A British theme park is breaking new ground in its attempts to get trembling parents to join their kids on the scarier rides — hypnosis.
Chessington World of Adventures discovered from a survey of younger visitors early this year that children were annoyed by parents reluctant to go on the white-knuckle rides.
Management had also noticed a growing number of parents "holding the bags" outside rather than joining in.
"We pride ourselves on being a family attraction, so it's just as important for adults to enjoy themselves as much as children," said General Manager David Smith.
Hypnotherapist Stephen Rigby will hold his first sessions at the park in Surrey, southwest of London, on October 9. His clients will be parents nominated by their children via a website http://www.chessington.com/shoutabout.
"Often parents force themselves to go on a ride so that they don't disappoint their children, and they will try many things to overcome their fear, such as screaming or even closing their eyes for the whole ride," Rigby told Reuters.
"Whilst these methods may help them get through the ride, we want to help them sit back and enjoy it."
Rigby also hopes the treatment will have a lasting success.
"Hypnotherapy is not just for now," he said. "I plan on giving the participants a new way of thinking. I hope that the powerful states of mind that they will experience during the session will be used again and again in other contexts."