We have been Disney Annual Passholder since RJ’s first birthday! That was our gift to him! And ever since then, we’d go about 1-2 times a month, and if the weather is great every week! As the more kids we had, the more fun it got to be. But once RJ turned 4, he began to start complaining about our trips to Disney. Whether it was leaving too soon, not going on a ride 2 more times, not getting the Mickey Mouse ice cream (that we ONLY buy the kids for birthdays) or just not going to the park he wanted to go to. It started to feel like Disney World was no longer appreciated, and it was just becoming a waste of $100+ a month. My husband and I love going, so it was disappointing to see the negative attitude! We’d leave stressed out, annoyed and just disappointed.
We tried to explain to RJ what a blessing and privilege it is to go to Disney “just because”. We told him, “some kids in different parts of the world have never been to Disney world, there are even some mommy and Daddies that have never been to Disney, and you are SO lucky, Disney world is a short drive away, and you get to go with your special magic band!” and all he’d say is, “why don’t they just get a magic band and come?!”. So clearly, he just wasn’t mature enough to get it!
The last time we went before his birthday trip, was in April! And when we left Disney that warm April night, RJ was having a 4 year old meltdown over not getting a $6 bag of popcorn (not sure if it was really that, but it was something minor like that) , and at that moment Renaldo and I said, “we aren’t coming back until his birthday”. So we committed to 6 months of not going to Disney world! Nothing against Disney because it took everything in us to not go, especially missing out in Epcot’s Food and Wine festival. So on the day of RJ’s 5th birthday, later in the evening, after hunkering down at home (daddy was sick), playing with all his new birthday toys, we decided to partake in our yearly tradition and take him to Disney World.
He was completely shocked when we pulled up, and so excited! We haven’t seen him this excited about Disney World in a long time, because remember we’d go so much, (going to Disney was like going to the grocery store).
When we were there, he didn’t complain at all about not going on rides he wanted to go on. We explained to him, that we will be back. We don’t have to do everything in one day. And he got it!
I think along with Disney, kids (not just mine) tend to have this attitude about anything. Whether it’s toys, not appreciating them, and not realizing how blessed they are to have toys. Or just going to the park, not being content with JUST going to the park, and wanting more more more!
And even as adults, we get to be the same way. God blesses you with a car, you want a new one (Renaldo and I are guilty of this), you are blessed with a house, after a year, you want a bigger house! God gives you an amazing job promotion, you want more money. As humans, it’s 100% in our nature to want more than what we have. But are you thankful and fruitful with what you have? Sometimes we need to take a step back, think about our blessings, and actually realize how blessed we truly are. Whether it’s having a roof over your head, a job that pays your bills, a working car to get you to that job, or even food on your plate.
So like Disney World, Renaldo and I take our steps back to really look at what we have and humble ourselves. We try to never take for granted what we have because in an instant, it could all be gone. As parents we try our hardest to raise our boys with these same morals. They may not truly understand it now, but with age, they will understand.
So moral of ALL of this,we stopped going to Disney so RJ could miss, appreciate it and just be thankful for everything he is blessed with. As soon as I see him mistreating a toy, I take it away and bring it back out when I know he’ll appreciate it.
To you seasoned mamas, what are things I can do to help my boys understand how fortunate they are, even at a young age? I’d love to feature you and your answers in my next blog post!
Below are pictures of RJ every year on his birthday at Disney World. ❤️