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Children Who Are or Seem to Be Afraid


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You can see a lot of children being forced on rides at Flying Ace and Woodstock Express.  Twice I saw KI employees ask the kids specifically if they wanted to ride, and in one scenario, the kid was told the ride operator he did not want to ride, and was told to go towards the exit.

 

I think that's exactly how it should be.

 

Each guest is his own person, not his parents.  If said guest wishes not to ride, he will not ride; regardless of whether or not he would have enjoyed the attraction.  Everyone moves at their own pace, and whenever younger guests are ready to conquer the bigger rides, they will.

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You can see a lot of children being forced on rides at Flying Ace and Woodstock Express.  Twice I saw KI employees ask the kids specifically if they wanted to ride, and in one scenario, the kid was told the ride operator he did not want to ride, and was told to go towards the exit.

 

I think that's exactly how it should be.

 

Each guest is his own person, not his parents.  If said guest wishes not to ride, he will not ride; regardless of whether or not he would have enjoyed the attraction.  Everyone moves at their own pace, and whenever younger guests are ready to conquer the bigger rides, they will.

 

YES!  :D

 

Like I said, not all kids will be happy with the experience they have on a roller coaster, and some being forced to ride may cause a bad memory which will make them avoid it in the future. 

 

I can be a real chicken on some of the big and bad coasters. However, I'm a much better person to go to a theme park with if I'm not being forced to ride something I'm not ready for. With each trip I make, I become  a little more comfortable and brave and eventually ride some things I would have never imagined in the past. 

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There are many comments that have already expressed my thoughts on this. Every child and adult is different. A smart and aware adult knows how to gauge their kids. With my three youngest nephews and niece and my best friend's son, there have been four different approaches. My best friend's 14-year-old son refuses to ride all major coasters and rides at Carowinds. No amount of guilt-tripping, cajoling, puppy-dog eyes, or science/technology facts will convince him to ride. I've tried them all and no dice. He just doesn't like how the rides make him feel. That may change as he gets older...but if not, that's okay.

I convinced my oldest nephew that it was a rule that you couldn't visit KI without riding The Beast. Also, hearing that his favorite uncle first rode it at a younger age may have sealed the deal. It took many visits for him to get up the courage to ride Diamondback; I compared the sensations and height to other rides. Science, a touch of guilt trip (you're going to make me ride alone?!) with a side of double dare tends to work for him.

The youngest nephew has absolutely no fear and would ride everything now if he was tall enough. The niece takes some gentle coaxing and quiet encouragement before, an arm around her during the ride, and praise/hi-fives after. I know her mode of "escape" for rides and how to work around it.

I haven't forced any of them to ride anything. If we go to get on a ride and they change their mind, they get to wait in the "cage" or sit outside the exit until we are done. No drama, no "I'm disappointed", just a quick "are you sure" and "okay, wait for me at the exit". We watch the rides and talk about what we see and I encourage their questions. None of them have started or ended their rides with tears. I watch them closely and encourage them as needed.

So far, my game plan has worked. The two youngest talk about how tall they are and which rides they can now ride...and how many more inches until they ride XYZ. The oldest is looking forward to getting the all clear for a CP trip. If things change for the kids, I will change my approach. For now, this works.

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Each guest is his own person, not his parents.  If said guest wishes not to ride, he will not ride; regardless of whether or not he would have enjoyed the attraction.  Everyone moves at their own pace, and whenever younger guests are ready to conquer the bigger rides, they will.

Sorry to single you out, and with all due respect:

 

This is the exact mentality of where the wussification of America started.

 

A scenario:

 

Why did little Johnny cry and want to quit soccer?  Because he did not get a shiney trophy like his buddy down the street.

 

Why didn't he get a trophy?  Because his team came in 6th place.

 

Now, what are the solutions for parents:

 

- Let little Johnny quit.

- Give the 6th place team trophies to make them feel good about themselves & let them believe that they were good enough.

