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#31 of 42 Old 12-29-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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Well, doesn't Dr. Laura Markham, renowned child psychologist, have her own Q&A page on this very site? Why not ask her?

My concern is that the illness isn't used as an excuse to exclude. If that's the real reason it should be bona fide. Also, inconvenience isn't a good enough reason IMO, I only agreed that it might be okay of it posed a danger to the other children.
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#32 of 42 Old 12-29-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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Well, doesn't Dr. Laura Markham, renowned child psychologist, have her own Q&A page on this very site? Why not ask her?

My concern is that the illness isn't used as an excuse to exclude. If that's the real reason it should be bona fide. Also, inconvenience isn't a good enough reason IMO, I only agreed that it might be okay of it posed a danger to the other children.

If there's a psychologist that has a good amount of experience with this specific child (I know the mother keeps changing psychologists, so I'm not sure how many have enough experience to make a judgement), they would be a far better resource. Dr. Markham will only be getting the OP's perspective- not be able to speak to any of the children, and has no history with them. If Dr. Markham were able to take half a day to go, talk to the OP's husband, his ex, and all the kids involved, and also see the step son's records- I'd agree, but I don't know if a forum post will explain it well enough. Mental illnesses are not universal things, different people with the same illness have it at different degrees and different levels and manifest in different ways, and I don't think it's appropriate for the OP to post intimate details about her step-son's medical records on a public forum. It does look like she has experience with ODD, but she doesn't have experience with this child. If there is no other option, it's better than nothing- but I think it's better to try the son's personal psychologist first.

 

I agree that inconvenience isn't a good enough reason, but as we all know his psychologist has expressed concern that this boy could be a danger to the new baby due to his violent outbursts- so we're already well aware there is reason to be concerned that he could be a danger to the other children.


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#33 of 42 Old 12-29-2013, 09:26 PM
 
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If OP felt she might get valuable insight from a bunch of strangers with no qualifications why wouldn't she think there might be some value to getting dr m's perspective?

I also disagree with the implication that dr m couldn't add anything of value without first meeting the child/family in question.

This 10 year old could be really negatively impacted by this in the long term. He's still a child and the fact that he's mentally ill points to a need to treat his feelings with even greater care, not stigmatize him and treat him like a dangerous leper.
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#34 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 08:18 AM
 
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If OP felt she might get valuable insight from a bunch of strangers with no qualifications why wouldn't she think there might be some value to getting dr m's perspective?

I also disagree with the implication that dr m couldn't add anything of value without first meeting the child/family in question.

This 10 year old could be really negatively impacted by this in the long term. He's still a child and the fact that he's mentally ill points to a need to treat his feelings with even greater care, not stigmatize him and treat him like a dangerous leper.


I didn't say she has nothing of value. I said that it would be better to get the input of a psychologist who has experience with this specific child. I question how much experience you actually have with psychology that you think all people with mental illnesses are so homogenous that a doctor can hear a second or third hand account and give the exact right advice for the person effected.

 

I explicitly said "If there is no other option[meaning if the OP's husband can't talk with a psychologist with enough experience with his son for whatever reason], it's better than nothing". So I'm really questioning whether you're actually reading my posts or just skimming for something to complain about, and I wonder if you're doing the same to the OP.

 

Actually, given the last line- I'm almost certain that you're ignoring what I'm saying in favor of what you want to think I'm saying in order to make baseless accusations.


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#35 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 10:49 AM
 
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As for not telling the kids where we are going, I want to be able to turn around in my seat and take a picture of their faces when they realize where we are. As a mother, this is my right to be able to capture the faces of my own children to be able to look back on later. So to you it might be bs but to me this is an important part of our vacation memories.

 

I'm not parenting in a blended or step family, but this part of the thread caught my eye and I wanted to comment on it. I think whether or not someone enjoys being surprised on where one is going varies from person to person, but I think a lot of people (myself included) do not enjoy being surprised in this way. Even as a child, I preferred to know where I was going. So, if someone were to take me on a trip without telling me where we are going, I would frustrated and annoyed and anxious. And the photograph of my face that one would capture when I realized where I was would be face of exhaustion, frustration, and--at best--relief. For me, part of the joy of a vacation is looking forward to it (as well as being on vacation and remembering it later). So I really enjoy (and did as a kid) looking ahead to the vacation, thinking about what I was going to pack, packing, planning, etc. If someone were to take me to Disney, they would be able to capture photographs of my joy at picking out and packing the outfit I wanted to wear to the Magic Kingdom and more.

