Beauty and the Parenting Beast

A guest post from mom J.W. Curtis:

Let me first admit that I made a parenting judgment yesterday, and it came back to bite me.

I saw Beauty and the Beast with my youngest daughter (10) and her friend. Who doesn’t love a movie with a Free-Range leading character? Parenting themes about judging others on appearances were all around us…including my own about the other parents at the theater.

We caught the early matinee on the last day of school break and it was crowded.  Long lines at the ticket counter (why don’t I ever order ahead online?) and a packed theater.  While waiting to get in, we stood near twin toddlers dressed in adorable Belle dresses while their mom toted the tiniest sleeping infant I’ve ever seen in a carrier.

I judged.

I mumbled to my kids that that itty-bitty baby would probably sit next to us and cry during the movie and wondered why she’d attempt to bring so many little ones…but then I remembered back to when I juggled my three at that age who  also loved Belle, and I put my pointy finger back in my pocket.

Stifling my inner Eeyore I concentrated on the good things ahead, which included eating smuggled Easter candy in darkness while watching a favorite story.

We found seats in the very back row. There was an aisle separating the two-seat side row from the long rows in the middle.  I sat as far from the young Belles and tiny infant as possible, and unpacked my chocolate contraband. I was set!

Or so I thought.

Two parents with their five school-aged children came in next. This is fine. No babies. Two parents to supervise.  They couldn’t all sit together, so the parents sat on the side and put the children across the aisle in front of them, mom insisting loudly, “I need to be able to see you so you don’t choke, it’s dark in here!”

The family got the large bucket of popcorn (and went back for refills!), nuggets, candy, on and on with the potential airway obstructions. To be “safe,” the mom had the kids come back and forth to grab the food, only small handfuls she could supervise. The kids eventually gave up on their seats and simply laid down in the aisle, to be closer to mom and more importantly, the properly portioned snacks.

I sat dumbfounded.  While Belle possessed strong enough will to free a Beast, these children weren’t trusted with a bucket of popcorn.

I still enjoyed the movie immensely.  Emma Watson was extraordinary (especially if that was her actually singing).  I exchanged sideways glances with my girls, who reminded me after that they never heard a peep out that tiny baby or those little Belles that I avoided sitting near.

Teaches me not to judge.  Just like the Beast was not what he seemed, not all parents are what they appear.   What counts for independence and decision making among our future Belle’s should not be, “Do you want Pepsi or Sprite?” And the most supervised of children can be the most disruptive of all. – Judy Curtis

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Beauty and the Beastly children who came to watch, eat, lay down in the aisles…

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55 Responses to Beauty and the Parenting Beast

  1. Jessica April 21, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Okay, I usually love your guest posts. But here’s a summary of the article: “I started to judge this mom with a baby. But I was judging the wrong person! She was fine, but this OTHER mom was doing it ALL wrong. Seriously, what’s her problem?”

  2. Dienne April 21, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    “And the most supervised of children can be the most disruptive of all.”

    I would say the most *controlled*. Children should, in general, always be supervised (albeit not always directly). But there are ways to supervise without controlling. My mother always knew where I was and had a reasonable idea what I was up to (and was prepared to step in if and when things got dangerous), but she didn’t follow me around and dictate every little thing to me. No one likes to be controlled – in fact, I’d say it’s human nature to resist being controlled. When kids are too controlled they don’t learn to control themselves – practically their whole existence becomes a struggle to figure out who they are and how to manage themselves. The most strictly “disciplined” kids end up being the most badly behaved.

  3. Michael La Porte April 21, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    “Who doesn’t love a movie with a Free-Range leading character?”

    Hmm, the ‘free range” leading character’s dad is kidnapped by the “beast” and then trades herself for her father.

    And, she ends up falling in love with the kidnapper?

    I will confess to not having seen the movie, but that’s the plot of the original and I have read that they haven’t changed things dramatically.

    So, which part do we applaud as free rangers? The omnipresent (in fiction) kidnapper? Or, that its OK for strong women to marry kidnappers?

