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Unread 02-12-2015, 03:11 PM   #1
CosplayMadre
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Cosplay Parenting- Any other cosplay parents out there?

Hi all-

I do cosplay myself, but my main role is cosplay Mom- sherpa, assistant, wallet, sounding board, etc.

I started a blog about the experience: www.cosplaymom.com

but I would love to be able to share experiences, tips, ideas and serious discussions about safety, etc. with other parents.

Anyone out there?
thanks.
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Unread 02-12-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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I also cosplay and I am a mom. Though my daughter is easy because she is only 13 months old and doesn't want to wonder around on her own yet. The great thing is if I have something I need or want to do at a convention my husband is always there to back me up and take care of the little booger.

My pro-tips are....
Carry hand sanitizer - cons a filled with people some of which are gross and germ covered hand sanitizer will help keep my hands clean which helps stop the transfer of gross germs to my baby.
Snacks and drinks - have age appropriate snacks and drinks for the baby so she doesn't get horribly fussy while spending long hours walking around. This also goes for keeping mommy and daddy on top of their game.
Stroller is a must - cons are big, you walk a lot and the baby will not like walking/standing the whole time. The stroller gives you a convent place for baby to ride or just sit. Also doubles as a great thing to put your con swag!
Comfy costume - if your determined to dress your baby up choose something easy, comfy, and inexpensive. Need I explain this one?
Know your baby - know how your baby reacts to strangers, sounds, lights, or other strange environmental sensory things and try to reduce the things that might set them off.
Comfort items - If your baby has a favorite toy or blanket bring it with you through out the con. it might just help you calm the effects of the above mentioned things.
Schedule - make sure that you keep the same sleep schedule you've established at home. Even if you have to miss that all important pony panel to let baby take a nap in the hotel room do it or everyone will be giving death stares for having an over tired crying baby in said panel.

Well those are my pro-tips for now!
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Unread 02-12-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
CosplayMadre
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Teenagers

that's all excellent advice!

and the advice about snacks is key- even for teenagers. My girl is 16, but I've learned that she and her bf can't be bothered to stop and eat real meals at a convention- too busy.
they might miss something!

there is often food for purchase, but it's also often expensive and crap (non-nutritious).

So I always stock the room with fruit, beef jerkey, string cheese, etc. and insist they eat and drink WATER at least before they leave in the morning.

The safety thing, though, that's hard. we always take her best friend for the buddy system, because they're teenagers. They don't want me hovering.
but I worry. : (
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Unread 02-12-2015, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'm in between you guys, with a 10 and 11 year old, so not old enough to go off on their own yet, but still wanting to be involved. We started going to cons and cosplaying in 2013 and have been addicted ever since! The first one we went to, I learned about the con the week before..I whipped together a closet 10th Doctor for my son and I made a K-9 plushie just to carry around. He had so much fun that a few months later I got the whole family to attend a Doctor Who con and made/put together proper cosplays for everyone.

Since then, I make 2-3 new outfits a year, per kid. Plus my own. My husband isn't as into dressing up, so he just sticks to the two he has...for now. ;P

At cons, tablets/phones are a must for me. We like to meet celebs and get photos taken and well...that requires patience. My daughter is pretty good with this, my son, not so much. Minecraft PE helps a ton, plus youtube. I will go with the comfy costume is a must! My son tends to like cosplays that involve helmets (Benny from the Lego Movie, Star Lord, Hiro) but wears them for about 5 minutes before it 'gets hot'. I do it anyway, so at least he wears them for pictures, but I know I'll be carrying stuff! And I've become aware of trying to make 'summertime' cosplays and 'Winter' ones, because of the heat factor. When kids are hot, they can be miserable.

Don't get too off an eating schedule. I'm used to going hours at a con and squeezing in food when I can, but the kids just don't operate that way yet.

