make an impact on your ride experience.
Rule #3: Have fun! We don’t usually have a problem with this rule.
Rule #4: Be respectful. This rule comes in handy for things like shows and restaurants. My kids sometimes have the “eww that’s gross” reaction when they see food they’re not used to. We’ve talked about how just because it’s not something you personally enjoy doesn’t mean everyone should dislike it. My oldest son has also applied this to questions he may have about other park goers (which I’m very thankful for). Disney’s a great place to see and experience things you may not get to at home which can raise questions. Corbin’s learned to ask quietly if he has a question about someone else so they’re not offended or uncomfortable.
Now if you have rules, you have to have consequences right? Well we still do at Disney if behavior’s less than desirable. I have no problem plopping my kid down on a bench or sidewalk to have a little break. We rarely have to do this, which is something that, as a parent, I’m very proud of. So many people have asked me how I deal with my kids whining and asking for things in the stores. It’s simply by following the rules above and following through with our requirements for good behavior. Thankfully my boys have never really been “beggars” when we’re shopping so that’s not a huge issue for our family. If it is for yours, my suggestion would be to have a rule about shopping or purchasing items.
Hopefully these rules will help you set up some expectations with your children before your next trip. I think I speak for everyone that Disney’s much more enjoyable with kiddos (and parents!) who are having a great time.Share