- Teach the child to practice harder & as a parent help him.  Make the child understand that he must earn a trophy.

 

Too many parents are afraid to instill a drive in their kids.  What a select few are calling "force" (which still is such a disgusting term to use given NOBODY here has mentioned using force to make their kids to ride anything) is simply pushing your child to want to achieve goals.

 

Will those who are not pushed still achieve success?  Sure.  As was mentioned here multiple time, yet ignored by some, all kids are different.  But just because some are successful, does not mean they all are.  Just look at those on welfare with smartphones standing in line at the grocery store with expensive food in their cart.  Any bets that they were not pushed as kids?

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Perhaps they are successful by their definition.

One bunch works like crazy. The other has paid smartphones and groceries, such as they are.

It is not for me to judge which has the higher success in their OWN eyes.

It is mind boggling that anyone would consider themselves successful when they are literally living off of a program that they did not work for.

 

Be that as it may, it's those that live off the system that give a bad rap to those that legitimately need to.  

 

But that discussion is a whole other can of worms.........

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Nope, you could be not more incredibly incorrect. Please read everything I wrote as it was meant.

Picking & choosing what to Interpret does not justify your accusation.

I will point out your unfortunate "fearful children" comment though. How can YOU possibly know more than the parent if their own child is actually fearful?

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All I'll say is my parents assumed I was just scared and made me ride rides. When I was about 17, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder. I used to cry and make myself sick to my stomach as a child when I was forced to ride something. Most kids are probably just nervous, but sometimes their fear makes them REALLY uncomfortable. 

 

But parents should know their children fairly well. My mom kind of sensed that my "fear" of rides was not normal. There are quite a few times where I was literally dragged (heels in ground) onto a ride. I wasn't made to ride everything, but I have gotten better over the years. Let kids ride things at their own pace. I don't think it's making wussy kids. And even if they're a wuss, their experience at the theme park might be more well remembered if not being made to ride.

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This is very hard to decide. To be honest, people are thinking grampa is a jerk, but despite our love of State run child rearing- sometimes gramps, a real life family member, who has known this child all his life, knows best.

Last year I went to the children's Halloween, and the girls wanted to ride all the rides they could. This meant that monsters started roaming. The youngest was acting skittish and afraid, I offered to by a "No Scare" for her, but the uncle pulled me aside and said it was all an act.

We got No Scares anyway, because it's a great cheap souvenir, but the uncle knew

My sister loves roller coasters, but she was wey when she was young. My dad knew best.

Before you rebuff, please remember that I'm a person afraid of heights, so I went skydiving.

Let's face it, we all get jittery about some rides, or else we wouldn't ride them. Older people hide the jitter inside.

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Ok. Maybe it's just me, but instilling a drive in kids to achieve goals most certainly has it's place, but when it comes to scenarios that can be severely traumatic for one's kids (roller coasters), I ask why would you force them through such things?

Pushing kids to achieve goals related to work effort (aka little Johnny's soccer game), a skill he can improve; verses a one-time roller coaster which involves no "skill" to ride are two pretty different situations.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Rides create an adrenaline rush.

Adrenaline effects people in many different ways. Surge of energy. Hands shaking. Crying. Outburst of emotion.

Many can mistake this rush and subsequent reaction(s) as "fear".

Trust the parents, and unless you are an actual parent, you really have no clue about when a child is fearful of something and when they need that push that will ultimately give them lifelong confidence.

And no, it is not always just about getting on a ride.

Kids cry going to school the first time. Why? They are fearful of the unknown. Do parents still have the child go? Absolutely. Some here would consider that "force". But is it? We know there is nothing to truly fear and the child does need an education.

Bottom line- trust the parent. What looks to be fear & force can very well be a adrenaline rush & a parent pushing their child to get over fear of the unknown.

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Pushing kids to achieve goals related to work effort (aka little Johnny's soccer game), a skill he can improve; verses a one-time roller coaster which involves no "skill" to ride are two pretty different situations.