Oh and the dealer's room... I trained my kids not to touch anything on tables, but at one con, while I was trying to talk to one dealer, the one next to her kept trying to get my kids to see his comic and buy it, and I had to keep dragging them back because 'no, he isn't /giving/ it you, it's for sale'. Give them an allowance for what they can spend and try to stick to it. This is hard for me, we tend to con splurge, but I'm making more of an effort to keep on budget and help them with money management too.

#1 rule...PICTURES! Take all the pictures!
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Unread 02-13-2015, 10:55 AM   #5
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I've started getting my kids involved too. My oldest is 8 and I have 5 year old twins. My oldest has went with me a couple times and loves it for about an hour, then he gets bored. So I try to walk around with him and let him see some of the vendor booths.

Here are a couple of us

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Unread 02-13-2015, 12:16 PM   #6
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I'm a cosplay mom too. My son was 13 months when we went to Fanime last year. He really liked it (besides the hat that was part of his costume)! Picked out a stuffed pikachu and liked looking at all the costumes. For now I choose his costumes to match mine, but I imagine he'll start wanting to pick his own pretty soon and then I'll probably make my costumes to match his (or at least for 1 day of the con)
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Unread 02-13-2015, 05:42 PM   #7
CosplayMadre
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I love the father/son cosplay!
and I soooooo agree. Take ALL the pictures!
Our first con was a matched set outfit:



, but she's old enough and independent enough that she doesn't want to be matchy any more.

and its the independence that I want to encourage, but worry about. I always have her bring a friend and use the buddy system, but especially since they are girls, I worry about them.
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Unread 02-14-2015, 11:10 AM   #8
Ron Jr
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I was a cosplay dad. We started the whole being from the same series for many years then I got into the whole 501st thing and She has no interest in Star Wars. She also grew up on me (how did that happen?) and moved to a totally different state after collage. We still go to AN together but she spends most of her time with friends she has made over the years.

Now to tips for older kids.

Communication - now it is easy with cell phones insist that the kid carries it even if it is not correct for the costume.

Meeting times/places - Set up a place to check in with each other face to face at set times. Nothing more reassuring than seeing the kid live and safe.

Meals - Once again set the time and sit down together for lunch and dinner.

Bedtime - I do not enforce this now but used to when she was under 20. I wanted to make sure she did not wear herself out.

Friends - I would like to meet them especially guys, but once again she is old enough to make her own decisions on who to hang out with. But saying that if I meet someone I do not approve of or like I will let her know in public and loudly if she doesn't listen in private.

Fun - Let them have fun that is what a con is about.

You - If you are into the con don't forget YOU are supposed to have fun also. Go to panels, watch some anime in the viewing rooms and meet other older costumers. It isn't just for the kiddies.
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Unread 02-18-2015, 11:33 AM   #9
CosplayMadre
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Pockets.

Ron, that's all good advice.

I already do most of this- and cosplay daughter and I just had a discussion about how it's better when the costume either has a pocket or a bag- so there is somewhere to put your phone. (She's had a couple of cosplays with no where good to put her phone).

Sigh. I hear you on growing up. She's 16, and I know I only have a few years left. She's looking at a school on the west coast (and we are in Missouri).

I also very much want her to make friends and have fun- and always hope to do so myself. It's easier, though, when the con is one with a variety of ages (her favorite 2 cons are very, very teen/college age populated).

Part of the reason I started blogging was to not be left out- to find a way to link her enthusiasm and energy to what I do for a living (I am a college professor and write). I get a lot of "you're such a good Mom!" feedback from the blog and at conventions, but the reality is that I am not going for "mom of the year" I'm just glad to have a 16 year old who talks to me and who I know what's going on in her life.

Also, and I guess this is a tip:

I teach her stuff, but she's in charge of her own costumes. I'm just an assistant. As a result, she can sew, use drills, dremmels, band saws and a whole wide variety of adhesives.

That's all good life skills, and frankly, probably part of a portfolio for university work and jobs.
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Unread 02-18-2015, 11:16 PM   #10
jessjess05
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Any advise about 9 year olds? my son and i will be going to our first later this year and i've been trying to figure out what to expect but i feel like i'm going in blind and worst thing i can think of is not knowing what to do or missing something he might like.
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Unread 02-18-2015, 11:30 PM   #11
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Speaking as a Mom, this is my personal experience...

