How Do I Know When My Kids Are Old Enough For Live Entertainment?

Very young children don't have the ability to sit through most live entertainment options. That can be bothersome if you would like to attend an event. Perhaps a show you love now, or loved as a child, is touring your area and you would like to take them to share the experience. Perhaps your older children want to visit a community entertainment option and you don't want to hire a babysitter for one. Whatever the reason, if you would like to take your child to an upcoming event, then start watching for signs at home that they are ready.
Little ones get restless easily. Even doing normal activities at home, their attention strays from the task at hand and something else easily distracts them. Rarely can they even get through dinner without wanting to get a toy or pet the dog. It is simply part of that stage of development. They also have a difficult time remembering plot lines. This makes them confused during longer shows. When they are too young, they end up spending much of their time at live entertainment peppering parents with questions about what is happening and why.
In order to gauge whether or not your youngster is ready for a show, start watching their attention span at home. When they watch a favorite television show or movie, they should be able to sit most of the way through it, fully engaged in the program. If they immediately begin fidgeting, or get up and leave the room, you can bet they will do the same during live entertainment. It isn't so bothersome when the are ignoring a cartoon, but it is a hassle when you have to leave a function that you've paid for and gone to, because of a meltdown.
Typically, the magical age of growing attention spans is around 4 years. Before that, and the task of sitting still to watch something is too hard. Even at 4, it depends on the child as to whether or not they can handle a full show. Some are ready, and others need more stimulation and movement to keep them from becoming restless. Sometimes older siblings can help. If the younger child has someone they look up to, they can take behavioral cues from them. At the very least, they have another lap in which to sit contently.
Most children love live entertainment, because of the sights and sounds happening right in front of them. They sit in their seats, or jump around and dance, memorized by the costumes, music, and actors. Those options that engage them physically help keep them interested. If the show encourages cheering, boos, dancing, and lots of clapping, then you have a better bet of lasting the duration. Likewise, if the show involves animals of any kind, you might make it to the end. The timing really depends on the individual development of your child. Keep an eye on them at home to see if they are ready for the big stage.

By Angela Landrum /
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