Yes I just corrected someone else’s kid at Walt Disney World. While I would love to correct strangers kids on a regular basis here, I typically refrain. I usually save the correcting for children that I see doing something that is or will directly impact my children. You know like the big kids splashing in the shallow end where Carson and Courtney are. But last night, I couldn’t stop myself. Now before I set the scene and tell you what happened, I want to say that I know as a parent, I too have moments where I am not being the best parent. Try me at 3 in the morning with a toddler who still doesn’t want to go bed and is fighting me with everything he has….(love that spectrum!)
So as we were leaving Magic Kingdom last night, just got off our monorail and we were walking from the ticketing and transportation center to our van. Patrick was giving me a much needed break from pushing the stroller and Stevie was bouncing along beside him. Becca and I were casually (ok our feet hurt and we were dragging) strolling a few feet behind them, when we saw it. At the corner of the t&t station there is a little gift shop, and in front of that gift shop was a little girl about 4 years old (ish) and another little girl, about 7/8 years old (ish), the three adults with them were a good 6 feet away walking up the sidewalk to the parking lot. Two women and a man. The younger girl was screaming and throwing a tantrum, as often occurs at WDW. No surprise there, but what happens next just makes my skin crawl. The older girl grabs the little girl by her wrist and starts yanking on her, pulling her. She has both hands wrapped around this little girls wrist and is yanking and tugging her along, while the younger girl is fighting her with everything in her to let her go. In my head I am thinking ok this mom is going to turn around and deal with this. So Becca and I look at each other and both of us are like, um this isn’t ok. After a few moments the parents have still not so much as turned around to even look at the girls, and I can take it no more. In my head I keep seeing a number of situations playing out. The little girl falls and gets hurt. The bigger girl pulls her arm out of the socket…. So that is when I hear myself, in a raised voice spurt out, “Hey, stop that!”, at the same time I hear my daughter also speaking up. I have no idea what she was saying or if she was talking to me. I just know I couldn’t believe these parents were not dealing with their children.
Well all of a sudden those parents can now parent their child and not leave it to their 7/8 year old. Now is when they turn and yell at me, that if I didn’t like it, then I can go buy their 4 year old a rootbeer. That is why she was throwing the tantrum apparently. Now I can appreciate being exasperated at a tantrum throwing child, but leaving the parenting to your other child, young child at that, is just wrong, especially when she is putting your younger child in danger. Oh they were all kinds of pissed that I told their 7/8 year old to stop dragging their 4 year old. All they could see was a tantrum throwing child. I mean come on people, how hard is it to walk over to child and if need be, pick them up and tell them no. If they throw a tantrum, just let them scream it out while calmly carrying them off to the car. Or heck take a minute and stand there and wait it out. It will stop, eventually. Even a toddler on the autism spectrum tantrums eventually stop. Trust me, I know. I just keep thinking if I had seen any of my children ever doing that to one another, oh heads would have been flying!
If you are a parent of young children, or child, and you are not aware that a tantrum will happen while at Disney. Then you are fooling yourself and living in a fantasy land of your own. If you are unable, ill equipped or just a plain old bad parent, then please stay home and do not come to Disney. I know for me and my family, it would be a much nicer visit if I don’t have to worry about your children.
photo credit - http://www.the-parenting-magazine.com/child-behavior-problems/managing-your-childs-temper-tantrums/