Monday, July 9, 2001 6:57 PM
I have started my three year old on some coasters that he is tall enough to ride.There is one particular coaster at SFgadv that makes a very loud sound when it breaks into the station and,this is the only thing that seems to scare my son.My husband took a chance and dragged him back on this on Saturday and much to my suprise,he was afraid at first but after he got off he immediately ran back to the entrance.Such a proud moment for me and,he rode it four more times :)My question is,do you all think it's Ok to force him on? I am not completely comfortable with this but,he does realize he likes them after i get him on them.Noise is the only thing that seems to bother him,anyone have a solution for this? Thanks!
"Enthusiasts Do it in the rain"
Monday, July 9, 2001 7:00 PM
Yes, my parents just let me ride the Kiddie coaster at Darien Lake (now SFDL) and they say that is where my roller coaster love started! Tjhey said I wouldn't get off of it! Making you child go on a ride he or she might be afraid of can be a positive experience, they can overcome fears, much like your son did.
Did you realize that Theme Park Nacho cheese isn't really cheese?
Monday, July 9, 2001 8:13 PM
Can't help you with this one. My 2 1/2 year old daughter isn't afraid of anything yet. She's been on kiddie coasters and spin-n-spews, like music express, trabant, paratrooper, flyers, twister, etc., that most adults can't handle anymore. Me included, unless I have my dramamine. :)
Christ how do you kids do it
Monday, July 9, 2001 8:21 PM
"Can't help you with this one. My 2 1/2 year old daughter isn't afraid of anything yet. She's been on kiddie coasters and spin-n-spews, like music express, trabant, paratrooper, flyers, twister, etc., that most adults can't handle anymore. Me included, unless I have my dramamine. :)
I am rite there with you on the dramamine for the spin n pukes :) My boy likes all of the flat rides to.The only thing bothering him is loud noise like,hard breaks or chain lifts.He even likes the log flumes as bumpy as they are going up the lift but,they are quieter.I just get a bit nervous when people stare at my husband while he is nicely pulling my son to the train and my son is saying,No daddy i'm afraid.The thing is,once he gets on them he is over the noise and raring to go back on :)
"Enthusiasts Do it in the rain"
Monday, July 9, 2001 9:01 PM
That's a tough one. I don't know if I'd *force* him on, but if it's just simple apprehension and you encourage him to ride then there's nothing wrong with that. I'd ride with him and assure him that it's ok and help him understand the fun of it all.
I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who LOVES amusement parks. She screams and laughs and puts her hands up and everything. There's something very fun about hopping on a "family" coaster like Woodstock Express at CP or Road Runner at SFWOA with someone so enthused to be riding.
Plus she's tall for her age (43 inches) so she meets the height requirement for some "bigger" rides already. She's done Spiderman at IOA and I know she's tall enough to ride Tower Of Terror at Disney/MGM already! We'll have to see how that one goes as we'll be at MGM in early September.
Someday I'll probably be paying therapy bills for all of this... ;)
Monday, July 9, 2001 9:57 PM
"My question is,do you all think it's Ok to force him on?
I'll give this one a resounding NO!. My son was 8 when I took him on Space Mountain. He did not ride the first time we went through, strictly by his choice. When he saw the fact we survived and actually enjoyed the ride, he rode, by his choice. HE overcame his fear; I simply encouraged. By the end of that season he was riding Magnum with his hands up the entire ride.
I've seen too many parents "force" kids - screaming and crying - on rides. This, to me, is child abuse. At some parks, I've seen ride ops ask the kid if they want to ride - ignoring the parent's reply, and letting them off if they desire.
This is supposed to be fun for the kids - not torture.
So many coasters - so little time.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 6:58 AM
Never force them. They should always want to do it, even though a little apprehension is understandable. My child rode Rebel Yell, but absolutely put her foot down about not wanting to ride Hurler and Grizzly. I didn't push it. She was a little shaky on Rebel Yell, but got off jumping up and down. I knew then that she liked it and therefore didn't feel pushy about asking her to ride again.
Even if they wait in line but back out just as they are next, don't make them ride. (She did that to me on one coaster, but I totally understood.)