 

OP, I understand that being the one to surprise your kids is something that you want *for you*. It sounds like you are making this about what you want for yourself, not necessarily what's good for your children and what's going to give them the best memories.

 

I also understand that your children may or may not like being surprised about where they are going. However, if there's any chance that any of your children don't like being surprised in this way (and it might be hard for you to know, especially if they feel that you want them to enjoy being surprised), I urge you to reconsider making the trip a surprise.

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#36 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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@sillysapling

I guess i have a soft spot for these kids, especially the ones with mental illness.

 

You're right that i'm not a psychologist. I'm not sure if you are, i don't think it really matters. OP wanted opinions and input, and that's what this is.

 

IMO it's mean/harsh to exclude a boy of 10 from a Disney vacation unless there are bona fide reasons. I personally hate the"dead baby card" because i think it's mostly played as a way to stop conversations, emotionally manipulate people into accepting positions that aren't fair/ideal, and is definitely overplayed in our society. Is this boy really that much of a danger? Or, is his illness being used as an excuse? I don't know. OP would know the truth about that in her heart of hearts, and this is something that might require an expert's perspective. It's not something that should be thrown around lightly, the implications are too serious and far reaching, for the boy of course. I don't mean to sound harsh.

 

Again, this story pinched at my heartstrings because i remember what it felt like to be that boy's age and have a step mother who didn't seem to want me around. I'm not saying OP doesn't want this boy around, or that she's harsh with him, but reading the story brought back those memories for me. I feel more for the boy than i do for OP. Though of course i recognize blended family situations are often very difficult for everyone.

 

Still, imo, the boy is a child and op is the adult, the fact that the child has an illness means more sensitivity and caring should be given, not less. If danger is an issue this should be clearly explained, and why would OP even ask if this was the reason? Like i said, it shouldn't be used to buttress an otherwise weak rationale for excluding a child from the vacation of a lifetime.

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#37 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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I'm not parenting in a blended or step family, but this part of the thread caught my eye and I wanted to comment on it. I think whether or not someone enjoys being surprised on where one is going varies from person to person, but I think a lot of people (myself included) do not enjoy being surprised in this way. Even as a child, I preferred to know where I was going. So, if someone were to take me on a trip without telling me where we are going, I would frustrated and annoyed and anxious. And the photograph of my face that one would capture when I realized where I was would be face of exhaustion, frustration, and--at best--relief. For me, part of the joy of a vacation is looking forward to it (as well as being on vacation and remembering it later). So I really enjoy (and did as a kid) looking ahead to the vacation, thinking about what I was going to pack, packing, planning, etc. If someone were to take me to Disney, they would be able to capture photographs of my joy at picking out and packing the outfit I wanted to wear to the Magic Kingdom and more.

 

OP, I understand that being the one to surprise your kids is something that you want *for you*. It sounds like you are making this about what you want for yourself, not necessarily what's good for your children and what's going to give them the best memories.

 

I also understand that your children may or may not like being surprised about where they are going. However, if there's any chance that any of your children don't like being surprised in this way (and it might be hard for you to know, especially if they feel that you want them to enjoy being surprised), I urge you to reconsider making the trip a surprise.

I agree with this. I also think it's possible that the surprise could make this more difficult for the son. Even ignoring ODD, there are a lot of kids that can't handle surprises and need to be warned ahead of time to any major change. Even good changes can cause upset, they need time to mentally prepare themselves for what's coming. It's very common with young children- but it can apply even into adulthood. After the stress of a 12 hour trip, being surprised with something as big as Disney World could be overwhelming and cause a huge upset to many kids. A huge upset for kids who respond to upset with violent outbursts is a really bad idea.

 

If it were a day trip that involved half an hour of driving or so- it wouldn't' be as big a deal.

 

I'm assuming that the kids that will definitely be going like surprises. (at least, I hope so- if the OP's husband knows his elder son hates surprises and is still going along with this, there's a big problem that he's putting his new wife before his children!) But it's Disney World- kids who want to go are going to be just as excited to be there if they get a month to look forward to it as they will if they find out when they see the gates.

