There's something special about seeing a movie in the theatre. The smell of popcorn and candy swirling through the lobby, larger than life characters on extra large screens, sound effects booming so loud and deep that you seat shakes. It's an experience many people look forward, and nothing can be a being surrounded by a theatre full of distractions that ruin the experience. People on their phones and making loud comments are just rude; but before you get upset with the families that join your cinema experience, consider some ways to treat parents who bring kids to the movies before letting their presence get the better of you.
Before I was a parent, I remember wondering why on earth anyone would ever want to bring a child to the movies. Kids aren't known for sitting still, being quiet, or having long attention spans, so why even waste money on a ticket, right? Well, now that I am a parent, I understand why you would take a child to a movie in the theatre, despite all that logic. The bottom line is: it's fun. Even though it can be crazy, it's a fun memory and experience you have together as a family. Of course, I try to be considerate of the other patrons and teach my children what is expected at the movies, but sometimes things don't always go as planned and I need my fellow film watchers to do me a solid and help a sister out.
So the next time you find yourself clenching your jaw at the sight of a family joining your row of movie seats, don't let it ruin your day. Try to consider how you can be respectful and helpful to parents who bring their kids to the movies.
1Offer Your Seats
If you are at the movie solo, or with just one other person, take one for the team and offer you seats if needed. Giving up your spot to a family who wants to sit together is going to mean a lot to the parents who are trying to have a fun family outing. That one kind gesture will go a long way.
2Bite Your Tongue
You may have the urge to make a sharp comment at the family who just stumbled down the aisle with three kids who spilled their popcorn, but fight it. Going to the movies is a big deal to kids, and their excitement may lead to a few annoyances. Give the parents a little time to help the kids settle in before tossing out some word bombs that blow up their movie going experience.
3Refrain From The Stank Eye
Sometimes you don't have to say a word to convey your thoughts. Parents can feel the stank eye on them and their kids, just as much as they can hear the comments people make under their breath. If a family nearby is annoying you, take a deep breath and try to put yourself in their shoes.
4Press The *BLEEP* Button
As a general courtesy to children attending any public event, try not to let the swear words fly. Their ears may be small, but that hearing is mighty. Save it all up for the bar after the show.
5Try To Be Patient
It may take a while for a family to get to their seats, divvy up the snacks, and get comfortable for two hours of sitting. Try to be patient as these families settle in near you. Remember, they are doing their best to enjoy the show, just like you.
6Address The Adults, Not The Kids
If there is a problem, make sure to direct your polite comments to the parents. For example, if the child behind you is kicking your seat, do not turn and reprimand that child. Address their parent and say, "You probably didn't realize it, but your son has been kicking the back of my seat." Most parents will be glad you brought it to their attention, so they can handle the situation appropriately.
7Offer To Help
Offering to help when you see a parent struggling is a kind gesture in any situation, and it is no different for the movie theatre. Especially if you see one parent with a gaggle of kids, trying to balance popcorn, drinks, with one child on the hip. Lend a hand and help them get settled into their seats. Consider it your good samaritan act for the year.