Just recently I went and saw The Lion King on Sunday. Naturally, it is a kids movie. Therefore, kids will be in the theater. I typically avoid the crowds and I will catch them in the mid morning on Weekdays or Saturdays.
I run a social media marketing business. Because of that, it sometimes can take a toll on me emotionally and drain me much like my phone and laptop batteries. Movies help me unplug from the world and noise for a little while. The last thing I want is for that to be ruined by distractions.
I am not one who thinks children should be locked up and not come out in public. However, movie theaters are a different story. It costs an arm and a leg to go see a movie. I don’t want to be bothered when seeing a movie that I paid for and want to watch without distraction.
Overall, I was able to enjoy my time seeing The Lion King minus the child kicking my seat about 45 minutes in. Eventually, the parent left calmly with the child and never returned so they missed the last 30 minutes or so. I dealt with the constant kicking for about 30-45 minutes.
The other child behind me talking loudly at some points. There was constantly people up and moving to bring their children to the bathroom. There was also a young girl (maybe 5-7) standing up and dancing at her seat during “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” I feel you on that. It is an amazing song and hard not to get pumped for. But damn, that is overkill in a theatre.
I was able to enjoy the movie, but I was still distracted because of all the outside noise. That being said, I don’t understand bringing some children to movies. That doesn’t mean I don’t think children should be banned. I just think parents should understand their children enough to know whether or not they can sit through a movie.
In fact, I was recently asked by someone to go see Lion King and they wanted me to bring my son. I stood firm on a hard no. I am not brining an almost 2-year-old to a movie. He’s an active toddler who doesn’t sit still to watch 20 minute TV shows. He likes to play with toys and walk around. The kid literally asks to walk if you try to pick him up. Because we refuse to give him our phones, he doesn’t know how to sit still for videos much less full length feature films. Quite frankly, I love that about him.
Of course, I was met with some attempted convincing to bring him. I am not spending money to see a movie I want to see only for it to be ruined for myself and others around me because my toddler can’t sit still. I don’t expect him to sit 2 hours for a movie. So I am not going to ask that of him. I am not wasting the time nor money. I am basically setting that up for total failure.
I can deal with many situations of children or babies in public. I have been on airplanes with screaming babies or children. I have been at restaurants with the same. In fact, I usually feel sympathy for the parents because I know how frustrating it must be for them. You just want to enjoy a dinner with your family and you feel like your child is causing a fuss and ruining the time for everyone else around.
Just the other day, I was eating at one of my favorites pizza places. I was sitting outside with a friend when a young girl walked up with a younger boy who was visibly special needs. I am not sure what his condition was. They sat at the table directly behind me. I heard her getting frustrated because he was acting up. Eventually, he started throwing food and I heard plates and silverware being tossed around.
Myself and my buddy were about done anyway and he began getting pretty hostile with the girl. My back was turned, but my friend could see. He discreetly said that we should go because it looks like he was about to throw food at me. We decided it may be best to remove ourselves from the situation, discreetly of course.
The poor girl felt the need to apologize. That made me feel bad because she shouldn’t have to apologize. It was hard for him to control his behavior I am sure because of his condition. She was obviously frustrated with the situation itself also. It is already hard enough I am sure. Don’t worry about me. I am good.
If anyone thinks I am anti kids being out in public or can’t handle unruly behavior, I can assure you it is neither.
I have seen unruly children in grocery stores, restaurants and airplanes. Sometimes it is beyond a parents control. I know sometimes my son just needs a minute to blow steam and reset. He is only two and can’t fully understand his emotions. Hell, I am 28 and I don’t always understand my own emotions.
However, I don’t sympathize in movie theaters. It is a situation you could be setting your child up to be a total nuisance. That is frustrating for me because I wouldn’t want to do that to my child or anyone trying to relax and enjoy a movie.
If a child acts up in a grocery store, you still need to get your groceries. In restaurants, you can walk out with your child for a minute to reset without much distraction. But in a movie, it is dark and you are in close proximity of other movie goers. Anything you do, even just getting up to leave can result in a potential distraction.
Does doing this make you a bad parent? Of course not. There are far greater screw ups in parenting.
But, I beg you to understand your children and whether they can sit still for two hours or not. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not distracting others.