Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Get that Kid Outta Here

I was reading this article on CNN about the new movie "Where the Wild Things Are" based on the popular children's book. Of particular interest to me was the quote of the editor of the parenting site dadcentric.com who basically said taking a child younger than 5 to a movie is pushing it. One parent was upset that their 20-month old wasn't interested in the movie.

Here's my question. Have you ever taken a child younger than 5 to a movie theater? How about younger than 3? Should we expect children at this age to enjoy the theater experience? Also, a couple of months ago, i witnessed a couple bringing a young child (i'm guessing around 5 or 6) to the horror movie, Halloween 2. Of course, the movie frightened the child so bad that she cried throughout the film and hid her sobbing face in one of her parent's chest. Here's another question. In a situation like this, do you think the movie theater (and i guess by that, i mean the usher) should have told the couple to please remove the frightened child. By the way, the couple talked out loud during the whole movie to the point where the person behind them asked them to please be quiet. What's your thoughts on all this mess?


Alexis K. Ellis said...

I think that parents are silly if they think their children have the mental capacity to watch a horror movie or any movie for that matter and understand or be interested. I think that if parents take their children to see movies like Halloween 2, they are not thinking about how the movie will scare the child or be traumatic for them when going to sleep; they are only thinking about themselves. Some parents forget that children are just children, and most children cannot handle movies about monsters or killers. I think children under age 5 should not be exposed to any type of violence in movies and television because they are impressionable at that age. Children are imitators of what they see, and certain aggressive behvavior on television may show up in the child's anger responses to situations.

-Alexis K. Ellis

Travis_Page said...

I do not have any children, so I have never taken a child to a movie thearte. But I do not think that a child that young should be expected to enjoy the experience of the theatre. There is a reason that children's cartoons and books are very short; children do not have a long attentionn span. They can't be expected to sit through a movie that is an hour and a half (minimum) long.

As far as the parents brining a child that is younger than 5..(or 10) to a horror movie is just rediculous. First of all, a scary movie like that can have adverse affects on the child of that age. They are not old enough to know the difference between fact and fiction. And secondly, everyone else in the theatre is affected by the screaming/crying child. One thing that really aggravates me is when people talk or make noise during a movie. I go to the Theatre to see the show, not to socialize or talk on the phone!!

Travis Page

gina said...

In my opinion, children under the age of 3 are way to young to be taken to a movie. They more than likely cant understand it to even enjoy it.

As far as horror movies go - I think it is ridiculous to take a child to those. It doesnt do anything for them except scare them. It also ruins the experience for older people who can enjoy the movie. A horrow movie could scar a child for life.

If a child is crying, I think it is the parent's responsibility to take them out of the movie themselves. If the parents choose not to take their children out, i think that that ushers should ask them to leave. Especially if it is annoying the people around them.

Dianna Majors said...

I think any parent complaining about a 20-month old not being interested in a movie just has to be the type of person that complains about anything and everything. That has to be the most ridiculous comment I have heard by parents about this particular movie. I actually have seen this film and enjoyed every bit of it, but I could hardly imagine that a child could appreciate it for the reasons I did. There is so much going on in "Where The Wild Things Are" that one has to stretch his or her imagination and understanding for, and I am sure many adults even could not understand and appreciate it. But more on the subject, I feel that taking a child that young to anything that isn't, say, "Baby Bach" is a waste of money and a use of bad judgement.
Also, I feel that there are very few movies that taking a child under the age of 7 would be worth the while. I was six years old when I saw my first movie in a theatre and it was the Lion King, and I remember loving it, but still be told by my mom several times to sit down and be quiet. I think movies like that, that are very obviously targeting a young audience might be ok to take children to see with the understanding that there will be a lot more noise and distraction than any PG-13 and up movie should have. However, as long as everyone is under the understanding that a room full of kids will lead to a different movie watching enviroment, I don't think taking kindergarten or first grade level children to a film is too terrible of an idea.
I do, however, believe taking a child that small to anything other than a movie made specifically for their age group is an awful idea, especially to something that may potentially scare them or may have a harmful influence on them.
I would say that the usher in a theatre not only has the right but SHOULD say something to that couple. Alot of theatres have rules like any other place of business and if you are in violation of those rules you should be met with the consequences.

Wesley said...

I seem to remember my first theater trip being to the Lion King when I was 5 or 6 years old. I do not have any children but much younger siblings. I dont remember going with them to the movies until they were much older at least 6 or more. I remember my brothers favorite movie when he was only a year old was Toy Story 2. He would sit in his saucer and become infatuated with the show. Therefore I believe that saying no child has the capacity to enjoy a animated or cartooned show is flawed.
As for the couple bringing a child into a horror movie I feel that is as we say in Northwest Ms, "plum" stupid. The couple obviously has no consideration for the childs well being. I dont think thats anything close to even average competence from them. Children dont want to sit still and be quite for that long for msot any film. The only films that should even be considered are ones that have been screened by the parents and targeted to children.

