Tips for Bringing Your Kids to Sporting Events
Taking a child to a live sporting event is about creating memories, which means sheltering them from rude language and foul behavior.
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In a previous episode of Modern Manners Guy called Sports Event Etiquette, I outlined the dos and don’ts of attending a live sporting event. I based this advice off my own experiences and many emails I’ve received from readers like you, with gripes about improper behavior from some rather overzealous fans. Well, one thing that needs to be added to that list is when you personally take a child to a game.
I’ve learned that kids don’t get enough credit for how perceptive they are, and trust me, they pick up on plenty of what they see and hear. With that, the last thing I want my kids to remember from of a sporting event is what “adult words” are shouted during a bad call. So before your child overhears an epic rant of expletives about the opposing team, or sees behavior that rivals a college frat party, check out my top three quick and dirty tips for bringing kids to sporting events:
Tip #1: Splurge For The Good Seats
Before I go on with this tip, do not think I’m telling everyone to shell out a week’s salary so your child can sit close enough to take home LeBron James’ sweat as a souvenir. Nor am I saying there is a “class divide” between the folks on the floor and those who sit so high up they have to duck when planes fly overhead. For the record, I usually sit in the nosebleed sections myself since I find dishing out a car payment for football tickets to be absurd … unless I get to actually take a down or two myself. However, as someone who has sat in all levels of seats, even though the beer is consumed by all fans, when you’re in the more expensive section, drunken behavior is less prevalent and less tolerated. Not only is this a key observation, I have an acquaintance who worked security at football stadium and said that security is tighter for the lower (read: pricier) sections, making people act a bit more properly than they would higher up. The more seasoned guards get the better seats and part of the gig comes with making sure the cameras don’t pick up any wild behavior, or fans disturbing the players with wild antics, thus proving my point. So, if you can, wouldn’t it make more sense to allow your family time to be better spent curse free and not-as-booze-induced? It’s worth it to me.
Please don’t take this as me being an elitist. I mean, everyone knows that I’m a former professional wrestler, a “sport” that by no means is recognized for the grace and elegance of its fans. So, I’ll take that one on the chin, if I must. But with my past athletic career, I will say that I’m probably more sensitive than most—especially as a parent—about making sure children are safe during a sporting event. Now, I understand that it’s not always easy to upgrade seats because of the price tag, but since kids coming to a sporting event is usually a “special treat” and not the norm, I recommend spoiling your kids and trying to get seats where the top-tier security are ready to kick out jerks that can’t properly enjoy a game. I would never want my kids to witness a fight or hear language with aggression behind it, and yes, I’ll gladly pay for that if need be. So if some hooligans do get loose in the lower sections, I guarantee their antics will be shut down faster than they would running rouge with lesser quality security.
Tip #2: The Aisle Is Your Friend
As a father, potty-training your kids is a very frustrating part about parenting. In fact, I’ve been known to leap small tables in restaurants, when my son yells, “I GOTTA GO POTTY!” Parents, we’ve all been there, and the last thing we want is for children to be upset by having an accident, and then having to leave the establishment. But even if your child is not potty training, any child in general has to go to the bathroom more than most refs throw a penalty flag during a Ravens/Steelers game. With that in mind, it’s always proper to make sure that wherever you sit, whichever level you score tickets, try to get seats as close to the aisle as possible. However, this is not just for the kids’s sake, this concept is key for everyone who have to quickly shimmy by saying, “Excuse me… I’m sorry… I know, again… Okay sorry again, one last time.” And the beat goes on. Even though you should be allowed to go with ease as much as you like it is always embarrassing when you become a repeat offender for constantly getting out of your seat: “Down in front!”