No, it is not.

You totally missed the point.

The parent helps the child achieve success through hard work.

The parent helps the child achieve confidence by pushing through fear of the unknown.

Neither one of the above is forcing the child to do anything.

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Its tough because as a parent you dont want your child to hurt, but you also want to instil a sense of pride and accomplishment.  When things get tough or scary in the real world, you cant just quit.  You cant just walk away.  So you want to help push your kid to conquer the little easily conquered activities to instill this mindset for when they are older....

 

In parenting and rearing of children, there has been a shift of focus.  From creating good citizens to creating individuals.  We tell kids to follow their hearts and get a career doing what they want....  Its tough man....

 

As for what I will do, when I feel he is ready, I will help little shark transition to bigger coaster rides.  There may be some forcing.  I will also force him to do his homework every night and do well in school, scouts, sports, and anything else he does.  I will teach him that finding a job he enjoys is important, but more importantly is to find a job that allows him the ability to afford to raise a family and to pursue activities that he wants...

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None of the parks I have ever worked at will allow a child to ride when they are crying/screaming and obviously want off. It's been the policy at all of them that we had to get a confirmation from the child that they wanted to ride. The parent insisting that they're riding just ****ed most of us off. I've removed many a child from a ride that was screaming to be let off after a parent shoved their restraints down on them. And if the parents were jerks, I made them get off with the kid too. If they were understanding and didn't make an issue of the child wanting off, I'd let the kid wait at the exit while the parent rode, but if they were jerks and screaming at the kid to shut up because they were making a scene/had waited in line/some other excuse, I was like "sorry, they can't wait by themselves if they're under 14." Most of my coworkers had the same response. 

 

One of the earliest replies outlined exactly why: You don't want a kid suddenly freaking out and trying to bail mid-lift or trying to escape their restraints (which, honestly, can be done with enough determination on many rides). Or if the ride stops and has to be evacuated, can you imagine trying to safely unload a kid that is already so scared they are screaming when the ride hasn't started yet? It can create incredibly dangerous situations. Unloading a train that has stopped on a lift or brake run can be dangerous enough as it is, you don't want to add in an extra complication of a kid that has become so frightened that they are completely unreasonable and have essentially shut down. 

 

Funny side story: I had a kid board Mystery Mine one time screaming and crying. He was not much over the height requirement, so he was maybe 7 years old? I asked if he was ok and if he wanted to ride and he nodded his head. I looked at his mom who had this mortified look on her face and said "he's crying because his brother just hit him." I couldn't not laugh.

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As someone who spent the first 18 years of his life absolutely mortified of pretty much any thrill ride, I can relate to kids who don't want to ride and it really hurts me to see parents trying to make them ride. The only thing that's going to do is traumatize them and greatly reduce the chance that they will enjoy the ride later in life.
 
Case in point, when I was younger, I went to Disney World with my family, who all decided to ride Tower of Terror. I didn't want to, but none of them were willing to sit out the ride and I didn't want to sit by myself and wait for them to ride, so I got on. Was I forced? No, not really, but I did have to choose between two undesirable options. Anyway, the point is, anyone who knows my ride preferences knows that I'll do anything except droppy rides. And I have a sneaking suspicion that that experience is a big part of that. My next attempt at a droppy ride was in 2011, when my (now ex) girlfriend strongly urged me to ride Drop Tower. I told her over and over that I didn't want to, but she insisted. And not wanting to appear a coward, I rode it. Upon seeing my reaction, she apologized profusely for making me ride that infernal machine. I don't take well to those rides.
 
I am getting better. I can handle small ones like you'd find at Hartland or Carowinds, and I'll ride S&S Space Shots all day (but you could not pay me to get on a Turbo Drop). But the point is, I was "forced" to ride a ride I didn't want to ride when I was young, and now I can't stand anything the slightest bit similar. Maybe they're unrelated, but since I can handle Dragster with no problems, I'd be willing to bet that my reluctance with  droppy rides is a direct result of that incident at Disney.

