Would you let your kid go to the movies alone?

Filed under: Opinions

movie theaterGoing to a movie without your parents is one of the great rites of passage in a kid's life, but how safe is it to drop your child at a movie theater alone?

A reader of Newsday posed that question to a parenting advice column, asking if it was safe to leave an 8-year-old in the care of her 12-year-old brother at a local movie theater. The answer was a resounding "no."

What if big brother has to use the restroom and little sister wanders off by herself? What if the kids do something that gets them in trouble, like sneaking into an R-rated movie? Just because there are theater staff members around doesn't mean that your children are being supervised by those employees.

The advice was doled out by a Nassau County police detective, and he adds that most kids are old enough to handle a movie on their own by the time they reach eighth grade. He also advises waiting until kids are in their teens before you ask them to babysit another child at the theater.

I was in fifth grade the first time my parents dropped me off at the movies by myself -- it was a birthday party, and we saw "Tootsie." Yes, "Tootsie," a movie about a dude who dresses like a woman. I know, what were my parents thinking?

But hey, I survived the experience unscathed.

What would you do? Would you leave your kid to watch a movie? How old would they have to be?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.