I had my daughter with me in line for H:XLC. One man asked me if she was going to ride. I said "No, she is only 7 and is just waiting with us". He said that the reason he asked is because he was in line for H:XLC one time and saw a parent literally force his terrified child to ride. He said that the child was in tears, just grabbing anything he could to hold onto. He said he started to turn the parent in. I told him I would never ever do that to my child, and as a matter of fact, just for her being patient in the H:XLC line, we were going straight to the Rugrats Toonpike afterwards. (But she really did think being the only kid in the H:XLC line was pretty cool.)
Even though I would love for my child to ride all coasters, I can see that she is taking baby steps riding right now, and may never want to conquer some coasters. That is fine with me. She is more of a spin and spew ride girl. She loves those types of ride. Of course, I hate them and refuse to ride. But the main thing is we have fun meeting in the middle. That is all that matters.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:18 AM
I would never force anyone to ride if they didn't want to; especially my kids. My son is 14 and has only ridden Pegasus (Big Chief's) and Big Thunder Mountain (WDW). He refuses to get on anything bigger and I won't force him. I figure it's his decision and he has his reasons for not going. I'm just hoping over time he gets over whatever it is that's bothering him and he decides to go on more.
Now my daughter (age 9) is starting to get into the coaster groove. She's been on several coasters and is taking those first few steps towards larger coasters. This weekend I'm taking my kids to Michigan's Adventure and I'll see what she does there. I'm fairly certain she'll do the smaller coasters (maybe not the looping steel) but I really want to see what she will say about Shivering Timbers. It would definitely be the biggest coaster she's ever been on but I will not force her if she says "No".
As a side note. Last year while waiting for MF, a group of people badgered their friend into riding when he really didn't want to ride. As the train pulled from the station, the guy freaked and opened his seat belt. The ride op saw this and hit the emergency stop. This totally screwed up the ride for the next 2 hours.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:32 AM
Thanks for all of your responses :) I would never force my son on if he was crying and screaming.My son just whispered to his dad on Saturday that he was afraid and then my husband told him it is fun and that he would hold him and talk to him the whole time.My son was backing up at first but after some smooth talk from my husband,he willingly went on the ride and then discovered he loved it.He is not afraid of the coasters themselves and,the kid has no fear of heights or speed because he loves the sky ride and the scrambler rides.He is basically scared of the noises they make.I am considering ear plugs for him :)
"Enthusiasts Do it in the rain"
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:47 AM
I think people in this country are much too quick to put the "child abuse" label on things, but that is a discussion best had elsewhere.
I wouldnt *force* such a young child on rides, but once they get to about 8-10, I think it's okay. This comes from a slightly warped persective because that is exactly what happend to me. I didnt like coasters (I'm *still* scared of heights) but my parents knew what was best for me. And to this day I thank my dad for literally picking me up and placing me in line for Dragon Fyre.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 9:11 AM
My little brother (who was 9 at the time) had only been on a few coasters in his entire life one time, and we badgered my dad into taking us to King's Island. He finally gave in and took me and my brother to PKI. After shelling out 40 bucks for my brother to get in, my little brother than chickened out of every coaster there. Finally, my dad put his foot down and FORCED him to go on the Racer. My little bother was terrified and started crying on the way up the lift hill. But in the end, he ended up enjoying himself. On a similar occasion at Hersheypark, we walked through the Comet 3 Times with him before he eventually got on it! I think that if you're paying full price to take a kid to an amusement park he wanted to go to, then you should have the right to make him go on something!
Word to your mothers
The One The Only Coaster God
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 1:04 PM
Remember just becuase they are young they are still PEOPLE who can think and DECIDE on thier own. I have two children, a ten year old who is petite but can now ride Millennium Force at CP thanks to a height change...as season pass holders we have been to CP ten times already this season but she hasn't ridden yet. She will ride the NEXT time;) we hope. This is HER decision...all I have done is encourage her...not belittled her or teased her for not riding or worse drag her on because I know she would like.
The best thing to do is expose the children to coasters early and often...if not in person through the many TV shows Discovery and others show. My 6 year old LOVES coasters but is still too short to ride..when he is ready he is all set to jump on...this is because he has watched us ride, along with the videos and any books I can show him about roller coasters.