Jemmye said...

I have never taken a child to the movie, and as a child my parents never took me. I think the mother of the 20 month old is an idiot for taking a baby that young to see a movie. I mean who expects a child under the age of four or five to sit down and pay attention for longer than an hour? I think the parent should have come up wtih a better way to spend time with their child, or paid a babysitter and went and saw an adult movie.
As for the people who took the baby do the scary movie, they are just bad parents for that. And I honestly dont think a theater should allow a child that young into a rated R movie. I mean it's honestly not fair to the other movie viewers who have to listen to the child cry. I personally would have been pissed if I had been in the theater that night.

Mary said...

I have taken a child younger than 5 to the movie theater. I took my son when he was almost 2. We went to see Snow Dogs. My son sat and watched the entire movie. It was not a cartoon movie but he loved it because it had dogs in it. The next movie went to was a cartoon movie and he did not sit through that movie. My son was 3 when he did not sit for that movie. I think it is ok to take young kids to the movies but if the child will not watch the movie the adults should leave with their child.
I have never taken my son to a horror movie. My son is nine years old and I will still not take him to a horror movie. I know he would not sit and watch it. I have been to a horror movie were parents had about a five or six year old with them. That movie was Dawn of the Dead. I jumped in parts of that movie and the kid was screaming in some parts of the movie. I could not believe that parent would bring their kid to see that movie. I do not think young kids should go to horror movies. I also do not think the theater should let the young kids go in horror movies even if their parents are with them.
Mary Thomas

KamrynsMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KamrynsMom said...

To begin with, no I have never taken a child younger than five years old to a movie theater.(That includes a three years old either). I think it depends on what category the movies falls under to whether or not we should expect young children to enjoy a theater experience. I have constantly been seeing movies previews of A Christmas Carol re-done into a three d formatted cartoon! Even I think I would be interested in this movie; it looks good and I know the basic plot of the story. I know that a child could catch the moral of this story whether it be through signs and symbols.

On the other hand, I do not agree that young children should be exposed to horror movies. I do not think this child should have even been allowed to enter the movie with or without a guardian simply based on their age. While on the on hand, I do not know this is a free country and the parents were parenting their child they way they chose to. While I do not agree with such a young child being exposed to such a movie, another parent may feel totally different, and I would have to respect that because they are entitled to their own opinions just as I am. No, I do not think the usher should have tapped the couple on the shoulder unless their child was causing other people not to enjoy the movie; but when they were talking loudly yes, I think they should have been asked to quite down or leave.

Basically my overall thoughts on such behavior are that I find the idea that a parent even attempted to bring a child under the age of ten to a horror movie is livid. I would never have done such a thing with my son because I would not like the idea of being awaken in the middle of the night because my son is having nightmares about the movie I should not have exposed him. I also thought that the people were being inconsiderate of other movie goers by not respecting the fact that they were in a public place watching a movie with a room full of people. They should have stayed at home, and waited for the movie to come out on Blue-Ray if they wanted to be that expressive. On another note, I have to respect their parenting skills even if I totally disagree with them on the decision to bring their preschooler to a horror movie.

~~Nateisha Marchbanks~~

Glenda said...

I have taken my children to movies at 3 years old. At her first, my daughter was crazy about the main character, Fievel (a mouse), and absolutely loved the movie. She did cry at the end, but only because the movie was over. I think that children have the mental capacity to absorb the major concepts of the movie for that age group. These days kids are already reading at kindergarden level at 3, so why not view a children's movie and be able to comprehend? The earlier Disney movies were perfect for young children as they were so simply made. My children benfited from each movie they saw. However, I do not believe anything other than an age appropriate or children's movie should be shown.
As for the couple with the child in the horror movie. Not only should they be asked to remove the child, but themselves as well! They obviously cared only about themselves. The loud talking is extremely rude and disruptive and a crying child anywhere is unsettling. Not to mention the effect the scare will have on the child. It is truly scary to wonder what they will actuallyy tell the child when it wakes them up with nightmares later!!

David Camp said...

I have never taken a child younger than 5 to a movie theater; however, I could see a 4 or 5 year maybe being able to watch a movie such as Ice Age or Cars. I would never take a child to see a scary movie or any other film that was meant to be viewed by an older audience. I don’t think children that young could follow much of the movie and I would probably spend most of my time taking them back and forth to the restroom.

I do think the usher should ask the parents to leave the movie if their child is crying and disturbing the movie for everyone else. I also think people that talk and disrupt the movie should be asked to leave. Actually, if I owned the theatre, I would stop the film, turn on the house lights and walk down personally to ask what the problem was and ask them to leave.

David Camp

burnham_tj said...

