By: Em Cruz
Avengers: Infinity War is on and it’s quite obvious that the lines to every cinema in the metro can be as long as infinity as well. Because let’s face it, if you have a movie crammed-full with every major and popular Marvel superhero in the planet, then everyone, not only the geeks, EVERYONE including their KIDS would want to see that.
Parents would bring their kids to any and every superhero movie, plus the kids themselves would beg and grovel to go and see it. Geeks and even most adults would love to watch a movie such as the Avengers in peace — i.e. without kids screaming and running all over the place. I’ve heard a number of people (some, parents themselves who left their kids at home) complain about the number of kids and kid-related instances that ruined their Avengers: Infinity War experience — from kids running all over the aisles, to kids asking a billion questions per minute, and to even kids bawling their eyes out over some scenes, most of which sounds horrible event to a mom like me. So as responsible parents, what can we do to ensure that our kids do not ruin the movie for everyone else? Here are a few simple tips for bringing your kids to the cinema:
Arrive on time for the actual movie.
This is a no-brainer even if you don’t have kids, but whereas you can opt to enjoy trailers and previews when you don’t have kids when you’re with them, skip the trailers and arrive on time just to get settled down for the actual movie. Some kids cannot stay still for the whole 3 hours of the movie, so skipping the first 15 minutes of trailers would buy you about that same amount of time that they’d sit still and watch the actual movie. To make it easier for you to time your arrival: if the schedule says the movie will start at 7, the actual movie will start at 7:15.
Choose an old-school regular cinema.
A number of cinemas these days offer 3D and even 4D experiences, if you’re with kids, just don’t, because of again, obvious reasons. Unless your kids are older, most kids would not have the patience to wear 3D glasses for over 90 minutes in one go, so they definitely will not enjoy a 3D movie. Plus, most kids would also not pass the height requirement for 4D cinemas, so save this experience for when they are a bit older. Nevertheless, you can splurge on lazy boy seats, as these are more comfortable than regular cinema seats. And for some young kids, aircon + comfy seats = nice sleep, letting you and other cinema-goers enjoy the movie in peace.
Choose a seat near the wall.
One of most cinema-goers’ pet peeve about kids in the cinemas is when they get impatient enough with the movie and start to play and run around the aisles. Prevent this by picking seats near the wall, preferably seats where one end is blocked by the wall. Then sit at the other end of your chosen seats with your kid’s seats near the wall. If they start getting antsy anytime during the movie and wants to get up and walk, they then have a blocked-in area (from the wall to your seat) to do so.
Don’t choose seats near the screen.
Unless you know that the cinema’s seats start a good distance away from the screen, don’t pick seats in the first three rows. If these are the only available seats for that screening, then choose a different screening. Being too close to the screen could make the villains more scary for your child (think a more purple-y bigger Thanos), compared to when you’re a few rows further away.
Bring snacks — lots of them.
If you want to survive for the entirety of the movie, then bring lots and lots of snacks. Pack your bag full of biscuits, chips, popcorn, water, juice, milk — everything. But don’t give it all in one go. Offer and give it in stages. If he’s getting impatient at the 15-second mark, offer a biscuit. If he’s restless again in the 1-hour mark, offer popcorn. The key is to keep him occupied with the screen and snacks so that he won’t get any other ideas.
Have a secret food stash.
If you think the secret food stash is for you, think again, these are “special” snacks that you can break out and offer to your kids especially if you want to stay and watch the entire movie peacefully (and we’re thinking you would want to do so for Avengers: Infinity War). These are the snacks to offer when the regular snacks are no longer working: specifically your kids’ favorite treats — candy, chocolate, gummies, or any snack that they just couldn’t say no to and are guaranteed to keep them munching for a few more minutes.
Engage your kid — QUIETLY.
Keep your child interested in the movie by asking them questions or even reacting to what is happening on screen — but DO SO QUIETLY. Kids lose interest in the movie when they don’t understand what is happening, so keep them invested to it by explaining the hazy parts to them, but again, do so quietly so you don’t disturb the other movie-goers.
Leave if all else fails.
If you’ve tried everything in your arsenal and yet your child is not having any of it and starts to cry, ask to leave or play around the cinema, then LEAVE. Do not be one of those parents who try to stay and watch the movie in spite their kid unleashing hell’s fury and ruining the entire movie for everyone. Don’t wait for your child’s meltdown or full-blown tantrum and instead nip it in the bud. You can try going out for a bathroom break and going back in, which could work. But if it doesn’t, cut your losses and leave. Don’t say that you paid for it and you deserve to enjoy the rest of it because the majority of the movie-goers would tell you that they did not pay for a ruined movie thanks to your kiddo. So leave and hope that your next cinema experience with your kiddo goes a whole lot better. And considering that kids do grow at a fast rate, you’ll surely enjoy your next movie with them in a few months (or maybe years).
Em Cruz is MomCenter’s editor and a doting mom to a decisive yet sweet daughter. When she doesn’t have her hands full of motherhood, she moonlights as a geek and bibliophile. Follow her mom-adventures via her Instagram.