Last weekend, we watched “Finding Dory” at a cinema near our house. It is not our first time to watch a movie together with our son, Moti. He is turning 3 this August. The very first time we watch a movie together, I was a little bit skeptical that he might go bored or uncontrollable. That time, he was a little bit younger and he still breastfeeds at me. I learned a lot from our very first experienced in watching a movie. That time, breastfeeding gives him comfort every time there is a scene that a little bit disturbing for him or if the audio’s level is quite discomforting. Later on, when he started to self-wean from breastfeeding, the things become difficult for us. He tends to shout, cry or be scared at some times. Although this is very minimal. So, to give you some guidelines for what we have experienced, here are the tips that can help you.
How To Make Your Toddler Behave at The Theater
1. Only watch movies that interest your toddler
I always observed my son what are the movies he has interests in. I watched how he reacts to a trailer and I listen to his body language as well. Sometimes, I can hear his giggles, his mimics and how he pretends to be in the movie. Watch out for those signs.
2. Bring a comfort toy
Always bring his favorite teddy or a car. Anything that can give him comfort. It is recommended to let him bring something to cuddle- a small pillow, a blanket, etc.
3. Occupy with snacks
Since Moti is not breastfeeding anymore, I make sure that we always bring some milk, so he can be occupied when there are dull moments in the movie. He also loves some finger snacks so we brought some as long as it complies with the cinema’s policy.
4.Talk to your toddler before you go to the cinema
As the old saying goes, “Prevention is always better than cure”. It is true, I always talk to Moti before we go to the cinema. I told him how a toddler should behave inside and the things that he can do and he cannot do in the cinema.
5. Let the toddler watch the trailer over and over again
If you saw that your toddler has an interest in one particular trailer, let him watch it over and over again. In this way, you can wake his curiosity and you will know if he is really interested in the movie.
6. Wait for signs that the toddler really wanted to watch the movie in the cinema
Listen to what your toddler is saying. Look for signs such as enthusiasm, talk-about, body language, etc. If your toddler asked it once and never again, then he is not really interested in the movie. If he will insist watching the movie than he is ready.
7. Offer a reward for a good behavior
Ensure your toddler that he is going to receive a reward. It maybe a new toy, an hour in the arcade, a train ride, a favorite treat or a celebration in his favorite restaurant.
8. Go as a family
As much as possible, go as a family. Watching a movie together can boost up your child’s confidence. He will behave more if he will go with his father and mother.
9. Watch your reaction
Make your reaction as discreet as possible. Your toddler will imitate the way you react. If there is a scary part, hold on to your fear and let your child be secure by not throwing a fearful reaction.
10. Ask the toddler what is he expecting from the movie
Before going to the cinema, know what are your child’s expectations. Ask him if he understands the trailer and wakening up his curiosity so you can discuss the movie after you watched it. In this way, you will be able to know if he really understands the movie or at least he enjoyed watching it.
Earlier, as I have stated that we watched “Finding Dory”. I can see how he enjoyed it as he cuddled to his favorite toy. You can ask him what is his favorite scene, he will be happy to tell you about it!