There may be a debate about when to take your child to the theatre for live shows and movies. With about 30% of parents not taking their children to theatres, the remaining vouch that their kids enjoy and look forward to such an outing. Researchers believe that beyond enjoyment, theatre time is also a great family bonding experience.
The main part of this plan is not the show but the family spending time together. This time spent in each other’s company improves the children’s psyche to a great extent.
Benefits of Time Spent Together
- Family members listen to each other and accommodate – a very important lesson for the kids to learn.
- Communication between parents and children improves – they voice their wants and opinions.
- Sharing activities helps develop mutual respect – a value kids need to imbibe.
- Kids know that their parents value them, and will guide and support them in adversity.
Going to the theatres is not just about appreciating the art form. It is a family activity of togetherness. The sooner you expose your kids to this, the better will be the benefits. | Photo: iStock
Emotional Benefits of a Theatre Trip
A theatre trip involves all the members of the family in one single activity with diverse benefits. Watching shows has been known to promote social bonding and affiliation. The same, when applied to children enjoying shows with family and friends, becomes a vital part of social development. Also, the psychological benefit of role-playing gets covered through
When a child witnesses the emotional events of life such as friendship, violence and even death, the child may get disturbed. But visualising these distressing emotions and their consequences from the safe position of an audience helps them access unfamiliar emotions better than reading books about them. It raises their emotional quotient.
Children feel safer to discuss topics such as bullying and love with parents more openly. Theatre exposure can enable discussions that are otherwise tricky to bring up. On the other hand, inculcating values while discussing the show is easier for the parent than sermonising about values.
Family Bonding Experience with Theatre Trip
The family bonding starts much before the show – as soon as the trip is planned – and continues after that. There are rescheduling of other activities, prepping for the show, doing background study and planning for the D-day. And for days afterwards, you discuss the show with the kids.
There are some essential points to remember to make every theatre outing a family bonding experience to be cherished for a lifetime. Here are the tips.
- Involve the children while deciding on the show. They may take turns to suggest their options.
- Help them look forward to it. Plan for it, do scheduling and other arrangements along with them.
- Keep an open mind about the genre. Choose unusual or lesser known shows to have unbiased opinions and discussions later.
- Do a background study or recce about the genre and the story. Knowing the basics will be necessary to appreciate the show.
- Don’t forget those endless discussions later on. This might be the time you get a glimpse of a hidden trait in your child.
- Identify shows that reflect or appeal to your child’s sensibilities or character traits. They will recognise the importance given to them.
- Enjoy the show yourself. You cannot have a good family time if you are not fully immersed in it.
The best investment is to invest time and attention towards your children. And what better than weaving togetherness, art, values and mutual respect into it? A trip to a theatre show or movie gives you all these and more – enjoyment.
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