    I don’t even get to any mistakes (or not) in parenting. The biggie is giving $$ to these sorts of movies in the first place.

    Anti-feminist tripe. Blech.

  4. Backroads April 21, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Tiny infants are the best child to take to a movie. I took my 2-month old to Star Wars and nursed her, she never Made a peep. The older kid had a sitter.

    Ok, so yeah, she judged Mom #2, but she was also being obnoxious in a theatre.

  5. pentamom April 21, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    Jessica — well, yes, this blog is about the idea that some ways to parent are better than others.

  6. pentamom April 21, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    And she was judging based on the way her parenting interacted with the kids’ actual behavior, not merely on the kids’ behavior, or the parenting style. When you can see what someone is doing and you can see that it yields an unfortunate result, you don’t have to turn your brain off and not make a judgment.

  7. Buffy April 21, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    As a terrible mother, I never once worried that my kids were going to choke in the movie theater.

    Now, looking back, I’m truly shocked that I didn’t think ahead about what could have happened….. but didn’t. 🙂

  8. James April 21, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    “As a terrible mother, I never once worried that my kids were going to choke in the movie theater.”

    When our kids started on solid food they ate too fast. Both our boys choked a bit on their food at one time or another. We fixed the situation (learning CPR isn’t paranoia), then re-calibrated how we were feeding them. At this point (the kids are 3 and 2), we don’t worry about it. They know how to eat.

    My point is, even if it happens it’s 1) not the end of the world, and 2) relatively easy to fix if you know how. I won’t say it’s not terrifying–it is, and the terror never diminishes–but it’s an acute terror, an “in this moment” terror. Eating is a skill, like any other; it takes a time or two to master it. Given that I almost choked on a mint last year, it’s a risk you accept by being a metazoan!

    As for the post: I think it’s wrong to be as hard on yourself as the guest post is. You had a momentary thought of “Ugh, this kid’s going to scream this whole movie.” You were introspective enough to realize it was wrong. That’s how this process is supposed to work. Regarding the other parent: Their insanity disrupted the movie for others, and demonstrably frustrated the kids to no good purpose. You’re allowed to complain about that!

  9. Anita April 21, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Here’s a solution – don’t feed your kids the toxic waste served as “snacks” in movie theaters. Oy vey.

  10. James Pollock April 21, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    “As a terrible mother, I never once worried that my kids were going to choke in the movie theater.”
    Perhaps the mother in question has had the experience of having one or more of her children choke, and this has shaped her parenting decisions.

    If you buy into the notion that parents are the ones best-positioned to know their kids and what’s good for them…

  11. Laura April 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    I assumed it was going to be related to the fact that the movie is about a young woman held captive for no logical reason by a man-beast creature who she falls in love with. Guess falling in love with your captor is a better life lesson to learn than judging the wrong mom. (Yes, I’m exaggerating for effect.)

  12. SKL April 21, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    I’ve been wondering what I’m doing wrong. My kids were so quiet at home all day that I thought they were out of the house. Then when we went out with guests – particularly one who is known for his dislike of kid noises – my kids acted like idiots. And they are 10yo i.e. they know better.

    There are few things more humbling than parenthood.

    I often push back when people say “it’s the parents who teach kids to be horrible” when school-aged kids allegedly engage in bullying, discrimination, or other unacceptable behavior. My parents didn’t teach me the idiot things I did. More importantly, just because I never do xyz and tell my kids it’s wrong, that doesn’t mean they hold to that when I’m not watching. It doesn’t mean that whenever my kid rats on her Frenemy, the other parents must suck because my darling (a) couldn’t be embellishing, and (b) couldn’t have done anything to provoke Frenemy. 😛 I seem to be in the minority on these points though.

  13. Anna April 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    ‘“As a terrible mother, I never once worried that my kids were going to choke in the movie theater.”
    Perhaps the mother in question has had the experience of having one or more of her children choke, and this has shaped her parenting decisions.

