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Son’s first game Saturday. Tips?

Looking at bringing my eldest, almost 5 year old, son to the game on Saturday. Cue a lifetime of misery jokes!

Just wondering if anyone had any experience with this and if it’s best to keep it short and sweet, in the ground just before kick off, family stand seats etc. Or get closer to the atmosphere, north upper seats, and give him a bit of a match day experience. hour before the game, novelty of grabbing some food, maybe a pub, a visit to the club shop to grab a scarf.

Coming to the game is his idea, he lives in his away kit at the moment! I never wanted to force it upon him and put him off it so it seems like a good time to try. I don’t expect to last the full 90. if we get to half time and he has had enough by then but has had a good day then that’s a success for me! 

All kids a different but let me know if you think he is too young, or there is anything that will help his first experience one that makes him want to come again. Goals and 3 points are out of our hands! any tips are welcome. Cheers.


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    edited April 17
    Took my daughter (almost 4) to her first 2 games this year. We've only been to 2 Charlton's women's games so far, figured the smaller crowd, and less noise would be a good introduction.

    She absolutely loved it, fortunately both games had some goals which probably helped. We went to the club shop before and she had a couple of bits from there to help keep her occupied, a duck and some stickers, programme etc. I also had her tablet with us, and plenty of snacks. Didn't actually need to use the tablet either time but glad I had it.

    I would definitely say a quieter area for the first experience, and I tried to get there and in our seats at the latest possible moment. With the men's game at least you have the kids activity zone etc. beforehand to potentially visit if you feel you're too early.
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    Mine was about 5 for his first game.
    He loved the noise, atmosphere etc but soon got bored of the game. Take a tablet or something for him to play with.
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    All kids are different. Some have more of a threshold for the game, some like the noise, some don’t etc. I waited till they were 7 before I thought mine were ready. 

    Personally I’d pick somewhere with some empty seats around for a first game (not hard these days), in one of the quads or East or West, don’t get there early, take a device he enjoys as a back up, bring a cap in case the sun comes in bright and low, and some treats. 

    Good luck 
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    Mine was a first game of the season against Barnsley 2-2. He was eight months old.
    Hardly missed a game since, although in his early years I didn’t take him to evening games.
    The only problem early on was the noise.
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    edited April 17
    It's been a long time but for the first few games I made sure I took stuff for him to do..  in those days it was a game boy and paper and pencils to do drawing.  90 minutes is a longtime to hold their attention so be prepared to miss a lot of the alleged action on the field answering his questions, keeping him amused.

    I took him when we were at Upton Park, playing Plymouth and Peter Shilton was in goal, but the over riding image of the day was Jamie on his knees back to the pitch, using the seat as a table, drawing, while the hood of his coat was drawn up over his head!
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    I took my son & daughter when they was both 3 at the time. I brought their ipads/tablets/switch to keep them entertained along with headphones as others have said they get bored after 5 mins or so. We also sat in the Curbishley stand closer to the away fans as the empty rows of seats they can run up and down or sit closer to the pitch if the weather is good. Also gives them more space to be entertained.
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    Took mine to a local game aged 4 and by HT he was bored and wanted to be in the clubhouse playing pool... fine when it's 10 mins away but not when it's a 90 min commute lol. Trying mine again at Luton or Hitchin this summer for a friendly and then maybe charlton the following year. 

    Definitely got family stand though and take the kids kindle/switch 
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    Took mine to the Havant & Waterlooville cup match for their first game. 10 minutes in and they were asking when they could go, so out came the ipads and we stayed until the end as its a distraction for them.

    Their 2nd game was Barnsley a couple of weeks ago. Completely forgot their ipads or any snacks but to my surprise I didn't need them. They were engrossed and really enjoyed it, also helped by having their grandparents with them.

    My boys are 7 so getting to the right age where they understand more of what is going on. That said, next time I'd still make sure I'd have something as a backup to keep them occupied just in case. As others have said don't get there too early and have a few snacks handy!
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    I took my boy when he was 8, (now 31) luckily he was football mad and nagged me to go. 
    Use to sit in the East stand by the away end so he’d watch the other side players warm up. So being in the Prem helped so we saw some big names.  I think 8 is about right as they have a general idea. 
    Hope your lad enjoys the game 
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    I think that's too young personally, they aren't interested, nobody looks like they are having fun with kids that age. If its part of a hardline indoctrination then firm it out and do it, make no negotiations and both of you can suffer equally. In all honesty I cant imagine its ever been easier taking kids to football, there are family stands, at charlton there is plenty of space, you now have electronic shit they can play with but that all points to me of overly accommodating little people who don't want to be there 

    Wait until he is older to understand what going entails a tiny bit more. At 5 years old I can tell you I was not to be listened to, my ambition was to be a toilet duck ffs or optimum prime. I had no sense of consequence. In fact at the age I am now I'm not to be listened to. 

    Its something you will do together eventually, dont do it and both of you hate it 
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    Out of curiosity, do you ever watch games on CharltonTV at home?

    If so, does he ever show too much interest to those matches?

    My Son is six now, and have always wanted to take him to see Charlton, but until now he's never once shown interest in watching Football whenever its on the TV, so I wont take him until he takes genuine interest in the Sport.
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    Chizz said:
    1. Buy a programme. 
    2. Put it away in your pocket, out of reach. 
    3. Take it home. 
    4. Keep it safe. 
    5. Give it to him on his eighteenth birthday. 

    Best. Present. Ever. 
    Unless we lose 6-0 ;)
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    Is he sensitive , even with our pathetic noise , it will seem loud to a kid , so ear muffs or whatever it is aren’t a bad thing 
    I was in the quadrants when I introduced my boys so near enough to the action and singing but not too near .
    I’d get in the ground ten mins before kick off 
    they can get bored easily 
    fed before at home or if he likes a burger one from near ground 
    club shop before or after and let him have any old toot within reason
    i brought lots of snacks to feed through the boredom of the game 
    I think one of my 4 I left at ht 
    rest got through the 90 of their first games 
    although nowadays I try and leave at ht and they force me to stay !
    we always after games went for their favourite meal , so that was a target to aim at with’when the games finished we can go to pizza’ or whatever, ‘ it’s not open till the end of the game’.
    depending on how much you want to see the rest of the game and your view on electronics iPad / iPhone I gave them occasionally if I was in to the game and make sure they’re wrapped up warm , better to over club it and they can take off layers rather than having them moaning about being cold ten mins in to the game and you just want to boot them .
    Hope you both enjoy it and I’ll be honest it will only get better and it’s the most we talk to each other now (that’s why I hate going 😀 ) when we go see a game or when they’re playing a match .

    Blimey, that's pushing it a bit  :o
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    From experience with my son, I took him at 5 and it was a bit too early and then left it for a bit. I think for him, 7 was about right and he had his DS to play with when he was bored. Whilst all children are different, It is asking a lot for a child of 5 not to get bored.
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