For the past seven years, my son has vacationed at Walt Disney World with us as an only child, which meant he had full reign of vacation. The hardest decision he had to make was choosing between mom or dad to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with. This year however, he will have to share the reign with his 7-month old sister.
So how did we prepare him? Here are some tips to help your little one deal with sharing the spotlight at Disney.
1. Let them plan a day:
We decided for one day he got to pick what rides he wanted to ride. This allows for him to still feel special yet also think. He had to pick the park, the rides, even where to eat. This made him really evaluate what rides he wants to ride.
2. Let them pick out rides they want to share:
Little man is a pro at rides now. He waited so long to have a sibling that now that he finally has one, he can’t wait to show her all those big kid rides he loves so much. We often have to remind him she can’t and won’t be able to ride for a while. So we decided to ask him what little kid rides could he not wait to show her. This allows for them to get excited for those not so thrilling rides. And let them if they are able to sit with them. I know my son is super excited now to see her face on Finding Nemo.
3. Prepare them for down days, and plan to do something around the resort:
My son was hitting the point where we could spend the entire day at the parks without stopping. Telling him in advance that there may be days, or times when we won’t be going to the parks meant he wouldn’t expect to go. A pool day is great. As are the activities around the resort – several resorts have something going on every day! Be sure to check with concierge for further details. Get them involved in something while the little one is taking a nap, making everyone happy!
4. Spend one on one time with just them:
Whether you and your significant other take turns or you hire a sitting service to make sure that the oldest kid is not ignored. This, after all, is their vacation as well. And while the change is different for you, it may be harder for them to get used to. Kids Nite Out is a great service that provides in-room sitter services. We have used it for years and absolutely love it.
5. Let them help with the little one:
If your oldest is old enough to actually help with the youngest, why not let them help with the little one? Not only will it allow for the two of them to bond, but it gives you a break. I think my son is more excited that he can help push the stroller around Main Street than he is actually going down. Plus, it will let them see the parks through the eyes of their sibling. And maybe that in itself is worth all the magic.
What are some of your suggestions to ease the kids in to sharing the spotlight with the younger ones?