    If you buy into the notion that parents are the ones best-positioned to know their kids and what’s good for them…’

    That’s possible – I have a sister whose sons were terrible about choking and gagging until quite old, like 8 or 10 years old. They weren’t big on chewing before swallowing, I guess. On the other hand, I would think it would be a no-brainer that if your kids have that problem, you’re just not a family that should do snacks in a dark movie theater; you should probably save the snacks for when everybody is sitting on a chair at a table with the lights on. There isn’t an actual right to snack during a movie to the point of being obnoxious to everyone around you in the theater.

  14. SKL April 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    Re choking – I will admit that I didn’t let my kids eat in the car for a long time because I wouldn’t be able to see or do anything if they choked. (Rear-facing in the back seat.) Could be because one of my kids did choke (at home) and I had to dig the offending material out of her throat.

    But I don’t assume they need to be eating all the time. They can actually go hours without eating – imagine it. In their first movies, they didn’t get snacks at all. Too many things to fuss with and too distracting. BUT. One of my kids somehow banged her head on the seat and started crying. So much for not disturbing anyone. 😛 I carried her out until she shut up. (We were with a childless person that time too.)

  15. James Pollock April 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    ” I would think it would be a no-brainer that if your kids have that problem, you’re just not a family that should do snacks in a dark movie theater”

    The problem of needing air to maintain metabolic function? And you’re saying that once a child has choked on something, ever, they’re never allowed to have snacks in a theater again?

    Once you start down the path of “I know what’s best for these children, even if their own parents don’t…”, you lose the right to complain when they start returning the favor.

  16. Rebel mom April 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    On a tangentially related note, having been a mom with infants and young toddlers in the past I now have more empathy. **In certain situations.** For example, I request to sit near the babies in planes bc most folks don’t love traveling with their babies. They’re visiting relatives or taking older kids somewhere fun or something like that. It’s an ordeal for all involved. Babies at a theater. Meh. Totally optional activity that can be missed or planned so baby isn’t there. If someone gives you the hairy eyeball for bringing an infant either stand tall bc you know it’s gonna be fine or don’t do it.

  17. Roger the Shrubber April 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Some fail to appreciate that this post is a criticism of the inappropriate behavior this mother permitted, not her concern over her children choking.

  18. Douglas John Bowen April 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Ms. Curtis can give herself some credit: She caught herself.

    Plenty of times I’ve lacked the insight to do the same myself. For me, being a Free-Range parent is about trying. I’ll never be perfect. But I can try to be better.

    Still, if she’s to be criticized for looking askance at the popcorn-go-round episode, throw that criticism my way, too. I’d have found it simultaneously hilarious and depressing. To be sure, I would try to keep such a reaction to myself, and not cause a fuss.

  19. Jennifer C April 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    Talking about the ‘smuggled Easter candy’ brought back memories–my mom used to pack that and the leftover Halloween candy for movies so we wouldn’t have to pay for snacks.

  20. SKL April 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Nobody has an issue with her breaking the rules in front of her kids, LOL.

    Also, when you sit at the back of a place that allows children, you should expect to be surrounded by kids whose parents predict less-than-perfect behavior. If you really want to avoid noisy children, consider NOT attending a matinee on the last day of school break and NOT sitting in the back row. LOL.

  21. Jennifer C April 21, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

    I’m surprised people didn’t complain about her children laying in the aisles. Forget about choking, what about someone accidentally tripping over these kids while they’re trying to get back to their seats?

  22. Abigail Hakala April 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    @SKL “There are few things more humbling than parenthood”

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Lessons learned on the journey and shared are others to take when applicable. I didn’t connect with the main post, but with SKL’s comment today. It is OK and normal to be humbled in parenting. It is to be expected. Thank you.

  23. Anna April 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    “Once you start down the path of “I know what’s best for these children, even if their own parents don’t…”, you lose the right to complain when they start returning the favor.”