Side note:

You don't want a kid suddenly freaking out and trying to bail mid-lift or trying to escape their restraints (which, honestly, can be done with enough determination on many rides).

You don't even have to be a kid. I'm a full-grown adult and I could very easily get out of the restraints on any Arrow Looper if I so chose. It really isn't difficult, especially on older coasters.

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I am terrified of swinging ships because of an incident on one as a child. I totally understand irrational childhood ride fears. I somehow got talked into riding Mayflower at Holiday World last weekend. It was the first swinging ship I'd ridden in about 5 years. We sat in the middle row and I was legitimately in tears by the end of the ride cycle and had marks in my hands from grabbing the bar so hard. We got off and immediately rode Voyage twice, because irrational phobias make no sense. 

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As someone who spent the first 18 years of his life absolutely mortified of pretty much any thrill ride, I can relate to kids who don't want to ride and it really hurts me to see parents trying to make them ride. The only thing that's going to do is traumatize them and greatly reduce the chance that they will enjoy the ride later in life.

 

Case in point, when I was younger, I went to Disney World with my family, who all decided to ride Tower of Terror. I didn't want to, but none of them were willing to sit out the ride and I didn't want to sit by myself and wait for them to ride, so I got on. Was I forced? No, not really, but I did have to choose between two undesirable options. Anyway, the point is, anyone who knows my ride preferences knows that I'll do anything except droppy rides. And I have a sneaking suspicion that that experience is a big part of that. My next attempt at a droppy ride was in 2011, when my (now ex) girlfriend strongly urged me to ride Drop Tower. I told her over and over that I didn't want to, but she insisted. And not wanting to appear a coward, I rode it. Upon seeing my reaction, she apologized profusely for making me ride that infernal machine. I don't take well to those rides.

 

I am getting better. I can handle small ones like you'd find at Hartland or Carowinds, and I'll ride S&S Space Shots all day (but you could not pay me to get on a Turbo Drop). But the point is, I was "forced" to ride a ride I didn't want to ride when I was young, and now I can't stand anything the slightest bit similar. Maybe they're unrelated, but since I can handle Dragster with no problems, I'd be willing to bet that my reluctance with  droppy rides is a direct result of that incident at Disney.

Side note:

You don't want a kid suddenly freaking out and trying to bail mid-lift or trying to escape their restraints (which, honestly, can be done with enough determination on many rides).

You don't even have to be a kid. I'm a full-grown adult and I could very easily get out of the restraints on any Arrow Looper if I so chose. It really isn't difficult, especially on older coasters.

You have a point. I did backtrack out of the line with my niece with Phantom Theatre. But I knew her well enough to know her personal fear point.

 

I do get jittery and a little stomach jumpy on a big coaster, that's why I ride them, like browntggr said, it's adrenaline.

I was one to jump on rides as a kid, as soon as I was able. I loved Haunted rides and Funhouses. My sister could be skittish. 

I think what my father did was wise in our case, to encourage my sister to confront her fears. Sibling competition, I guess. 

I don't think it would have been a very good memory for my sister to recall me riding The Whip with my dad, as she sat on a bench watching.

 

He was just sharing what he loved. I can't fault him.

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One of the earliest replies outlined exactly why: You don't want a kid suddenly freaking out and trying to bail mid-lift or trying to escape their restraints (which, honestly, can be done with enough determination on many rides). Or if the ride stops and has to be evacuated, can you imagine trying to safely unload a kid that is already so scared they are screaming when the ride hasn't started yet? It can create incredibly dangerous situations. Unloading a train that has stopped on a lift or brake run can be dangerous enough as it is, you don't want to add in an extra complication of a kid that has become so frightened that they are completely unreasonable and have essentially shut down.

