Taking your child to the movie theater for the first time can be a stressful event if you're not properly prepared or if your child isn't ready. These tips will help you gauge when your child is ready for his or her first trip to the movie theater, and will help make your trip to the movie theater successful.
Know When Your Child is Ready
Although there may be many parenting articles that give recommended ages for when children can see their first full-length animated film, each child is different. Some signs that your child is ready for his or her first full-length film in the movie theater include:
- Your child can handle tasks that require sitting, like meal time and rides in the car, without significant behavior problems.
- Your child can watch entire television shows or short movies at home without playing, fidgeting or wandering away in the middle.
- Your child has an interest in activities that require mental concentration and focus, like quiet games and books.
While it is not a requirement that your child be able to engage in all of the above activities to enjoy a movie in the theater, these are good signs that your child will be able to handle the cinema well.
Choose Your Movie Carefully
As a parent, you're probably already tuned in to the parental guidance ratings assigned to each movie. While the ratings may be a good starting point, different children respond to movies in different ways. For example, if your child is sensitive to loud noises and dramatic events, he or she may find action movies may be overwhelming or too frightening.
When choosing a movie for your child, watch trailers for upcoming animated movies. Look for scenes or characters that might frighten or upset your child. If your child has a fear of a specific type of animal, or if your child finds certain types of conflict to be more disturbing than others, watch for those elements in movie trailers and read about each movie before making your selection. For info about upcoming movies, check out resources like Rotoscopers.
Sit Near the Exit
When you go to the movies, sit on the end of the row close to an exit so you can leave or take your child to the bathroom if necessary. If the movie is very popular, it may be difficult to find a good seat in an evening showing. Take your child to a matinee to avoid large crowds, and make an effort to see a movie that has already been in the theater for a while.
Go Without Siblings or Friends
Taking other children with you can create problems if you need to leave in the middle of the movie. Make this an event between you and your child, without others present. Not only will this make the event more special for your child, but it will also make it easier to remove your child from the theater without conflict. Following these tips will help make your child's first trip to the movie theater more fun and enjoyable.