    I thought the point here was that the way these parents had the kids behaving was annoying and disruptive to everyone around them in a public place, where people who had paid for tickets for an entertainment were trying to enjoy it. And no, kids do not need to snack during a movie so desperately as to trump the comfort of all the bystanders. If your kids can’t safely feed themselves in the dark. . . don’t feed them in the dark! It’s not that hard.

  24. James Pollock April 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    ” the way these parents had the kids behaving was annoying and disruptive to everyone around them in a public place, where people who had paid for tickets for an entertainment were trying to enjoy it.”

    If children acting like children annoys you and disrupts your enjoyment of the entertainment, don’t go when there are likely to be children present. It’s not that hard.
    It’s true, people don’t have to have snacks when they are in a movie theater… and a theater could, in theory, decide to ban them. (although, of course, that IS where the theater makes nearly all its money… they make very little from ticket sales.) If you want to watch a movie with none of the distractions of being in a public place while doing so… wait four months, and buy it, and watch it at home, where you get to make all the rules about what people can do while watching movies.

    Try this thought experiment:
    It was the last day of spring break, so I decided to take my kid to the local schoolyard. I just wanted to shoot a few baskets, and maybe do some pull-ups on the pull-up bar they have. I must say, my enjoyment of the place was limited by the annoying and disruptive kids running about the place and climbing on everything.. And most of the kids had parents nearby, who just ignored the noise and commotion their kids were making!
    If these kids can’t be quiet and orderly, their parents should just keep them at home. It’s not that hard.

  25. bluebird of bitterness April 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    The kids were certainly engaging in risky behavior (lolling about on the floor in the aisle of a dark theater, where they were at risk of being stepped on and/or tripped over) while watching “Beauty and the Beast.” But let’s look on the bright side — at least they weren’t re-enacting “Beauty and the Beast” in the middle of a busy street, like these people:
    https://youtu.be/nu4Pzsolyhg

  26. lollipoplover April 21, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

    @Jessica- I think we all make parenting judgments and often don’t question ourselves or reflect honestly. The parent pushing her child in the swing vs. the parent head down on the phone at the park?
    (I’m usually the mom on the phone, btw.)

    It’s easy to make mental shortcuts, but they often have nothing to do with actual parenting, just appearances. Kids can be under direct parental supervision and act like absolutely feral children! I see it all the time and also see tween children *alone* at theaters too who are respectful and considerate to other paying customers.

    I also don’t get the constant need to eat and drink during movies. I know this is how theaters make their profits, but is 1.5 hours really that long to go without a bottomless, refillable trough of popcorn and big gulps of soda? (I also despise the sound of people chewing food so maybe it’s just me…)

  27. Elin Hagberg April 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    That mom must have a phobia of choking or something. I know someone like that. She is not too overly controlling but her son is not allowed to eat when he is alone despite being 12 years old. I have actually told her to seek help but doesn’t seem to know it is sick to be that afraid.

  28. Erin April 21, 2017 at 7:29 pm #

    Wow, thanks for the reminder that there’s always a mom around willing to nitpick what other moms are doing. Seriously, what the heck is the point of this article?

  29. Buffy April 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    You know what, Lenore? I’m done. You obviously value one troll’s contributions to this site much more than anyone else’s so, I’m done.

  30. Anna April 21, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

    “If children acting like children annoys you. . . ”

    But actually, the funny thing in this story is that it wasn’t just children acting like children. It was children doing something bizarre and disruptive (i.e., continually walking across the aisle for tiny mouthfuls of snacks and lying in the aisle to have popcorn dropped into their mouths) because of their mother’s neurosis about choking. Which neurosis would be better accommodated by leaving the snacks at home, as many have pointed out. Children will be children, yes – but it doesn’t follow that every behavior a child engages in is appropriate to the time and place.

  31. James Pollock April 22, 2017 at 1:53 am #

    “But actually, the funny thing in this story is that it wasn’t just children acting like children. It was children doing something bizarre and disruptive […] Children will be children, yes – but it doesn’t follow that every behavior a child engages in is appropriate to the time and place.”

