Yes we finally took the plunge just before Jah hit the “Big 3” :p and I guess largely owing to the fact that there was a suitable movie for his 1st time at the movies! So if you are wondering when to bring your little one for his/her first movie, I guess there is no right or wrong time (some mummies bring their little bubs in carrier while accompanying their older kid). But if we are talking about having your child enjoy the movie from the start to finish and being able to discuss movie plot with you after haha then I suppose 3 years old is the age for us and here are some tips on how we made it out ‘alive’ and really happy! (Jah told me after his movie that he wants to go watch another movie again soon 🙂 )
1) Choose a movie that he is familiar with. A sequel to one of his favourite shows or a re-adaptation to a story he knows. This would help him get excited and stay excited about the movie. It would also help him to stay put through the entire show. Jah asked at one point to leave because the show was getting alittle boring (all movies have their low points right?) but I told him the exciting part where Dusty was going to put out the fire was coming up soon and he settled down again
2) Choose a morning time slot for the movie when he is fresh and less likely to get cranky that fast. Morning slots are also popular with parents with children so the crowd would be less forgiving when children start yapping or blurting out stuff in the middle of the show. In fact it’s quite amusing and I always find myself smiling to myself when I hear another child ask a question that I know could just as easily come from Jah. Weekdays would be better if you can manage and possibly less crowded depending on which theatres you visit.
3) To the lead up of the movie date, talk to him about it. Don’t spring a surprise movie on him. Tell him what movie you will be catching and if he will be keen to watch it (I doubt they will say no) and also explain what are the plans before and after the movie. I find that this helps them to know what to expect and when to expect it so they don’t start demanding for things at the wrong times.
4) Explain what is expected of him at the movies and why that is so and ask him specifically if he thinks he can handle. We told Jah that there were 3 seats and asked if he was sure he would sit in his own seat. We also told him that he has to be quiet so that everyone could watch the show and we can discuss the show after. He agreed and to be fair he really tried. He sat on my lap only for the last 30mins of the show and he also ask a few questions here and there but kept quiet when I gently reminded him. You need the child’s buy in and cooperation, positive reinforcement goes a long way. There is absolutely no point in lecturing him at the movies so it would be good to get his agreement and use the fact that he ‘wanted this’ and agreed rather than ‘disciplining’ him into following the rules.
5) Give him something to look forward to after the movie. It can be a simple candy, ice-cream or a trip to the toy store. You know what makes him tick so just make it as enjoyable as possible and let loose! Happy Child Happy Parent yeah? 🙂
P.S – Golden Village holds a Mums and Babes sessions on some days in the month. The choice of movie can be pretty random but all age appropriate. I have not tried the session but I heard they have things like changing tables etc in the theatre so extremely suitable for the younger ones. Also people go knowing its a session for babies/ toddlers etc and therefore should be more forgiving. It could be a good test run for those with younger kids or if you just want to find something to do on a weekday morning 🙂
Enjoy the movie!