Do you have a teenager in the house? I do, barely, but I do. My older son just turned 13 this Summer, and I’ve been pretty lucky that he hasn’t pulled any teen attitude with me thus far. No back talk, no power struggle in the house, it’s been good. Granted, both my boys are pretty “young” for their ages, not street smart or too worldly at this point, and I find that to be a blessing, they have plenty of time to get into adult things. The only thing I see a little bit of change in is, sad to say, Disney! Not totally, but a little bit.
I remember when both the kids used to light up like a Christmas Tree at the sight of ANYthing Disney related. I used to watch for it, it was part of MY experience to see the reaction from the boys. As parents we want to see the magic of Disney shine through our kids. Sure, we enjoy Disney for ourselves and our own reasons, but it’s so nice to see our family enjoy it too. I find myself these days, looking at my kids just like before, and seeing a bit of a different reaction from the older one. He loves Disney still, but I don’t think he wants to “show” it as much. We’re seeing Christmas down here for the first time, and I was hoping that I’d get an exciting response from my 13 year old, but, he was like “yeah, it’s nice” or “wow, that’s a lot of lights!” and that’s about it. If I want to know what he thinks, I have to actually ask and drag it out of him. It used to be easier. It’s hard to imagine not getting excited, because I’m a full grown adult and I feel like a 5 year old when I’m at Disney. So, what’s a parent to do? Keep pressing on I suppose!
Even though he doesn’t show excitement like he used to, I still see the magic creep in! When we went to see the Osborne Lights, as soon as they flipped the switch for the lights, my teenager’s smile switch flipped too. Yes, I was watching for it! Little guy, that was easy, he had his hands over his mouth with excitement for about 5 minutes. So, yes, score one for Disney magic, got a genuine smile out of him! It’s still in him, even if he doesn’t want to show it as much. His interests have changed, so I have to adjust. He’s really into anime and loves the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, so I let him go browse the store, it makes him happy. He loves Rock N Roller Coaster, Test Track, Space Mountain….. so I make sure we get to do that for him too. Even though he’s entering the “too cool to show emotion” phase, I’m still doing my best to keep the magic alive. I tell the boys that even though we live in Florida now and can go to Disney more often, it’s not something that should be taken for granted and we’re blessed to live so close. That could be part of it, living here and getting to be on property a bit more. Regardless, I’m still trying to keep that magic going for both kids for as long as I can. They’re only small once, and grow up so fast, and I’m hanging on to every minute that I can. How about you? Do you have teenagers that get less excited about Disney fun? I’d love to hear your comments! ~M