    The point I was going for is that different parents have different ideas about what is and what is not appropriate to the time and place, and it’s foolish to expect that other parents will alter their determinations on these subjects to suit our preferences. Even if those parents agree with you about what is or is not appropriate, they may or may not have the tools necessary to actually impose those beliefs on the kids. Finally, even if they share your expectations of what is and what is not appropriate, it takes kids time to learn.

    So, if you’re at the matinee showing of a Disney movie during school vacation, the theater is going to be packed full of kids, and some of them, somehow, will be annoying and disruptive. It may be for this reason, or that reason, or some other reason, but the odds of being in a theater full of kids who all share your opinion of what is and what is not appropriate… not good.

    So… what are you going to do about it? You do not have the power to MAKE all those kids meet your expectations. You can choose to ignore anything that doesn’t constitute actual physical harm to anyone, as best you can tell. You can grit your teeth and think bad thoughts about all the parents who aren’t managing their kids exactly as you wish they would. If it bothers you SO MUCH that you SIMPLY CANNOT ENJOY THE SHOW, then you need to control what you can control… when and how YOU see the show, to suit your preferences… go to a late showing. Or buy 200 tickets in advance to the same showing. Or wait until it’s available for home use, and watch it then, in the comfort of your own home.

    Did I dole out snacks a dribble at a time, and insist on watching my daughter eat them, when I took her to movies? No, I didn’t. That’s not a choice I would make. But if THAT mother did, and given a choice to assume she’s an uncultured barbarian who doesn’t know anything at all about what is and what is not appropriate to time and place, or assuming that she has her reasons, and doesn’t really owe me an explanation of them, I’m choosing to lean towards the second choice. The fact that it makes absolutely no difference which way I choose, except in one I’m a seething mass of resentment (speaking of things that might disrupt my enjoyment of the movie) and in the other I don’t have to worry about someone else’s parenting choice(s), makes the choice easier for me.

    I’m not sure why this is a controversial position to take.

  32. lollipoplover April 22, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    @Anna- ” it wasn’t just children acting like children”.

    Exactly. More like Pavlov’s dogs conditioned for a treat and conditioned to do the opposite of the general rule for theater etiquette, to sit quietly and enjoy the movie. Key word: sit.

    To imply that parenting means that you get to tend to your children in whatever means necessary may not be illegal, but it sure makes you look like a jerk. Perhaps this is less about parenting and more of a general manners and etiquette?

    @Buffy- I’ve told close relatives and friends going through divorces or tough times how to deal with toxic people, whether they troll you in real life or online: Treat them like they are poison ivy.
    Avoid contact. We like your wit and funny comments on this site. Just avoid the poison ivy and all will be good!

  33. pentamom April 22, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    “I’m not sure why this is a controversial position to take.”

    It’s not controversial that you choose to think that way. More power to you.

    It’s controversial that everyone else is wrong for merely forming opinions about things they observe.

  34. Donna April 22, 2017 at 9:55 am #

    This isn’t about children being children or even about different preferences. This is about people acting inappropriately for the setting. When we go places, there is general societal understanding as to behavior that is appropriate for that particular setting. In movie theaters it is sitting quietly in seats while the movie is playing. The level of distraction of others and moving about that is acceptable for a matinee of a kid’s movie is different than that at a 10pm showing of a documentary, but there is still a certain level of decorum that is expected at said kid’s movie matinee and it is not a free-for-all.

    If your phobias or your children’s needs require that your children must get up for snacks every 5 minutes, then YOU should wait for the movie to come out on Netflix so that you can monitor their food intake without disturbing others. If your children cannot watch a movie without sprawling out on the floor and aisles, then YOU need to watch in your living room.

  35. Rainy April 22, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    The only mistake this parent made was thinking that Emma Watson is in any way a good singer.

  36. SKL April 22, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    Sorry, I do expect some noise, movement, and munching in a kids’ matinee. (Not that my kids have ever been to one.)

