Sue Scheff: Movie Etiquette - Teen Behavior in the Theater

Do you know what your teen does at the movies? Movie Etiquette - talk to your teens.

As a frequent movie goer, I must say if parents could see how their teens are acting in public, they would be more than humiliated. I am not saying my teens were perfect, I am almost afraid to ask them at this point (they are young adults now). I will take it a step further and say I don’t remember my generation having this much lack of respect for others, especially those in authority.

Then I was thinking, I am sure their parents don’t know and maybe if they did, they would speak with their kids about this behavior. With this, I am going to share with you some less than appropriate behaviour I have witnessed, and hoping that parents reading this will sit down and talk with their teens about what happens when they go to the theatre.

At $10.00 and up now for an average movie ticket price, I am confident that most of us would like to enjoy the movie – and the parents paying for their teens to attend, I am even more confident they wouldn’t appreciate or approve their teens acting like this:

Teens travel in groups, which is not a bad thing until: They bounce from seat to seat, constantly are laughing and talking (while the movie is in session), and let’s not forget the constant texting. The glowing phones can be annoying. When the cell phone rings, they actually answer it and continue a conversation! As a side note, laughing during a comedy is normal – laughing and chatting with your friends out loud when the movie is running and others are trying to listen, is downright rude.

Note to parents: Talk to your teens about this.

I am in South Florida; we are air-conditioned very well down here. Do parents know how their teens leave the house? I will share my experiences with my teen daughter. She walked out respectfully, however I soon discovered she had her alternative (less than appropriate) clothes to change into in her back pack. Parents, check that back pack!

Girls will come in with the skimpiest tops and short shorts! Their only way to keep warm is the hair on their shoulders that is constantly being fussed with – during the movie!

Note to parents: Talk to your teens about this.

Should we get into the teens that only come to the movies to “make-out.” You may think I am being a prude, and didn’t we all do this once? Many did, but usually they were at drive-ins (which are rare here or maybe even extinct in many places) when we didn’t have dozens of eyes on us. Parents, please talk to your teens about this. If they need to display this sign of affection, maybe you can allow them in your family room, since honestly – most of the public does not enjoy watching it. I would think the ones that do, you should be even more worried about.

Note to parents: Talk to your teens about this.

I am sure there may be some parents that think I am being ridiculous, however I believe there are more of us that would appreciate old fashioned common courtesy in the theatre. Today’s generation of kids seem to have lost that respect for authority, however it doesn’t mean that our teens have to follow that trend. Be a parent, be an example, show them you care.

Note to parents: Talk to your teens – period.

Note to movie goers: You don’t have to tolerate this behavior, find the manager, they will swiftly intervene and many cases these kids are removed from the theater if they don’t stop. From experience, many will stop, however you also have missed part of your movie.

Note to readers: I am not saying all teens are like this, but to be on the safe side, talk to your teen.
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