That terrifies me with my youngest niece and nephew. This is the main reason that their first ride (or two) on the bigger flats and roller coasters has to be with me, not their big brother. I know that if they start to show signs of being scared or freaking out, I can distract them enough to get them through it. Also, it lets me make sure they know how to ride it properly - such as keeping hands and arms inside the car and not hanging off the side.

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I went to take my son on Woodstock last year, he was kind of excited until we got on, and then he began to cry. They told me they can't send the train if a kid is crying, and they made me take him off. I was frustrated. He's the scared to try, but as soon as he does he loves it type. We try again a few weeks later, he still cried a bit, but they didn't make him get off. And guess what? He loved it and this season LOVES !

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At Cedar Point last year, a dad and his kid were in line next to me on Cedar Creek Mine Ride. The kid very obviously did not want to ride and kept telling his dad that but the dad kept insisting that he ride. The boy complied with his dad, waiting in line to ride. He got on, rode, got off and did not look very happy with the experience. I hope the boy looks back on the experience fonder in the coming years, but I can't help but think it didn't help him in the moment. 

 

In a lot of ways I think it's helped me in my own relationship. My girlfriend is not necessarily scared of roller coasters, she just doesn't appreciate the feeling in her stomach when the ride goes up and down. After seeing the dad and his boy struggle with each other over whether or not to ride, it made me realize that forcing it with my girlfriend would accomplish nothing. She is her own person, as a child is (even when parents don't realize it and always think they know best). I have since decided that I will encourage her to ride, and occasionally ask but I will never force it. She seems to warm up more and more to the idea with every trip, so I'm hoping one day she will crack and hop on with me. It's difficult for me to understand why someone wouldn't want to ride roller coasters since I've been doing it and loving it since I was tall enough to (about 5 years old) but I feel like I have to try.

 

As for the discussion in this thread, I think it's perfectly reasonable for a park to have a policy that allows any rider the option not to ride if they don't want to. Child or not. After all, the coverage of any potential incident won't say "Child dies after fall from roller coaster but they didn't want to ride and the parent forced them to", the fault will immediately be perceived to be on the park.

 

I also have no idea what that has to do with the "wussification" of society. Society changes all the time. As we learn more about the world we live in, that's going to affect change. But that's all I'll say about that.

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I mentioned it on another thread but had a group of "non-riders" this week with two kids being very particular about what they would and wouldn't do. I quickly realized that trying to sway them to ride wasn't going to work; I figured it is their camp and their experience - not mine. I asked who wanted to ride something, we all waited in line together and then the non-rider and me would head out through the ride exit when it was time for them to ride. It worked.

My proudest moment was when one of the kids was giving himself a pep-talk to not back out of riding Linus Launcher. He was so nervous but he tried it and started off liking it, halfway through said it was too fast, and by the end he loved it and had a huge grin. He rode it 4 times! at the end of the day, I asked each one what was their favorite part...his was Linus Launcher. You bet I gave him a high five and told him I was proud of him for trying something new!

And hey...no tears and all three kids were happy with their KI experience. I call that success!

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Knowing that my Son would ride anything in the past, I have been more persuasive since moving down here. Turns out the roughness of Vortex killed his desire to ride. Once I told him the rides in the parks here weren't like that he has decided to try things again. He has now been on all the Coasters and is a big fan of Kumba.

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^ Locations are important. I really couldn't tell what parks you were talking about until you said Kumba, and then I knew it was Busch Gardens. (Not that it's a bad thing, but it's still a good suggestion to state where 'down here' was at.

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My mom is still angry that my dad took me on a kid roller coaster when I was 7 years old, because I said "I'm scared" once before we got on. I ended up loving it and I love coasters a lot to this day. When I tell her this, she says "you're just saying that because you don't want to upset him!" (Never mind that I'm 28 now and I go to Kings Island by myself and ride on the roller coasters because I like them. Even though I was scared that first time it's a fond memory now.)  

 

There will always be parents who push their kids too much and parents who don't push their kids enough. So it's a good policy to have in place, to see if a kid genuinely wants to ride despite being scared or not.

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