    It seems to me that the author went in primed to find some mother to criticize. Personally I have too many of my own problems to give one whit when, where, and how someone else’s kid eats popcorn.

    Women are our own worst enemies, time and again.

  37. James Pollock April 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    “This isn’t about children being children or even about different preferences. This is about people acting inappropriately for the setting. When we go places, there is general societal understanding as to behavior that is appropriate for that particular setting.”

    There may well be an understanding between you and your friends, and other people you know, but it isn’t as universal you you might wish it to be. (That’s the “difference preferences” part.)

    You still come down to a basic fact: You don’t have the power to control other people. You can choose to accept this, or you can stew in resentment and frustration, but neither one changes things.

    What you can do, is vote with your dollars. If the theater accepts behavior you find violates your social contract, don’t give that theater any of your money. If the restaurant allows things you find unacceptable, choose a different one that doesn’t.

    ” In movie theaters it is sitting quietly in seats while the movie is playing.”
    Mostly true, but not universal. The rise of home viewing of movies has resulted in more movie-goers treating the theater more like home. Theaters are adapting. Theater seats, which were strictly utilitarian in my youth, barely a step above bench seating, now more closely resembles a living-room recliner, and whereas the theaters of my youth had seating for 1000 people, now we have multiplexes of closer to 100 seats.
    The newest trend locally is the brewpub-theater… converstation + movies.

    “If your phobias or your children’s needs require that your children must get up for snacks every 5 minutes, then YOU should wait for the movie to come out on Netflix so that you can monitor their food intake without disturbing others.”

    True. But if that lady over there doesn’t agree with you, what are you going to do about it? Thinking unkind thoughts in her general direction aren’t going to change things.

    ” If your children cannot watch a movie without sprawling out on the floor and aisles, then YOU need to watch in your living room.”
    Less true. Why should I care if that kid’s sitting in an aisle? It’s his butt in the spilled soda, not mine.

  38. Jennifer C April 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    “Why should I care if that kid’s sitting in an aisle? It’s his butt in the spilled soda, not mine.”

    If someone happens to accidentally trip over them or step on tiny fingers while trying to navigate their way back to the seat, someone’s going to care. I tend towards the klutzy and my vision in the dark is not so great.

  39. Vanessa April 22, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    “Teaches me not to judge.” Really? I didn’t get that from this piece. The only takeaway here is that the author continuously judges (and really, based on the evidence misjudges) people pretty much non-stop. I’m all for the making choice to Free Range parent but I’m not so sure it says great things about us or this movement to spend our time patting ourselves on the back and feeling superior for judging other parents and their parenting choices.

  40. Diane April 22, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Wow. The takeaway I got from this post was much more lighthearted. I thought it was self deprecating and mildly humorous, with the admitted smuggling in of candy and pre-judging the wrong mom! Conclusion: As my kids would say in a melodramatic voice, “You chose poorly!”

    I find I’m reading the comments much less these days because some people feel the need to parse a simple situation to death. Relax, people.

  41. James Pollock April 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    “If someone happens to accidentally trip over them or step on tiny fingers while trying to navigate their way back to the seat, someone’s going to care.”

    Why should that someone be me?

    ” I tend towards the klutzy and my vision in the dark is not so great.”

    That’s unfortunate, but doesn’t change the equation.
    To the extent that kids (anywhere) are a danger to you, this is only true if they are actively trying to harm you, or you are unaware of their presence. These kids were apparently quite active, and thus unlikely to be unnoticed, and there’s no sign they’re actively trying to trip people.

    But, as Donna pointed out a couple of comments upstream, you’re expected to sit quietly in your seat while the movie is playing.
    If that’s the case, then kids sitting in the aisle aren’t a problem for you, either. Back in the pre-ADA days, being seated in the aisles was how wheelchair-bound patrons saw movies.

