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To be annoyed at parents who do not teach their kids how to act properly at the theatre?

(124 Posts)
DSClarke Mon 28-Dec-15 22:56:42

OK, so this might be the most middle class thread ever but...

We were at theatre today for a family production. Kid of about 7 behind me starts kicking my chair before the play starts. I wait for about 2 minutes, then turn round to him, smile very sweetly, and say "I'm sorry, but would you mind not kicking my chair, thank you?" Parents are two kids away on either side do nothing.

He then does it sporadically through the play. I ask him twice not to do it, and then for his older brother to get his feet off the back of my DS's chair. Coulple that with the fact that they spend the first 30 minutes eating sweets from the crinklest bag ever.

Am I an old fuddy duddy? Is this OK behaviour now? Do these parents think that it is OK for their kids to piss off everyone around them (the man next to me was getting seriously pissed off as well).

However, my DH just thinks it was kids being kids.

I am seriously considering splashing out for a box next time wink

OTheHugeManatee Mon 28-Dec-15 22:59:22


IguanaTail Mon 28-Dec-15 23:00:23

It's not ok. You are not being at all unreasonable! Surprised you managed to keep your cool. I don't think it's middle class though, I think it's basic manners.

CherryPits Mon 28-Dec-15 23:01:04

You meanie. He was probably kicking your chair by accident, especially during the show if it was an exciting bit, kicking when wriggling in his seat.

I thought when I read the title of your post that it was going to be about screamers and kids who run around up and down the aisles.

Obviously i have lower expectations. shock

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 28-Dec-15 23:02:40

Ynbu. Thats the height of rudness and disrespect. I'd be beyond bloody mortified if another adult had to reprimand my child. Shed be made to apologize. I don't know what it is about parents and this fear of instilling respect and good manners into their children.

usernamesandgingerbreads Mon 28-Dec-15 23:03:27

Yanbu. I once went to a show with temporary seating where a child not only kicked the back of my chair but poked their feet through the flaming gap in the chair on to my clothes. Mum scowled at me when I politely asked her to stop. angry

Twitterqueen Mon 28-Dec-15 23:04:16

You say it was a family production. What kind of production? A panto?
Of course children are going to eat popcorn, comment, wriggle and probably kick too. I don't much like it either but YABU to expect anything else. The only way they learn is through experience.

You are being a boring old fuddy duddy I'm afraid.

SelfRaisingFlour Mon 28-Dec-15 23:05:38

I hate this too. It happens at the cinema too when kids are allowed to behave as if they were watching TV at home. Lots of questions and the parents enter into a conversation instead of telling the kids to keep quiet. I've had the chair kicking and the kids standing up in the theatre while the show is on.

I think some parents think their children are so adorable that everyone should have to put up with their behaviour. It's not even toddlers a lot of the time. It is often children old enough to sit still and stop talking.

DSClarke Mon 28-Dec-15 23:06:57

Iguana- thanks, I just didn't want to sound pretentious!

I'm afraid I am firmly of the camp that if you take a 7/8 year old to the theatre they should be able to contain their excitement enough to not disturb other people by kicking their seat. In any case it was more a rhythmic bored kicking, than an excited rat-a-tat-tat. (I obviously had a lot of time to analyse it before I flung if my British reserve and apologised for asking him to stop doing it)

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 28-Dec-15 23:07:17

I agree with iguana. It's nothing to do with what class you are. It's just basic manners.

SelfRaisingFlour Mon 28-Dec-15 23:07:54

Yes, children learn through experience, but they don't have parents guiding them through the experience and telling them what is required.

janethegirl2 Mon 28-Dec-15 23:08:11

No YANBU, kicking chairs whether in a theatre, cinema or airoplane is just wrong, however there are plenty of parents who either do not care or are just plain ignorant.

DSClarke Mon 28-Dec-15 23:09:25

Not a Panto. It was a very naice production at a 'serious' theatre. No audience participation, and the only popcorn allowed would have been artisan and organic.

IguanaTail Mon 28-Dec-15 23:09:31

Exactly. They can be excited and having fun without making others feel uncomfortable and annoyed.

