Tricking Your Children. A Bad Parenting Moment.


There a a lot of books and blogs on good parenting. Focus on the Family has been helping Christian parents for decades. A lot of family experts talk about “teachable moments.” My contribution to parenting comes from a different angle altogether: what not to do. From time to time, I’ll share with you some of my “unteachable parenting moments.” Hopefully they’ll prevent you from making the same mistake with your offspring. Here’s a Bad Parenting Moment you should not repeat.

Tricking your children into going on a scary ride will not get them passed their fear of rides, but it will ruin the rest of your Disney vacation.

Tower of Terror and bad parenting

That was my brilliant idea several years ago when we took the boys, age 5 and 9 to their first trip to Disney. My rational was simple: ride the scariest ride on all  of Disney World early on the first day. Once they’ve gone through it and lived, they would look forward to go any other ride in the entire park. Nope.

The Tower of Terror was our first ride on our first day. I omitted some key points about the attraction when I told them there was a cool movie inside. I failed to mention that there was an 13-store elevator drop. Make that an over-and-over elevator drop.

My plan back fired. “You tricked us. You lied to us,” the white knuckled, shaking and visibly upset children confronted me afterwards. “But you made it, and wasn’t it fun?” “NO!!!” On the second hour of our week-long vacation, the boys were not willing to go on any other remotely thrilling ride. After this harrowing experience even the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups looked threatening. It was a very long week for all of us.

Have you ever tried to trick you children in doing something and backfired?

Please do share. It will make me feel better.

  • For the record, I rode it once…and will not do that again!nnI’m with your kids on this one!!!

  • Please do share. It will make me feel better. <<< hahahahahahannI remember an incident when I was younger (about 5 or 6) and I saw my mom with a box of pads. And I was like, "Mom, what is that for?" and she's like "It's for me to feel 'comfortable'" and I'm like "How do you use it?"…she replied "It's for my underwear"…and I thought to myself…"Well I sometimes feel uncomfortable too…usually in school…"nnUse your imagination on what could have possibly happen later that week…LOLnnMemories…

    • That’s funny! Not funny at the time you asked for help and didn’t get it. 🙂

  • Um, we took our son to Disneyland when he was 7 and while we didn’t lie about the Tower of Terror he was definitely shook up afterward and needed a break. However, we did go on Indiana Jones about 115 times in 3 days.nnSorry it backfired. You had good intentions.

    • That’s proof that good intentions never helped anyone. 🙂

  • Mike Wilhite

    My family went to SeaWorld San Antonio when my daughter was 6. She was tall for her age so she could ride Steel Eel roller coaster. She wanted to ride with her Daddy. We were standing in line and she was excited until the lady in front of her leaned down and looked her in the eye and asked, “Are you scared?” That was it, a look of terror crossed her face. Well, we ended up on the ride, but at the top of the first climb she looked at me and said, “Daddy, I want to get off now!” Well, she is now a roller coaster junky…but it took her a while to get over that!

    • You should have kicked that lady! I also hated rides until I got older and then I became a roller coaster junkie.

  • I’m so with your children. I don’t come within a mile of rides like that.nnActually, I try to avoid amusement parks entirely. :)nnI once promised Dale I would buy him something really expensive if he finished twenty books without pictures during one school year. This was to encourage him to read which he didn’t want to do. I threw in the condition if he read five, I would get him something small like a Wii game. I expected to get a Wii game.nnUm…let’s say I spent much more than one Wii game. But he’s reading, right?

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