How to Make Your Kids’ First Cinema Experience Memorable

Most parents worry about how much screen time their children should get. This isn’t surprising considering that most guidelines on the matter can be confusing and no universal rule applies for all types of families.

However, you should remember that what matters most is the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the situation. If your children watch parent-approved shows or films with you and your spouse, then you’re doing a good job. This is because having parents involved in the experience can multiply its benefits.

After reading this article, you will understand what makes watching movies with your family great and how you can do it in a way that would help your children benefit most from the experience.

4 Reasons Why Watching Movies is Done Best With the Family

Watching videos with your children – also referred to as co-watching – offers plenty of benefits for the little ones. This is especially true for toddlers and younger kids.

This is because the time spent co-watching opens up opportunities for mommies, daddies, and their children to cuddle, share experiences, and focus their attention on the film together – much like what happens during storytime.

In fact, one study revealed that children who were exposed to storytelling and watched video clips with their parents scored significantly higher in vocabulary and comprehension measures. Aside from that, your child could also enjoy the following benefits:

  1. Stronger family bonds

The time you spend with your family can improve emotional bonds between family members. With movie viewing, you even get double the advantage as it is considered a highly enjoyable activity for both the kids and their parents.

  1. Reduced behavioral issues

Children who watch movies with their families are also less prone to showing signs of bad behavior.

Aside from instilling good behavior through examples depicted in the film, parents also have a chance to explain things in a way that would help children separate the good from the bad.

This is particularly helpful for social situations that require guidance from adults that children trust most – their parents.

  1. Better academic performance

As mentioned earlier, the effects of co-watching on children have been proven to have excellent effects on their studies. While the selection of flicks that offer good moral lessons to kids is important, children spending more time with their parents during movie time is what affects their academic performance the most.

  1. Boosted self-confidence

Watching a film together bolsters family bonding, and this very same thing is what boosts a child’s confidence. When a child sees that they have a tight-knit family, their self-image and confidence eventually improve. The activity may also allow them to become more productive and open to other people about their feelings.

How to Make the Experience Memorable and Stress-Free

Will your child sit still? Will they disturb the other moviegoers? Will they even enjoy the movie you picked out for them?

If you’re bothered by these questions, chances are that you’re still hesitant about bringing your child to the movies for the first time. While you always have the option to rent out a private cinema to avoid bothering other people, there are ways by which you can make the entire experience worthwhile without the stress.

To help you out, here are five tips you can try when prepping your child for their first visit to the cinema:

  1. Monitor their readiness

Keep in mind that watching a film in the movie theater is not the same as watching shows on TV, in the comfort of your home. Aside from the location, your child will have to adjust to the darkness, loud sounds, and the massive screen.

With this in mind, you have to watch out for cues to see whether they are ready for their cinematic experience. Check if they are sensitive to loud noises and bright lights. Fear of the dark is also a major factor.

If you find that they check out at least one of these, it may be best to postpone the experience for when they are older.

  1. Pick out a film that they will enjoy

While this may seem obvious, it is still worth noting that you have to make sure your child will enjoy the movie you’re about to watch. Don’t go buying movie tickets for horror or action films.

As the parent, you should know what type of stories would kindle your child’s imagination. You should also look for films with characters that they are familiar with. It is also a good idea to read the storyline or synopsis of the movie first to see if it is in line with their taste.

  1. Choose the best possible seats

In the past, seats in movie theaters were on a first-come, first-served basis. Today, you can already pick out a specific seat when booking tickets online.

When doing so, make sure you choose the best possible seat in the place. This is usually located along the aisle where you can easily access the stairs for leg stretches, potty breaks, and other activities that may cause you to leave your seats. Not only will this cause the least disruption to other moviegoers, but it will also give you and your brood the full benefit of the big screen.

  1. Don’t forget the snacks

Children tend to feel more sensitive and become frustrated at the slightest mishap when they are hungry. To avoid having to deal with tantrums that could disturb other moviegoers, you should always bring snacks.

Be sure to have all their favorites, and that includes even those that you have forbidden at home. However, be sure to bring out the big guns during emergencies only.

  1. Be prepared to leave early

Because it is their first time in the cinema, there will always be a chance that your child would need to leave early. When this happens, don’t feel frustrated or embarrassed. It’s just something that may always happen when you have a toddler in tow.

If you sense that your child is upset, anxious, or disengaged for some reason, you should consider preparing for an early leave. Remember that walking away is a much better option than having to power through a film with an unhappy, screaming child.

In some cases, they only need to get a bit of fresh air to adjust to the new environment. But if your child truly isn’t ready yet, don’t make it hard on them. After all, there will always be a chance to go back and finish what you started.

Bond in the Cinemas

Bonding with the family is most crucial for a child’s early years. Make sure you establish a solid foundation by preparing them well for their firsts – watching movies in the cinema included. Try out the tips listed in this article and share some of your experiences in the comments.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Paul Fox is the Director of Roxy Cinemas under Meraas Group/DXB Entertainments. Roxy Cinemas currently has five Dubai locations: The Beach, La Mer, City Walk, Box Park, and Bollywood Parks.

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