Keep in mind--It is better to lose the battle and win the war...meaning, if the children don't want to ride now, maybe next time...and once they ride, there will be no stopping them.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 3:12 PM
I have a grandaugther who is 2 1/2 years old and recently took her first coaster ride on a portable junior coaster.I will slowly introduce her to larger coasters as she gets older.I am looking forward to taking her on my favorite coaster(Coaster at the PNE/Playland in Vancouver,BC)if it is still standing then.However,I will not force her to go on a ride if she seems afraid of it.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 4:16 PM
One should never force somone to ride. At CP last year, I witnessed a father who was trying to force his daughter to ride Iron Dragon. The girl was crying so the ride ops told the dad that they could not allow her to ride in that state. The girl got off and so did the father. He wasn't happy about it. Thank goodness for the ops. That girl was terrified.
After riding lots of coasters including Wild Thing and Magnum, my son (then 9) suddenly became afraid of heights last season and wouldn't even ride Disaster Transport, a ride he had ridden before. We never forced the issue and this year he is riding again. He was nervous on Steel Force, but he got in line himself and had fun (after the first hill.) His new favorite ride is Phantom's Revenge.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001 7:48 PM
Wow,i hope you all don't think that i am dragging my son on kicking and screaming and crying!! I guess i should explain a little better..The first time we approached this coaster my son was eager to ride it.We got in the queue and all was fine until the train came back in the station and made some very rough breaking noise.My son flipped out and then i walked him away from the ride and told him it was ok.I did not attempt to drag him on.
Saturday my husband asked my son if he wanted another try at it and my son flat out told him no,backed up and said he was afraid.My husband asked him what he was afraid of and then my son covered his ears to let us know that he was just afraid of the noise it made.My husband then proceeded to tell him that the coaster was fun and the noise wouldn't hurt him and if he wanted to he could cover his ears and my husband would let him know when to do it.I stood there and watched four people look at my sons first reaction and,i was kind of worried they thought we were being bad parents.
My son then willingly went on the coaster and after he got off ran back to the entrance and told my husband he wanted to do it again.My son was in no way scared while the coaster was in motion in fact,he copied my husband and put his hands up.My son did however continue to cover his ears when it was time for the train to start breaking.
I love my son with all my heart and i would never ever pull or drag him on anything he didn't want to go on.As badly as i would like for coaster trips to be a huge family thing,i will not tease or make fun of my son or,be in any way dissapointed in him if he does not like them.My husband feels the same way but,he figured if he at least talked to my son about it and tried again,maybe my son would truly realize the noise wasn't going to harm him.My son loves heights and loves all fast flat rides so,we knew he was more afraid of the noise then the actual ride.Now that i have explained myself,please don't feel as though i am a bad parent.I have seen parents dragging their kids on kicking and screaming and i just wanted to see how the opinions on the matter would vary but,this wasn't meant to look like this is something i plan on doing to my kids.
"Enthusiasts Do it in the rain"
Thursday, July 12, 2001 8:53 PM
Just remember, no matter what people say, write, opine, express, tell, cajole, or threaten, that YOU are the best parent your son could possibly have. YOU have spent every minute of your past years, and all of your love and energy raising your son as you best see fit, so have self-confidence in your own ability to be a great parent. I know that I am the best dad that my daughter could ever have, IMHO ;-).
Take care, and good luck with the coaster training
"Just remember, wherever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Banzai
Sunday, July 15, 2001 8:34 PM
This is not for Rickyswmn but just a general post. Please DON'T EVER force or pressure a child (or anyone really!) to go on a ride. I was talked into to (ok, pressured) onto a ride when I was somewhere around 9 or 10. It was a large ferris wheel. I was so terrified that when the ride op let me off (after it went around twice) I was hysterically crying and could even tell where the exit was. I wound up walking down the entrance ramp. I was alos terribly embarrassed that I was so upset but to this day I HATE ferris wheels and the huge ones they have in parks now (like SFDL or Great Escpape)literally make me feel nauseous. I will not allow my kids (who really are old enough to make up their minds about going on them) on the big wheels because of the anxiety I get just from looking at them. I know it is totally irrational but I can't help it. I also cannot stand to be on a ride with a frightened kid because it was suck a traumatic event for me. I make my husband go on coasters with the kids for their first time. Once I know they like it I can go on it with them. (I ride them without the kids all the time though. :) )
I wonder if I would feel they same way if I hadn't been pressured to "just give it a try."
No one should tell a kid to be brave or buck up or whatever just to get them to go on a ride they are scared of.
(Stepping off my soap box now)