So here’s the question: should you or shouldn’t you take kids to an outdoor music festival?
I don’t mean concerts in the park featuring the local jazz band. We’re talking Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza type shows. it’s a question more and more parents are asking themselves.
If you do decide to take your child to an outdoor music fest—and think long and hard about this one—here are a few things to consider:
Watch the heat. Kids can burn quickly, so take plenty of sun block. They can also suffer from heatstroke within minutes, so keep them hydrated and don’t let them run around too much.
Protect their ears. Damaged hearing cannot be restored, so buy ear muffs made for ear protection (not just cold weather). Avoid using ear plugs for kids under 3, as they can be a choking hazard. Try Peltor junior muffs.
Research your bands. Don’t be surprised by someone dropping f-bombs on stage. Research the band’s on-stage persona and use good judgment. Visit YouTube and watch concert clips. You’ll find that even former boy-band dreamboat Justin Timberlake has a potty mouth onstage.
Let your child set the pace. If you take a young child to a concert, be willing to cut your day short if he or she is put-off by the crowds, has problems with the porta-pottys, or looks plain miserable. Don’t push your kid too hard just because you’ve never seen Vampire Weekend live.
Make the experience educational. Even tame concerts will have it’s share of unique personalities and questionable behavior. Take time to talk about values with your child before, during and after the concert. Discuss the different types of behaviors that were present and how it made them feel. Be sure to tell them what bothered you as well.