A Lesson Learned

by Amber Stiles on August 10, 2012

Today Alexa and I had a mommy & me double date with a friend and her son.  We were off to the movies.  A lunchtime viewing of Ice Age 4.  A cute little flick perfect for both of the kiddies.  It should have been pleasant.  It should have been empty in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday.  It shouldn’ve been but it wasn’t.  Instead we learned a lesson today.

So what was this lesson?  Well it had to do with behavior issues.  Nope, not from our kids.  And nope not from the other familes with toddlers trying to enjoy an overpriced show with overpriced snacks and an overly chilly theather.  Nope it was from the over crowding that came when 100 some-odd grade-school age boys piled into the room with us when their sports camp was rained out.

We were all settled in waiting for the show to start.  Families scattered about with plenty of room to spare.  THEN, we saw rows and rows of kids streaming in.  There were MAYBE 4 teenage counselors and I *think* ONE adult.  Ok, let’s first start with the fact that the student to teacher ratio seems WAY off at 20:1.  I’m pretty sure that’s not in line with NJ standards of child care….even in a camp setting.  There just weren’t enough people there to supervise these rowdy kids.  Then add to that the counselors sitting out in the hallway or napping in a row by themselves during the movie and doing NOTHING about the fact that these kids were getting up every 2 seconds and disturbing everyone around them.

You best believe I said something.  I said something directly to the kids sitting behind us that continued to bump my daughter’s head when they got up and down.  I said something to the teenager group leader who was standing outside the door when I left the theater.  I said something to the ticket taker to let her know what was going on inside (she told her boss who did reprimand the group, but did not ask them to leave).  I also spoke to the manager on the way out…who comped our next show.

The lesson in question was how NOT to act when out in public.  I used this as a teachable moment with Alexa.  She was upset about it a little.  So we talked.  She told me that it wasn’t nice…how they acted.  We talked the idea that just because their parents weren’t there doesn’t mean they should be allowed to act out.  We also talked about how rude it was to interrupt other peoples’ viewing of the show over and over again.  She actually seemed pleased when we drove off.  She knew that it was wrong and I’m a little thankful that I was there to talk about it with after witnessing something so bizarre first hand.





**I’m sorry but it was all just unacceptable.  Who does that?  Who lets 100 eight-ish year old boys have free reign of the place without renting out the entire space for your group?  Why wasn’t there a rule in place that said you had to have “this many” adults per “this many” kids?  Why weren’t they there BEFORE the show started so they could get their snacks and sit in a group  rather than piling in between those of us that thought ahead?  

Best yet, why was a sports camp at the movies?  Yeah yeah it was raining.  So have a gymnasium set up to take you in if your outdoor games gt rained out.  Or hey?  Go home?  

I would be livid if I was a parent of one of those boys.  Not only were they put in harms way by not having enough supervision but they were not kept in line when they started to get out of control.  If I pay good money to have my child’s life enriched through any camp I expect them to be involved in something less mind numbing than a cartoon movie (that the ones behind me had clearly seen since they knew the words?).  I would be mortified if my kids acted so rudely to the other patrons.

I’m pissed and ranty.  Sorry.  The resolution for me was that the manager gave us free passes to another show.  Yay.  But I’m still annoyed.  More so than necessary but whatever.  I’m trying to track down the camp to tell the supervisors that their plans of a nice day at the movies ruined the afternoon of about 10 other families.  Too bad their name is oh so generic – Ultimate Sports Camp.  Ugh do you know what Google does with that?  GAH!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish August 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Ubelievable! And if I was there and saw some kid bump alexa’s chair, I would’ve lost it!! She’s not even my kid! Good for you for taking action, and for dealing so well with it and showing Alexa how NOT to behave. She’s a smart kiddo, and I have a feeling that even if she had been in a group like that, she probably would have behaved herself anyway. You and Peter taught her better than that!


Amber Stiles August 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

I honestly didn’t know you were even allowed to bring that many kids to the movies!
I was kinda mean to the kids behind us, but they wouldn’t stop.
Really hoping she doesn’t turn out to be a jerk, LOL.


Brandy August 11, 2012 at 1:26 am

Oh my goodness, you handled it exactly as I would have. I am so pissed for you! I seriously can’t believe that theatre allowed that to happen; they obviously have very little respect for their other patrons. If be calling their corporate too… But I’m an over-bitcher according to my husband.

I am so glad you used this as a teachable moment for Alexa, you are such a great mom!


Amber Stiles August 15, 2012 at 2:49 am

Ha, I couldn’t find the camp info and would have called corporate if they hadn’t tried to fix things. The poor girl at the ticket booth thought I was going to bite her head off. I’m sure they deal with some complete assholes so I was trying to complain nicely :-)


Kristen August 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm

I’ve had that same thing happen before. My girls know that they should never behave like that and disrupt people. When they see behavior like that, they get more upset than I do sometimes. Mostly because they say they feel badly for their counselors or teachers (whomever brought the disruptive kids).

Keep up the good work and using all moments like these as teachable ones. It would be a much better world if everyone did.


Amber Stiles August 15, 2012 at 2:51 am

That sucks that it’s happened to you too. That’s pretty awesome that your girls are so empathic though. You did a great job teaching them to be that way :-)


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