Something I Learned

I’m on vacation with my family in the Happiest Place on Earth. Why,then, do I hear kids crying and parents snapping wherever I go?

Kids are crying because they can’t get the souvenir they want. Parents are snapping at their kids and each other because their nerves are fried by 2pm. It’s all to be expected, but what surprised me was that my 11 year old noticed parents being mean to their kids for no apparent reason, even at the start of the day. He first said something on the first day of our trip. He heard a mom tell her son to, “shut up.”

The experience stunned him. He looked at me with a worried expression, wondering why a parent would ever do that. He worried for the child.

Later in our trip, my 14 year old and I witnessed two women snapping at and really belittling a little girl in their charge. We assumed that one was the mother, not sure who the other was, but after witnessing the scene, Zack said, “I think we’ve just met the ugly step sisters. He seemed less stunned by his experience but no less dismayed by it.

I wonder what’s wrong with these people. Why do they think it’s ok to treat their kids this way?  The way parents talk to their kids shapes the adults they become. Disney World and Universal Studios seem to be a window into the way people live their lives and treat each other.

Today I saw a woman crouched down, hiding behind her baby’s stroller, smoking a cigarette. Really?  What’s the matter with these people?

We are the example of what is right and wrong. We mold our kids into the adolescents and grown ups they will be. Let’s try to lead by example, shall we?

About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a writer, editor, teacher, and (Autism) mom.
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4 Responses to Something I Learned

  1. PJ Geraghty says:

    I went to the magic kingdom with my wife in ~2000. Our kids were 2 and 6 months old, respectively, so we didn’t bring them. Even then, as a relatively novice parent, it was obvious to me: many people had unreasonable expectations…if you bring young kids, they’re not going to go all day. You need to build in some rest time/downtime somewhere in the day. Otherwise everyone gets cranky and frustrated, and no one has a good time.


  2. Peter Thomas Senese says:

    Hi. Not sure if you will have time or if the children would be interested, but I would love to arrange for you guys to visit my good friends at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota (2 hour drive). My good friends who run the sanctuary have about 40 big cats (Lions, Tigers, Ligers, etc), along with bears, and all sorts of ‘petting’ animals. I am sure I could arrange a private tour for you if you would like . . . it is a life changing event, and the Rosaire family is truly wonderful. Please shoot me an email if you would like me to arrange something for your family on behalf of the I CARE Foundation.

    My kindest regards,


  3. Tanya says:

    Hi there! I also went to Magic Kingdom a couple of years ago with my family, and I made it a point to schedule in some rest time, because if I didn’t we would’ve been tired, cranky kids, and irritated parents. While I don’t smoke, I can see how she may have felt. People really should consider these things when planning vacations.


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