Don’t Be Like This Hudson Valley Parent at an Avatar 2 Screening
Sometimes you have to wonder what some parents are thinking.
Like millions of other theatergoers over the holiday break, my family and I went to see Avatar: The Way of Water. The film is the follow-up to the 2009 box office smash and features even more impressive 3D action than the original. We were looking forward to seeing the movie since the re-release of the first film a few months ago, but the experience was nearly ruined by a terrible parent.
If you haven't seen Avatar yet you should know that it's long -- like, really long. Clocking in at three and a half hours, even adults have had a tough time sitting through the whole flick without getting a bit fidgety. While it's understandable that kids may have trouble focusing on such a long film, what one parent allowed their child to do during a recent screening was simply unforgivable.
I started to get a bad feeling about my movie-going experience when a family arrived during the trailers and sat behind us. Two children who were way younger than the suggested PG-13 rating began loudly laughing and talking over the Super Mario Brothers movie trailer that was playing. Other theatergoers were obviously annoyed, spinning around their heads to give the father a death stare.
Luckily, he got the hint and asked his children to quiet down, which they thankfully did, and remained silent throughout the rest of the film. Unfortunately, another parent on the other side of us was not as respectful to the rest of the audience.
About an hour into the film, I saw a bright light behind me to the right. I tried my best to block it out, focusing instead on the blue people on the screen talking to alien whales (yeah, the movie went to some weird places). Distracted by this light I turned my head to see what it was and saw that it was a young child looking at a tablet. If you're like me you are probably already irate at the idea of a parent letting their kid turn on a screen in a dark movie theater, but it actually gets way worse.
As if the blinding light wasn't enough, the child began to watch a cartoon -- without headphones! That's right, while we were trying to enjoy the Na'vi swimming through the sea, Peppa Pig or some other obnoxious cartoon was blasting through this kid's tablet speaker.
As a parent, I remember how hard it was to keep my child entertained but I would never dream of being so disrespectful to a room full of strangers. What kind of person thinks that it's ok to have a kid whip out a tablet and start listening to a cartoon in a crowded movie theater? Just when I thought people couldn't act any more selfish and entitled I was hit with a whole new level of narcissism.
I understand that babysitters are expensive and that parenting is tough, but there's no excuse for dragging your kid to a three-and-a-half-hour movie they're too young to be interested in. My wife and I missed out on much of the Marvel universe because we were busy at home being parents. I don't know how many times we asked waiters to pack up our meals when we realized our child was growing restless. We'd sooner leave a movie or restaurant early than subject strangers to a distracting child.
I'm doing my best to try to be less judgemental and understand that other people may be dealing with issues I'm unaware of, but I'm at a loss to come up with any situation where it would be understandable for a child to be allowed to listen to a loud iPad in a crowded movie theater.
What do you think? Are you a parent who's done something like this? I'd love to hear your rationale. Feel free to comment on our Facebook page or drop us a text on our app.
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