Take Your Kids to Watch Some Wrasslin'!
If you have been following Nerd Dads for a while, you know by now how much I enjoy professional wrestling. Ever since I was a youngster, I have enjoyed the real-life super hero antics set in the realm of sports with characters larger than life. In the past few years I have grown particularly fond of independent professional wrestling, especially with promotions close to where I live. The promotion I frequently attend events for is ACW Wisconsin, based out of Oshkosh, WI. On Friday, January 10th, they will be presenting ACW 33, their first event of 2020. I would highly suggest that if you are available that you attend (tickets are still available at www.acwwisconsin.com ).
While they won’t be coming with me to this upcoming Friday’s event, my children have both started attending professional wrestling shows, as they have also become big fans of the action that takes place in the squared circle. At first, my wife and I had some hesitation on whether or not that they should attend shows, as we were worried that it would result in aggressive play or thinking that conflicts were resolved with violence. The more we looked at it, however, the more we realized that professional wrestling was no different than most other pop and nerd culture where action or violence is thrown into the mix, so we gave it a shot.
The more events that we have attended as a family, the more opportunities I have seen to have great bonding and parenting moments that come with professional wrestling, and in particular in independent wrestling. Now, it is very important that the promotion that you are taking your kids to are age appropriate (ACW Wisconsin, for example, heavily promotes themselves as being family friendly), but I have gotten to the point where I feel awkward NOT taking the kids along with me to events, because I know how much they enjoy it and I love experiencing it with them.
What I enjoy the most about taking my kids to professional wrestling events is all of the different learning opportunities there are for us to have. First and foremost, after telling them about how professional wrestling is predetermined, they are trained to fight without hurting one another, and that their primary focus is to tell a story, the opportunities to teach life lessons while watching the show are quite abundant. For example, professional wrestlers need to be able to trust one another and work together, because if they don’t they can seriously hurt themselves or the person they are in the ring with. I love discussing this with my six-year-old son, as we have been working with him on his listening and focus. Seeing this lesson in action and in such a fashion has a much different effect than me just telling him that listening and paying attention to directions is important.
For my ten-year-old daughter, it’s fun talking about the story elements that go into each and every event. If you are attending an event by a promotion that books their matches well and is focused on telling good stories in their matches (and not just focused on big action spots), then you can talk about character motivations, conflicts, story progression, and resolution. Good professional wrestling, in my opinion, isn’t just about the acrobatics or the violence, but are rather a series of miniature three-act stories, with some stories structured in a more serial fashion.
There are also other great aspects to attending professional wrestling events with a family, such as sharing parts of your childhood with your kids, the amazing community aspect at most events, the affordability of the events (this is much more the case at independent events and not the big time shows like WWE, as those can get mighty pricey really quick), and the accessibility that the audience has with the entertainers (again, much more at independent shows than the bigger promotions). Long story short, if you’ve ever had any hesitation on taking your kids to an event, I’m here to encourage you to do so, as you and they will have a wonderful time together.
Originally published: January 7, 2020