  42. hineata April 22, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    @Buffy – just ignore the troll :-). If it (and I will start referring to it as ‘it’ because I am beginning to think it’s some kind of conglomerate of people who make up silly arguments because they’re bored – surely no single person could come up with that much rubbish on a daily basis ) thinks sitting in dark movie aisles is in some way justified, then it’s stepped into whole new realms of stupid.

    Let’s try not feeding it further.

    As to the OP, judge away. Crazy. Kids won’t die from lack of a snack. Though yes, avoiding theatres at bust times, while not always possible, is the best way of avoiding annoying fellow customers.

  43. donald April 22, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    “Let me first admit that I made a parenting judgment yesterday, and it came back to bite me.”

    I really like today’s post because of that line.

    1. WE MAKE MISTAKES.
    We all do that
    2. WE RECOGNIZE OUR MISTAKE
    Many times, that doesn’t happen
    3. WE ADMIT OUR MISTAKE
    Some people will never do this.

    Inability to admit a mistake is another way to measure insecurity. Whereas, a yardstick is used to measure the length and a scale is used to measure weight, how rare a person admits that they made a mistake is an indication of insecurity.

    There are many reasons why a person would be reluctant to admit fault. The most common one is the feeling of, “If I admit fault, I open the floodgates! I open myself up to criticism”.

  44. test April 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    Complaining that kids sitting in the aisle are either dangerous or in danger will not make world more freerange nor lower the amount of fear people have over everything. Just saying. If they make noise or disturb in theater, sure. If you think that their parents are overly paranoid, whatever. Just don’t reach for “and I can actually make whatever you do sound like a danger despite risks being low” argument unless there is actual danger. That is shooting yourself in the foot. That is how paranoia happens. People use danger argument despite their issue not being actual safety.

  45. donald April 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    Also

    One of the better ways to measure maturity is to compare how skilled we are at pointing out faults in others and how inept we are at finding faults in ourselves.

  46. Donna April 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    “There may well be an understanding between you and your friends, and other people you know, but it isn’t as universal you you might wish it to be.”

    I never said it was universal. Social conventions are much like the law in certain respects. Despite the fact that they exist and most people follow them. some will always violate them. That does not make their behavior acceptable and not subject to objection or comment any more than the fact that people break the law means that laws don’t exist and violating them should not be punished.

    I don’t think the author of this post expected to change the world or even the behavior of this family, however that doesn’t make the socially unacceptable behavior of this family not subject to comment and even scorn in whatever format someone wishes to engage in that scorn. I would not even view it as judging beyond the fact of judging that their behavior did not meet the general societal norm of movie theater going.

    “Theater seats, which were strictly utilitarian in my youth, barely a step above bench seating, now more closely resembles a living-room recliner, and whereas the theaters of my youth had seating for 1000 people, now we have multiplexes of closer to 100 seats.”

    And absolutely none of that whatsoever indicates even the slightest movement away from the theory that people should sit quietly in their seats while watching a movie. It just means that the seats they are sitting in are more comfortable. Considering every movie that I’ve seen in recent years admonishes everyone in the beginning to remain quiet and even adds the specific request of silencing cell phones, it appears that the standard is still sit quietly in theaters.

    “The newest trend locally is the brewpub-theater… converstation + movies.”

    I am going to guess that all these parents and children were not actually at the brew-pub-theater. But yes, every movie theater in my town now has a bar and serves alcohol (probably not the college one, but they let you bring anything you want in so basically the same thing). Quiet sitting and watching is still the expected norm inside the theater.

  47. Donna April 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    I do have to say that I don’t view this as a free range issue. It just appears to me that this is a manners issue and this group falls into the category of self-absorbed people who don’t care if their behavior is annoying beyond the norm to everyone else around them.

  48. James Pollock April 22, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

    “I am going to guess that all these parents and children were not actually at the brew-pub-theater.”
    Well, not in this state, since minors are prohibited from entering the premises.

    “Quiet sitting and watching is still the expected norm inside the theater.”
    Expected by you. Did you NOT just concede that your preferences are not universal?

