What My Children Learned in Disneyland

Life is full of valuable lessons and some of them my kids will learn in school, and many of them they will learn outside of school.  I recently surprised my kids with a trip to the happiest place on earth… and while out from behind the desks at school we all discovered some valuable insights.

I took them with a friend and her three kids… no husbands… just two moms and our crazy hooligans ranging in age from 5 through to 11.  So the first lesson learned was compromise.  The little ones needed to wait for the big kids to ride California Screaming and the big kids needed to endure the long slow caterpillar ride in “It’s a bug’s life.”  This trip was about making magic happen for everyone and we all had to take turns making dreams come true.  Our kids also learned that even the happiest place on earth has rules and sometimes other park officials were going to tell them ‘no,’ and well whose kidding who, sometimes even the moms got a little frustrated with their kids while in close proximity to tinker bell – who would have known?!?!  The older kids learned that it was their responsibility as much as it was mine to ensure that they didn’t get lost.  They learned social awareness while standing in line with other park guests.  They learned to entertain themselves while waiting in long lines and they learned that we couldn’t always produce a snack at a moments notice.  Or at least not a good snack.  At one point we allowed the four oldest kids to enjoy the park for a few hours on their own.  All I can say is teamwork, independence and responsibility were in order and they achieved all three.  And… on the last day they witnessed the greatest gift of all… Random Acts of Kindness!  As one mom took ill on the last day, the other mom took all six kids to watch the Disneyland parade.  A little stressed with the situation at hand to say the least… Each child had popcorn and was settled in for the parade… of course one spills, tears start and as I am just about to give up our prime viewing spot to go and get more popcorn a 90 year old park employee stops me and takes the empty container and brings it back full.  As all six kids witnessed this timely angel we had the opportunity to talk about how such a small act of kindness can yield the most tremendous results.

What I learned is that life is about shared experiences.  Memories that bind us together.

Oh and we also learned that it is not ok to flip the “do not disturb” hotel door signs to “please make up my room”… oh my crazy boys.

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.

Carl Jung