How do I know if my toddler is old enough to enjoy a children's event?

Q: My daughter is two and adores Elmo. Sesame Street Live is coming to town and I'd like to take her, but my husband thinks she'd sit through a show better and/or appreciate it more if we wait another year. What is the earliest age to take a toddler to a live concert-type event geared toward children?

A: The answer really depends on the child, and the only way you can know for sure is by experimenting. Some kiddos love the excitement, noise, and action of a live show. Others are overwhelmed and miserable -- or lose interest after a few minutes. The only harm in trying is the potential for wasted ticket money if your child has a meltdown. I know from my own experience that these shows can be great fun, with lifetime memories made -- or they can be complete wipe-outs with misery and disappointment all around. It's very hard to predict.

If you decide to go and your daughter gets antsy, take a break in the lobby every so often. Just don't feel pressured to take your child if "everyone else" is going. Let your own interest -- and your child's -- be your guide in deciding. If it's easier to stay at home and watch Elmo on TV, then so be it. She'll still be happy. But if you think it would be a fun family experience, by all means, go for it!

Answered by Dr. Heather Wittenberg

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