    In my youth, you went to the theater to see a movie because you had no other option. A movie would run in first-run theaters for up to a year. Then those prints would go to second-run theaters. After finishing up in second-run theaters, the movie might show up on premium cable (first chance to see the movie at home, a couple of years after it came out) and then, after that, it might get sold in FCC-acceptable form, for broadcast TV.

    VHS came on the scene, and changed that. At first, the studios didn’t think there was much market for pre-recorded tapes… they put VHS release in line after premium cable, and sometimes after they sold it for broadcast. And they priced it ridiculously high. Most amazing of all, they actually fought rentals.

    Then, they got smarter, and finally figured out that home viewing was a market they could tap. They developed a rental system for home viewing rentals that was similar to the theater system… the studios provided VHS (then DVD and successor media) to the rental stores, in exchange for a cut (a big one) of rental revenue.

    Through this whole process, the cost of watching movies at home consistently dropped. This meant that more and more people chose to watch movies at home. Watching movies at home has different rules from watching in a theater (duh, right?) but more and more people consume more and more movies this way.
    Here’s where the shift happens. Many kids watch movies at home… lots and lots and lots of movies, over and over again, before they ever set foot in a theater. The theaters are trying to hold on to THEIR marketshare by making the theaters more like home.

    ” Considering every movie that I’ve seen in recent years admonishes everyone in the beginning to remain quiet and even adds the specific request of silencing cell phones, it appears that the standard is still sit quietly in theaters.”

    Yes, they have ads reminding people to turn off their cell phones during the movie. Why do they need to do that? Because so many people don’t. You don’t have to run ads to tell people to do what they are already doing. If something is an accepted social norm, you don’t have to tell people to follow the accepted social norm.
    Here’s an analogy. Every DVD has an FBI anti-piracy notice. Does this indicate that A) copying IP without authorization is an established social norm, or B) Not copying IP without authorization is a well-established social norm?

  49. donald April 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    James, will you give it a rest? Sometimes I think you just like to hear yourself talk

  50. Jennifer C April 22, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

    @James Pollock–wheelchairs are large and more visible than little ones. And strange as it may seem to you, people still need to get up and go to the bathroom, and then, as strange as it might seem, they still need to make it back to their seats without tripping over little obstacles that won’t stay in theirs. And no, I did not attribute the children’s behavior to any sort of malice, nor would my tripping over them or accidentally kicking or stepping on a hand be malicious either. I would certainly have no desire to harm a child or sprain my ankle, but if they aren’t where they are supposed to be it might happen.

    Also, the fact that children might sprawl out on the floor while watching a movie at home does not make them incapable of realizing that there are other patrons that they need to be considerate of. I was able to sit in a chair when I watched movies in the theater, even as a toddler. If they are incapable of being seated during a movie, perhaps watching it at home is better.

  51. Jennifer C April 22, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    @test In my opinion It has very little to do with free-range, which I believe in, and everything to do with basic manners and consideration towards other patrons. For instance, when I watch movies with friends or family at home, we all talk–a lot. But we know better than to do that in a theater where we might ruin the movie experience for others.

  52. test April 23, 2017 at 1:33 am #

    @James Pollock Turning off phones is social norm people are fully aware of. The ads are because many people are forgetting.

  53. Becks Reay April 23, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    ‘Society’ really has us beating ourselves up if we’re not kind enough, accepting enough, sociable enough, ambitious enough and the list goes on.

    So what if we judge people sometimes? Surely it’s no big deal so long as we’re not doling out our own consequences.

    Have a bit of a judge and a bit of a moan and move on.

  54. Edward Hafner April 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

    Once again it looks like someone (some “it”) has forgotten how to behave as a guest in someone’s home.
    It needs to avail itself of the self descriptive link below:

    http://www.wpbeginner.com/start-a-wordpress-blog/

  55. Peter April 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    Eating is a skill, like any other; it takes a time or two to master it.

    Just remember: Breathe Air. Eat Food. Breathe Air. Eat Food.