Parental Etiquette at a Theme Park

Monday, August 25, 2008 9:37 AM
I don't like being around people that relentlessly scold their kids. Of course, I think their behavior is just a reflection of their frustration when it comes to now knowing how to keep their children well-behaved. Long days at amusement parks will push kids to their limits, which in turn pushes parents to their limits as it reveals their parental failings.


Lord Gonchar said:
I don't see that as much at the parks as I see the opposite - parents who think once they enter the gate that no rules apply at all and their kids can do whatever the hell they want.


rollergator said:
I just wish parents would stop sending their children into rides lines while getting food, taking potty breaks, etc., so they can "catch up to them" in mid-queue. Used to be the kids asking to catch up to the parents, more and more it's the other way around.

Definitely, and definitely. The biggest problem I have at parks is not high food prices and rides being down, it's kids who think that their exempt from the rules of the line, and parents that support that kind of thinking. I'm pretty passive and let that behavior slide because I go to amusement parks to avoid stress related to confrontations, but a good friend of mine doesn't stand for it and has no problem telling anyone to get to the back of the line. I particularly enjoy it when the parents tell him, "I know how to discipline my own children" and he responds by asking them why they choose not to. Very rarely do they have an answer for that one.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 10:02 AM

Kick The Sky said:
My biggest problem is people who do not look where they are going when they are pushing a stroller around the park.

That's one of the reasons I'm glad Disney doesn't allow wagons. If people pay this little attention to the object in FRONT of them, they really aren't going to notice when its behind them.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 10:24 AM
If a kids climbing the fences, and basically could fall into the ride area, or fall backwards and break their head, you need to discipline them. That's what I see too often. It's kids climbing on things. If you don't discipline them, they are going to keep on doing it over and over again until something bad happens.

Maybe, the parent was thinking they if they mixed the sodas, that they would get sick from that.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 12:53 PM

bunky666 said:

IronHorse, there were parents at CP that were forcing their kid to ride on stuff they didn't want to ride. The kid chickened out, and the ride op said, "Parents, please don't force your kid to ride these rides." The whole crowd cracked up. Bet that parent felt a little crunchy.


Here's the part of the story where I go all contrarian to the typical enthusiast...

I am not morally against "forcing" kids on rides. I would give a parent more leeway than most of you appear willing to give. Though a kid might protest, even to the point of tears, it's quite possible that this 'forced riding' is not a case of abuse, but rather the parent knowing that her child can handle the ride if they could just get past the initial fear.

I speak as one who was once that "forced" child. While I've pretty much always been facinated by roller coasters, I would not ride them...until one day my dad decided enough was enough and into line we went. Even further, another time, after I had already ridden a coaster, I begged off a re-ride, but again, my father decided it was in my best interests to ride again and physically carried me into line. Far from being scarred, I thank my dad for doing so.

I have no preconcieved notions of how I'll handle my own son. Best case, he just is naturally daring. However, if I sense that he is really ready, but hasnt come to terms with it yet, I could very well be "that parent". ;)

Similarly, he's gonna learn to swim at a young age regardless. I believe he'll thank *me* for that when he's older.
lata, jeremy

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Monday, August 25, 2008 1:03 PM

Juggalotus said:

Kick The Sky said:
My biggest problem is people who do not look where they are going when they are pushing a stroller around the park.

That's one of the reasons I'm glad Disney doesn't allow wagons. If people pay this little attention to the object in FRONT of them, they really aren't going to notice when its behind them.


I will say that, having pushed a stroller at the WI state fair and several county fairs (no amusement parks yet... 10 mo old is a bit too young), it is a challenge even if you are paying attention to where you are going. We've had people step over the stroller as they are walking right in front of us, step on the wheels as we walked, and many other things. I keep thinking I need to armor plate it to protect the baby in the stroller:-)

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Monday, August 25, 2008 1:14 PM
You're not kidding. I've seen people -- not even kids, adults -- leap across the front wheels of our stroller. I've had basketballs whack the frame, one or two only narrowly missing our child. The horror stories go on and on.

Thankfully, our daughter is six now and long since out of any stroller.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 1:56 PM
To be fair, I've been run into by strollers too. A couple times I had no choice but to jump out of the way.
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Monday, August 25, 2008 2:23 PM
Ugh... psycho parents! Those are the parents you see who do nothing but cuss their kids out and yell at them for every darn thing they do.

