Dealing with Children while performing.

      Dealing with Childeren while performing.

      This is a subject which I'd like to get some opinions on.

      My training has covered a few suggestions when dealing with parents who want to take pictures of their kids with you. First off, was get down on a level with the child so you don't loom over them. Second was under no circumstances hold a baby.

      The third is more controversial. Professional Mascots always told me never touch the child. Any hugs or hands on shoulders, could be misinterpreted by overprotective parents as attempts to molest or restrain their child. Always keep both your hands visible.

      Apparently a high five or gimme skin was acceptable because the child was initiating the contact.

      So what are your thoughts on the subject? How do you deal with posing with children?

      Miss Kiki

      Dealing with Children while performing.

      Well first off kids see the magic, parents have brought them to the event. So there is a reason why the children are there in the first place.
      There are two types of kids. The shy ones that usually hide behind their parents and the bold outgoing ones.
      I always use common sense, since I have a bit of experience with children. I know never to push the child into doing what he or she wants to do.
      If they are afraid then so am I. I let the parents know that it is OK for the child to hide. I usually move on at that point. No reason the traumatize them.......
      Then the outgoing kids, these have parents that are the same way most of the time. The kids that are flock to the kigs. Sometimes (depending on the cosplay I'm wearing) I do get down to their level. Never in white tights!

      Common sense tells me there is a negative aspect in this thread, I'll address it this way....
      When posing with a child I only do appropriate poses that match the character. Touching happens~ We hold their hand, blow them kisses and hearts.
      My experience has shown me these kids love us.. I mean MY GOD! we are full sized anime people ^^/ I've had kids pull on my skirt wanting poses, I've had them follow me hundreds of feet trying to stop me for the acknowledgement.

      ^w^ I came across lots of children this pass weekend and omg...it really brings a bright happy smile to my face to see there lovely reactions. First interaction was Friday morning a lovely little girl saw me from across the halls, we got closer making her smile and just speechless as the mother was telling her if she wanted a photo with me. She got closer and can tell her eyes lit up totally amazed seeing me right in front of her she couldnt stop staring at me as i giggled her mother told her to turn around but she couldnt keep her eyes off me <3 once the photo was taken she waved and walked away still staring me down smiling. Its a feeling i truly love so much because children are the future and they're seeing anime characters right in front of them its a feeling i love so very very much and something i look forward to every con.
      "Think, you humans who are split into two worlds, unless you want the gulf between humans to expand into oblivion, you must think!"
      I've had a parent hand me their baby even when I tried to tell them no...... :P

      But ... coming from one that has kittens, here's how I see it. Never approach the child.. Let them come to you.

      If/when they come to you let them make the first move and respond appropriately.. mirroring their actions in a playful manner. Once you have made a connection with the child check in with the parents -- who I guarantee will be watching you like a hawk-- a quick look at them to make "eye contact" and a as subtle gesture to ask if "every thing is cool?" usually this will tell you what to do next... which is usually pics.

      Keep your hands to shoulders and arms for photos (or holding hands - high fives and such) and if you are confident in your ability to see maybe a nose boop... but don't even consider this if there is a possibility you might miss and take out an eye.

      The best thing to keep in mind is be aware of the child's personal space. From a distance Kigs are really cute.. but if you are 3 feet tall and realize when you get close this "doll" has a head as big as your body it can get intimidating real fast..
      I was surprised that parent let you hold that baby at anime north in Canada I thought a baby would be scared or terrified by these characters because most babies would be but not this one this baby was brave neko nico even though you didn't want to hold that baby to scare him I am impressed that you did that even though that baby doesn't even know yet you got a very young anime fan

      cici wrote:

      Well first off kids see the magic, parents have brought them to the event. So there is a reason why the children are there in the first place.



      Hate to disagree with you Cici, but we also have the situations like Montreal, where the Kig girls are street performing. The kids might see the magic, but the parents can be wary, as the Kigu are an unexpected interruption in their shopping or sightseeing excursions. Then again there are the instances, where the child breaks away on their own and approaches without a parental unit in tow. Imagine the already panicked parent finding their Child with a strange character.

      Special circumstances to be dealt with delicately.

      Miss Kiki

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      cici wrote:

      Well first off kids see the magic, parents have brought them to the event. So there is a reason why the children are there in the first place.



      Hate to disagree with you Cici, but we also have the situations like Montreal, where the Kig girls are street performing. The kids might see the magic, but the parents can be wary, as the Kigu are an unexpected interruption in their shopping or sightseeing excursions. Then again there are the instances, where the child breaks away on their own and approaches without a parental unit in tow. Imagine the already panicked parent finding their Child with a strange character.