IguanaTail Mon 28-Dec-15 23:10:08

It wasn't a panto? Well then bloody right you aren't being unreasonable!

usernamesandgingerbreads Mon 28-Dec-15 23:11:20

My children have been going to children's shows since they were two and west end shows since four. At four they did not kick the back of chairs but would have been reminded if they had forgot. By seven plus they would have definitely known better.
Theatre seats can be £100 plus. No way should you have a child kicking seats with no parental reprimand

PagesOfABook Mon 28-Dec-15 23:14:01

At a show aimed towards children it wouldn't bother me - and I'm the type of person who is normally easily irritated. I'd be glad I'm at a place where perfect behaviour is not expected so I could relax with my own children.

If my own children asked me questions the odd time etc I'd ask them to talk quietly - or if they accidentally kicked someone's chair I'd tell them they shouldn't do that - but if they did it even a few times by accident I'd think anyone who complained is a little bit miserable... Sorry

PurpleAlerts Mon 28-Dec-15 23:14:33

Oh hell- not always the kids who behave badly in a theatre. I sat through a performance of Billy Elliot where the two women sitting next to us talked all the way through all the quiet emotional bits and were only captured for the few minutes where there were more fast dancy bits. Why pay £70 for a ticket in a West end show and talk all the way through?

One woman drunk old cow and her equally brainless fuckwit drunk partner laughed and chatted all the way through a performance of Grease where my DD was the lead only stopping to shush everyone when their talentless child stumbled on to the stage in the chorus bits. I glared a few times which just seemed to wind her up more. The final straw was when she started to sing -- like a cat being sucked up a vacuum cleaner-- tunelessly to hopelessly devoted and when asked by a woman sitting behind us to be quiet shouted loudly " I'll sing if I fucking want to" and carried on even louder... angry

DSClarke Mon 28-Dec-15 23:14:53

I'm so glad it's not just me as I was being to fee like a Grinch.

Saying that, my DCs are under strict instructions to how to behave in these circumstances. No seat kicking on my watch!

Twitterqueen Mon 28-Dec-15 23:15:30

'naice.. organic.. serious.. artisan.. no audience participation'

Bloody hell. What kind of 7 year old or adult would even want to go to a show like this? In what way was this a 'family production' ?

clearly anyone under 50 should have been prevented from attending

Kingfisherfree Mon 28-Dec-15 23:16:10

YANBU I have been put off the theatre a bit lately. I cannot understand why people feel the need to scoff crap through the whole performance it is so distracting.

As soon as the curtain went up everyone started rustling and opening all manner of things. The woman next to me had a big bag on her lap and through the whole production pulled allsorts out of it, pringles, juice, sweets, opened cans of coke etc.

For gawds sake wait for the icecream at the interval!

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 28-Dec-15 23:16:13

Even if it was a panto. I wouldn't expect my chair to be deliberatily kicked to the point where I had to tell the child not to, while the parents just sat there.

InQuiteAChristmasPickle Mon 28-Dec-15 23:16:26

I was surprised at the amount of ADULTS who can't behave properly at the theatre! Ok, we went to the Pantomime so it was hardly the Royal Ballet but still! I was expecting children to talk and get out of their seats etc but the adults behind us talked the whole way through then there was a massive gang of people in front of us. They were "together" but arrived separately. Some arrived after the show started so the others stood up to let them get to their seats and then they had a little chat "hello, how are you?" They had a baby with them that kept SCREAMING and instead of taking it out they passed it around angry. Who the fuck takes a BABY to a pantomime? They don't even let children under 4 to my Dcs nativity at school!

My 4 year old sat like an angel throughout but she didn't enjoy it because she couldn't see/hear due to the people chatting and standing up. When the interval came she asked to go home sad so DH left with her and I stayed with DD1.

I was so pissed off - DD2 is obsessed with musicals and should have enjoyed it but couldn't because of inconsiderate wankers.

janethegirl2 Mon 28-Dec-15 23:16:26

I hope you don't live anywhere near me Pages as if a child kicked my seat more than once, I'd be seriously pissed off and may even lodge a complaint with the venue.

Woodhill Mon 28-Dec-15 23:18:10

I'd be fed up too. yanbu

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