Kids Have The Right To Laugh At Kids’ Movies, Even If You Don’t Like It
Kids’ movies are universally enjoyable these days, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re intended for children. The thing about children is they make noise. They laugh loudly, they ask questions, and they rarely hold it in when they’re feeling particularly emotional or overjoyed. As an adult, you make allowances for this. Or, at least you should.
The Huffington Post parenting blog recently published a post by blogger Nicole Skaro, who was left devastated after she took her 20-month-old to a matinee and a stranger shouted at her to “get that kid out of here” because he was giggling at the movie. Skaro’s son, Vito, has brain cancer. As a result, he laughs differently than other kids and even though he was just enjoying the movie along with everyone else, someone apparently had a problem with it. Writes Skaro:
He did cry for a minute when he couldn’t drink from his brother’s cup. We removed him immediately. He was giggling in the hall. We brought him back in and he giggled through the movie. I guess that was too much. It would be one thing if we kept Vito in the theater when he was crying. But, we didn’t. It would be one thing if you told us to leave when he was crying, but he wasn’t. You shouted for us to leave when Vito was laughing and giggling. Like other kids in the theater. But my son just laughed differently. I’m sorry that bothered you.
Skaro responded to the man who yelled at her inside the theater, letting him and everyone else know that Vito has brain cancer that has drastically altered his communication abilities. She says another stranger then responded, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t bring him out.”
Basic etiquette applies, even in children’s movie, and I get that. What I don’t understand is the stunning lack of empathy displayed by not one, but two separate parties in that theater. Yelling across the room that someone should leave because their laugh annoys you? And then, upon hearing that the child in question has a severe illness that has affected his ability to communicate, responding that he should just be locked away in his house so as not to disturb others?
Parenting would be a much easier job if we could all just be a little bit kinder to one another. Kids are learning how to be people, some of them have needs and circumstances we couldn’t imagine, and you never know what sort of battles people are fighting. Vito’s parents did everything they could to be respectful of other patrons, but expecting them to squelch their son’s laughter — especially when everyone else is laughing — is just ridiculous. You should walk into a children’s movie expecting joy and laughter and prepared to make allowances for the little people around you. If you don’t, you’re the one who doesn’t know how to behave in public.