Regardless of if you have kids or not, you’ve been somewhere while a child was having a meltdown. Believe it or not, that happens at Disney too! The combination of heat, stimulation and exhaustion is a perfect formula for a meltdown. Here’s another shock for you – it’s not only kids that have meltdowns at Disney! The adults have them too. Luckily, there are a few things you could do to help try and avoid meltdowns as much as possible:
· Stay on schedule. Little ones (and big ones too) will do better if you try and maintain your home schedule while you’re on vacation. Trying to stay up late, get up early and see everything will only wear everyone out making a meltdown almost certain as patience wears thin and tempers grow.
· Have some rules. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “we’re on vacation – there are no rules!”. Without rules you’re setting yourself up for the epic battle to buy everything your child wants in every store you go through during your trip. Instead, you can easily make a deal with everyone in the family that purchases will only be made on the last day (or another specific point in the trip). That will help shut down the meltdown down.
· Be consistent. Now that you have an agreement about when you’re going to buy things, you can’t run into stores to pick something up after telling the kids no. On the other hand, you can’t waffle and let them get something to stop the meltdown – it will only happen the next time they want something.
· Reward the good. The reward itself may not matter – it could be something as simple as pointing out a good choice or going as far as getting them a Mickey bar for being excellent during your morning adventures. More importantly, whoever is making the good choices is being rewarded. If you simply can’t reward just one member of the family, let the one making good choices decide where to sit and enjoy your next break (or snack if you brought them instead of purchasing them), where to get your next snack or meal at or what attraction to visit next.
· Know your limits. You know your family – when they’re reaching their breaking point, don’t push the limits for “just one more thing” before you head back to your resort. Everyone’s worn out and tired so when one meltdown starts, it’s more likely to spread through your group making everyone grouchy. That’s not how you want to end your day.
Keeping everyone calm and happy will help prevent some of these meltdowns. Not all of them can be avoided but you can help reduce the ones your family has.
How does your family handle Disney meltdowns and what are your tips to avoid them?
Lynn Wiltse lives five hours from the most magical place on Earth and is always planning a visit. When she’s not writing for The Disney Moms or WDW Fan Zone, she’s managing The Disney Driven Life or writing for her own blog, My Pixie Dust Diary and planning the next Disney trip while working in finance and human resources full time and spending time with her two pirates and princess.