It's going to be a little while still until we try to venture into a large park now that we have a 2 week old. In the meantime we have taken our 2 and a half year old son to Memphis Kiddie Park and his mom and I took turns riding with him.

I'm guilty of the stroller problem. I love it because people typically move aside when I'm coming at them with my stroller, but I have never HIT anyone intentionally. We're still trying to decide how to handle going to the park with two kids because one of them is too big for a tandem stroller, but too small to be running around on his own all the time. We're going to try the wagon route, but we might just use a second stroller just in case he needs to sit down for a while.

One thing that I love about CP this year is the addition of the Family Care Center. It's a great place to go to cool off, drink a little water and let the little one chill out and play with some toys. Plus mom can nurse the infant at the same time.

~Rob Willi

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Monday, August 25, 2008 2:32 PM

2Hostyl said:


I am not morally against "forcing" kids on rides. I would give a parent more leeway than most of you appear willing to give. Though a kid might protest, even to the point of tears, it's quite possible that this 'forced riding' is not a case of abuse, but rather the parent knowing that her child can handle the ride if they could just get past the initial fear.


That's a very good point. A lot of kids need a little push in order to get over that initial fear. I know plenty of people who have more or less admitted wishing for a chance to go back and overcome their fears of rides while young. Putting a kid on a small ride isn't abuse because if they don't like it, the worst thing that will happen is they get off the ride with tears in their eyes.

Before my wife was my wife, I took her to Knoebels and got her to ride the Phoenix, which was about four times larger than anything she had ever ridden. She really hated that first ride but I coaxed her into riding again and again, and by the end of the night she was having the time of her life. She has now ridden over 200 coasters so it's obvious she's happy to have been "forced" to ride.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 2:37 PM
Rob had to force his wife to ride wood?

Jokes.....too many to choose...must behave! ;)

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Monday, August 25, 2008 3:49 PM
You think I'm having the time of my life over here biting my tongue? ;)
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Monday, August 25, 2008 4:28 PM
Wood jokes. Heh heh. ;)
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Monday, August 25, 2008 4:33 PM

Mamoosh said:
Rob had to force his wife to ride wood?

Jokes.....too many to choose...must behave!


But it was 4x larger than anything she had previously ridden. :)

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Monday, August 25, 2008 4:41 PM
Man, if I was hung 25% of a coaster, I'd join the freak show.
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Monday, August 25, 2008 6:51 PM
And people scratch their head as to why there are so few women who post on CoasterBuzz.
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Monday, August 25, 2008 8:00 PM
That's why these guys are bragging about their wood - to attract the ladies.
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Monday, August 25, 2008 8:12 PM
IMHO this site is no different than any other: mostly men and a sprinkling of women.
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Monday, August 25, 2008 8:23 PM
^Women are too busy working...priorities all out of whack... ;)
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Monday, August 25, 2008 11:07 PM
Okay, I'm a woman and a mother. I'm looking forward to taking my four month old to Dutch Wonderland next summer.

"Forcing" a child onto a ride is a sticky proposition. i was forced onto a cyclops when I was very young (an Enterprise wheel) and it took me twenty years to try one again. When I was forced onto the Enterprise, I was screaming and crying. I remember that.

i was also forced onto the Super Duper Looper but I was older. I had actually decided that I would go on the coaster finally with my mom - I picked mom to go on the coaster with me. Dad seemed a little too gung ho for my comfort at the time. When we got to the train and I saw that there was only a lap bar, I decided I would simply walk through the car and out the exit. My mom, however, grabbed the back waistband of my shorts and said "Erin, if you continue walking off this train, I will pull your pants down in front of all of these people." I rode the coaster, suffice it to say, and I loved it, and insisted we go right back in line and ride it again. I was never screaming or crying in the case of SDL.

It's going to be a very tricky thing to determine if my little guy really should try a ride or not. But if he's screaming and crying, the ride can wait. I'd rather him come around to the ride in a year or two than to be traumatised from it for the next 20.

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Monday, August 25, 2008 11:13 PM

Mamoosh said:
IMHO this site is no different than any other: mostly men and a sprinkling of women.
Unless it's eHarmony. There are more women than men there. :)
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