I took a lot of heat from a few vocal readers (in a previous blog) about my negative comments about parents bringing kids to the movies at midnight or just late at night. Here are 5 reasons why I think its a bad idea.
1) When you have kids, their well being trumps your desire for entertainment.
2) Your idea of good behavior for your child is different from mine.
3) You cannot guarantee the rest of the audience that your child will be quiet throughout the entire movie.
4) Some movie theatres have rules against bringing children under a certain age into movies after certain hours. They need to make sure that their employees are following their rules.
5) Some scenes in the movie may be sexually explicit, violent and scary and may cause your child to have nightmares. Ratings exist for a reason.
Parents keep saying that their kid will sleep through the movie. Children can be unpredictable and they will be unpredictable when you least expect it. I wrote a blog about kids misbehaving on airplanes. A reader told me that she had travelled with her child several times, without incident. On her last trip her child was behaving terribly and she couldn't calm her down. This can happen at a movie theatre. I have experienced crying infants whose parents take their sweet time leaving the theatre. I have also encountered small children who don't understand the movie so they are constantly asking their parent questions about the movie.
I stand by my comments because I believe that if parents want a late night out, they should hire a babysitter. If they can't afford one or don't know anyone that they trust, they should stay at home. Sometimes being a parent means that you have to sacrifice late night dates for a long time. You can put your child to bed and have a nice romantic dinner and rent a movie if you can't get a babysitter. Many theatres start showing movies at 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning. If parents don't have a sitter they can see the movie during the day instead of going to see a movie with their children when they should be in bed.
So many people keep focusing their anger with me about the movie. It's really about the choice that the parents made. When you become a parent you learn in parenting 101, that children need structure and a certain amount of sleep. There are some parents who respect this aspect of parenting and some who don't. Some people brought up the fact that every now and then kids stay up late and they are correct. However, there is a difference between staying up late when you are at home and being out late somewhere else. When your child is up late at home, you can put them to bed and they will fall right to sleep because they were already comfortable at home. When they are out at a movie, if they are asleep it isn't a good comfortable sleep. You then, go outside and put them in a car and drive home, you take them back out of the car and into your home and change their clothes and put them to bed. Their already bad sleep has been interupted several times during your trip to the movies. I wonder how many parents are compassionate with their cranky children the next day.
The bottom line, is that if you choose to take your children to the movies late at night, please be respectful to others and just know that many of them won't be happy to see your kid. If your kid starts talking, ask him/her to be quite. If your child begins to cry, leave immediately. If the adult next to you says "Shit", "Fuck" or "That Motherfucker is Crazy", you can give him/her a mean stare but only for talking during the movie. You may not give that person a mean stare for cussing in front of your child because your child should not hanging out late at night, watching a movie with adults.
I expect a healthy and respectful debate in the comments sections. Lets begin..........