      Special circumstances to be dealt with delicately.

      Miss Kiki


      If you act like a creep you will be treated like a creep. Use common sense. Your "situations are not anime related instances which is what I am talking about. Putting the girls in harms way maybe the fault of the organizer of the outing. And I would also like to know. How you ever been a parent? A very good friend of mine who is says this: 'People interpret the world according to their point if view"
      • -catfucious
      I agree with cici if you act like a creep you will be treated like a creep I have been on a social/gaming network and I have dealt with the creeps on that network called psn I had to protect the innocent on ps home before it shut down on the PS3 and believe me it wasn't fun having to tell the creep off I was there to have fun
      My question was more general than just dealing with parents and children within the context of an anime event. That being said, I have experienced instances where I look down to find a child unexpectedly wrapped around my leg at conventions. This brings on a moment of " Who's kid is this ?", because I can't see everything while masked. I have no idea if little "Sally's" parents are right there, or if she's wandered away from supervision. If the latter is the case, how do you deal with a panicked parent without being able to speak ?

      I know of performers in other hobbies who have been arrested in public parks just because they showed up in costume. Cici's friend is right. Everyone has viewpoints which color their perceptions All it takes is one overprotective parent to feel threatened, because the performer reminds them of a bad trip to Disneyland, and complain to the authoreties. The performer need not be interacting with the person making the complaint, they just object to the performer being there.

      There are events which are no longer held, because the performers were banned from the park. All because one person decided he did not want to share the park with them, and complained.

      But I digress. The whole point of this thread, was to explore ways of dealing with these situations constructively. I'm sure there's lots of kigu out there, who have stories which we can draw lessons from.

      Miss Kiki
      There are very few parents that would be panicked at the sight of a costumed character with their child unless that character was unrecognizable and/or looked really creepy, a freak or was touching/holding the child in an inappropriate manner.

      Parental panic stems for losing sight of the child... when the parent relocates the child that panic subsides instantaneously unless that child is in some sort of danger.

      So how do you deal with a parent of "lost" a child that wandered over to you while you were in kig? The same way you would deal with a parent of "lost" a child that wandered over to you while you were NOT in kig except with no verbal communication. Gesture a greeting, and motion asking is this is their kid then high five the child and point him or her in the direction of the parents. There should be no concerns or guilt feelings unless you were doing something wrong (or even more creepy -- thinking it).

      As long as you follow the first guideline... "Never approach the child... Let them come to you first." there is no reason for worry.... unless you shouldn't be there in the first place..
      why do i get this feeling this thread is going down the bad side of the street?

      Ive had this happen before where the child see's me in the distance and runs off to me with out the parents close by, thus why when ever they run up to me with out there parents...i always look around trying to find there parents BEFORE i get to there level and take a photo so that way it dont seem out of control or "Creepy". I love children so much at cons and always respect there parents judgements, if the parents dont want any thing to do with me ill wave at the child as we walk by seeing there happy little faces as i move on.
      "Think, you humans who are split into two worlds, unless you want the gulf between humans to expand into oblivion, you must think!"
      OK, a tale from the dark side. The local furries used to hold a picnic every year at Glen Echo Park, a place that used to be a major amusement park, that shut down and is now mostly a crafts and picnic area. They did everything through proper channels, they reserved a picnic area, told the park police what they were doing, that there would be people dressed in animal costumes, etc. Most of the furries did not even wear fursuits, a few did, but most wanted to enjoy the food. The public always wanted to see the fursuits and wanted pictures with those who were dressed up. All was fine until one year, when they encountered "the man in the pink shirt". They don't know if this person was a lawyer, but I am told he tended to quote laws quite a bit. Basically, he DEMANDED that the park police explain to him just who had examined the backgrounds of all these freaks to make sure that they were not pedophiles or other perverts, how much insurance they had purchased to handle lawsuits, and other very nasty questions. It then came down to him threatening to launch a lawsuit against the park if the furries were not immediately thrown out and forbidden from ever returning. To the best anybody knew, no furry had touched or even gotten near his children, but he was threatened just by their presence. Needless to say, the furries were ordered to leave immediately and never return and the picnic has not happened since. Reserving a picnic area is something that ANY group could do and there are no local laws against fursuits in public, they had done nothing wrong, and yet they were now banned from a PUBLIC park. So yes, people's perceptions definitely figure into things and can cause major consequences.
      Jovinamask!