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#38 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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~~Yeah I think you're doing everything right except not telling him that it's Disney. There's a very good chance that he has no idea what he's saying no to.

I agree. It sounds like he is saying no out of anger in the moment. If you tell him its Disney and he says no, that is his decision, but the way you describe it, it sounds like you are setting it up so he will  say no, so you don't have to deal with him on the trip. I think that cleary outweighs a picture of surprised faces. You could get the same "surprised face" picture a million and 1 different ways. Do a scavenger hunt, open a present, there probably a Disney themed website or message board called 101 ways to surprise your child with a trip to disney

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#39 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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Also, there is a very real possibility that the photo opportunity will be missed anyway. One of the kids is asleep when the others realise. They're in the middle of a big inter-sibling war. It's dark. The camera battery is flat. They surprise you by guessing early and you miss the moment. One of them guesses, another doesn't believe them and an argument errupts. etc etc etc

I'm sorry to rain on your parade but I've been thinking about this thread and, the more I think about it the more I think the surprise element is a really bad reason for excluding DSS. You could still do the photo when you tell them at home. I a happy think you have more chance of getting it there anyway :-)

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#40 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 02:43 PM
 
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So, I've been following this thread since it keeps popping up on "new posts", and it strikes me as odd that some posters seem to assume that all kids are obsessed with Disney.  Not all of them are.  But even if this particular kid is obsessed with Disney, wouldn't it be unfair to permanently link his first Disney experience with a 12 hour car-ride with people he doesn't want to be with?  I know that the reasons for his dislike are pretty bad, and I hope things can get sorted out, but the fact remains that a 12 hour car-ride is a long time to be stuck with other people, even if you like them, and he doesn't currently think he likes the people he'd be sharing it with, and that would be a big part of his memories of the trip.  Wouldn't it be kinder to promise to pay for him to go to Disney on his own when he's old enough?

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#41 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 02:52 PM
 
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I think the kindest thing is to allow him to make a decision with all the information available while letting him know that he's wanted and welcome on the trip. If he says no then certainly it would be "unkind" to force him to go.

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#42 of 42 Old 12-30-2013, 03:07 PM
 
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I also think it's possible that the surprise could make this more difficult for the son. Even ignoring ODD, there are a lot of kids that can't handle surprises and need to be warned ahead of time to any major change. Even good changes can cause upset, they need time to mentally prepare themselves for what's coming. It's very common with young children- but it can apply even into adulthood. After the stress of a 12 hour trip, being surprised with something as big as Disney World could be overwhelming and cause a huge upset to many kids.

 

Right. I do not have ODD, but a surprise like this would be upsetting to me (even though I would have appeared to handle the surprise well). Keeping the trip a surprise could be potentially upsetting to any one or more of the children, not just the son with ODD.

 

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You could get the same "surprised face" picture a million and 1 different ways. Do a scavenger hunt, open a present, there probably a Disney themed website or message board called 101 ways to surprise your child with a trip to disney

 

I agree. And what wonderful ways to add to the delight of the trip and to the memories. There would be memories of when the kids found out that they were going, memories of getting ready, memories of the car trip (maybe singing favorite Disney songs in the car), memories of being at Disney, and more...

 

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Originally Posted by katelove View Post

Also, there is a very real possibility that the photo opportunity will be missed anyway. One of the kids is asleep when the others realise. They're in the middle of a big inter-sibling war. It's dark. The camera battery is flat. They surprise you by guessing early and you miss the moment. One of them guesses, another doesn't believe them and an argument errupts. etc etc etc

I'm sorry to rain on your parade but I've been thinking about this thread and, the more I think about it the more I think the surprise element is a really bad reason for excluding DSS. You could still do the photo when you tell them at home. I a happy think you have more chance of getting it there anyway :-)

 

I agree with this. I think it's a bad idea in general and I think it's not fair to use it as a reason or factor in excluding one child from attending. If your son knows what it is and still does not want to come, I think that's different (and it's not exclusion).

 

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Wouldn't it be kinder to promise to pay for him to go to Disney on his own when he's old enough?

I think that would be a lovely alternative if he chooses not to go with the family this time. :thumb 

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