I have not taken a child under 5 to the movies yet. That is mainly due to how expensive it is to go. I think it depends on the child as to whether or not they can enjoy the movie. My oldest son who is three would do fine at the movies, but I cannot say the same for my youngest who is two. Every child is different, but a parent will know how they will act. Of course I am referring to kid friendly movies. I would never take them to a horror movie. Even at the home we are careful as to what is on the TV when they are in the room. In that situation the usher had every right to ask the couple to leave. Only because they were disrupting the other moviegoers in the theater. If they were being quiet and the child was not crying, therefore not bothering anyone, then my answer would be no.

Mark said...

Funny, I have a 27 month old son and have learned alot about childrens movies with him. My wife and I have been careful to regulate his screen intake, but still understanding that first we can't isolate him forever and second sometimes a little entertainment can offer some much needed rest for the weery (us).
Any way when he was about 20 months old we got madagascar from Netflix and thoought that would be fun. So he and I were watching it and I realized not only was he somewhat scared but there was a lot of violence in this movie. Only then did I realize that it was rated PG, and have since realized even G rated movies can be scary to a 2 year old. We have since settled on Nemo which really seems to captivate him. My wife looked up all the names (real names) of the fish and now all he talks about is black devil angler fish and baracudas.
Still he only watches it in about 30 minute increments, he can't handle much more.
That being said I don't see how people can expect a 20 month old to sit through Where the Wild things Are, or Halloween 2.
The situation in the theater is a little different. I personally am horrified at the thought of taking a child to see a movie like that, however, if I the child was not disturbing others I guess it would be the parents discretion. Since the child was crying though it would have been appropriate for the theater to ask the family to leave.
Mark Stephenson

Victoria said...

I agree with dadcentric. Taking a child younger than 5 is pushing it. Kids' attention spans are so short, how can they be expected to sit quietly through an hour and a half movie (no matter how interesting it is) without going stir crazy. And as to taking a child to a horror movie... that's absolutely ridiculous. Nobody in their right mind should do such a thing. That's why there are ratings. What a scarred child.

Common courtesy is no longer taught or observed. Children should be taught at home first to be quiet when in certain situations, and only then should be taken to places like the movies. Adults are just as bad or worse than children. I was taught to be considerate of other people and to "do unto others..." That's why I turn off my cellphone in a movie, only whisper, and try not to get up. I also pick up after myself rather than leave it for someone else to pick up. I do think that the personnel have a right to ask someone to be quiet or leave. Those are the rules, and should be abided by.

~Victoria L. Carr

Michael said...

In regards to the first question, I believe it is irresponsible for parents or anyone to bring a child to any type of horror movie. Essentially, children of such a young age shouldn't be in the theatre to begin with. It's just not meant for them unless it's some sort of Disney movie. I don't have any children, so I have definitely never escorted any toddlers to the theatre experience.

And to answer the second question, it should be the responsibility of the theatre to ask the "disturbance" to leave, possibly refunding their tickets or giving rainchecks. It always bothers me when people feel they have the right to ruin other people's experience. You pay for the right to watch the movie, not the right to be a jerk.

Michael Jared Koon

jdg158 said...

I really think that taking a young child to a horror movie is a bad idea. It shows that some parents don't care for the well being of the child. It also ruins the movie for others who paid money to enjoy themselves. Kids do not have the attention span of grown adults and therefore they talk, cry, scream, run around, etc. It really makes me mad when people do this. Movie theaters should not allow young kids to be admitted to adult movies.

msright2474 said...

When my daughter was just a baby, I took her to the movies so that my husband and I could watch Ray on the day it was released. She was very young, and she nursed through most of the movie. That was about the last time we got to enjoy a movie with her until she was almost 4. Children just don't have the attention span to focus on anything for long. I don't think it's fair to put them in a situation that is beyond the norm for their development stage.

With regards to the horror movie, the fact that parents would take a child so young to that type movie is a horror in itself. I feel like horror movies will just give your child more to have bad dreams about. If they are too young to keep a good distance between fantasy and reality, they shouldn't be exposed to frightening things. I would have said something to the usher based on the noise factor. I don't feel it's my place to advise people on parenting. I don't have a degree in that, so it's none of my business. I just wouldn't put my own child in the same situation.

Sherry said...

Well I know this is late, but I didn't realize that I missed a week until now. I want to comment anyway. Hope someone will read it.
If that was me that experienced that situation, I would have gotten up out of the movie and went to get the manager. I think that the movie theater should not be allowed to even allow a child that young to enter with their parents. Children are not mature enough to handle that kind of situation. I think that was cruel on the parents part. They should be ashamed of themselves. They would have probably kicked me out because I would have said something to them about bringing the child in.
I almost got jumped one time in a parking lot because someone was beating their kid, and I said something to them and got their license plate number and called the Department of Human Services.

Sherry Osborn