My little boy is 6 years old and LOVES going to cons. We've been taking him since he was a little over a year old. We have never had a problem with him. (In fact he usually ends-up charming the Guests, and they ask for pictures with him @_@). Of course I'm always "on-point" to make sure that he stays happy, and has whatever he needs ^_-.

He enjoys dressing-up, and will always introduce himself as the character he is cosplaying (which is something I didn't teach him to do, he started it himself). I'm always very proud of my little guy, and am happy to act as his accessory.

Here are some costumes we've done thus far:

Link and His Mother
Magma Grunt and Pikachu
Viking and Dragon Hatchling
Ash Ketchum and Voltorb
Pikachu and Professor Juniper
Pokémon Breeder and Pikachu
Melisandre and Shadow Assassian

As you can see in the pics, he's definitely enjoying himself. We would never force him to dress-up or attend a con. He does it because he loves it, and we have a great time together.

If you're going to take the time to bring your kid(s) to a convention, then I would definitely make sure that they have some sort of costume to wear ^_^. My little guy gets very excited to dress up and have his photo taken.

I always try to make sure that the costumes we choose are comfortable, easy to move around in, and washable. An older child would probably be fine with something a little more delicate, but for the little ones I would be prepared to see them rolling-around on the ground and spilling food on their outfits (despite best intentions on the kid's part ^_-).

Last edited by ~H~ : 02-19-2015 at 01:00 AM.
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Unread 02-19-2015, 12:29 PM   #12
CosplayMadre
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Hi Jess!

My cosplay daughter is 15 (almost 16- sigh...) so a bit older, but I think there are some ideas/rules/hints that work for a lot of ages.

1. I had the same reaction to our first convention- anxiety and nervousness that we wouldn't do it right, or not like it, or whatever. But here's the thing: people at conventions ARE REALLY NICE in my experience. We're all the same tribe, and we love to talk about our fandoms.

2. So 2- the first thing that cosplay daughter and I always do is look at the convention schedule to have a general plan. Are there panels on shows/movies/games we like? etc. That's a great way to meet the sub-tribe of people who like the same stuff you do.

3. When you are looking at the schedule, since you have a smaller person, I would keep an eye out for interactive events and panels. At a lot of cons there are lego rooms, or art/craft costuming events, or LARP (which is fun to watch even if you don't participate- but if it's Amtgard LARP, he could learn to use a foam SWORD!)

4. Many times there is also an anime/film/tv show room where they are showing something of interest. That can be good downtime to still be involved, but chill a bit.

5. If you're lucky enough that the con is at a hotel with an open atrium, just hanging in the atrium, talking to people and watching it go by is a great passtime. (I really don't like the cons in hotels without that open floor plan, but you can sometimes still find space for the costume watching).

6. And finally, as Dreamerwolf so WISELY said.....

TAKE ALL THE PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 02-19-2015, 04:31 PM   #13
Dreamerwolf
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Jess, my son was 9 when we went to our first con, and I felt like you! I didn't really know what to expect or how he would handle it. I feel like what made the con for him was dressing up, and also meeting and taking pictures with other cosplayers. When people complimented his outfit, he beamed, and it wasn't anything special..I just threw it together in a few days, but I feel like kids get nice attention when in costume and it makes them feel special.

Find a fun panel or two..but don't try and pack in too much each day. Make sure to go over the 'don't touch anything' rules, especially about cosplayers and dealer's tables. My son is a 'oohhh, can I touch that!?' sort of kid, but he's very well behaved at cons.

If there's a celebrity or someone you're planning of getting a photo/autograph of, be prepared for the lines--snacks/things to do, ect. There' pretty much always something to see at con! People watching and getting pictures is the best.

Check the con website...they should have a list of panels, dealers and guests, plus they sometimes have maps or apps that help you plan.

Be silly and have fun!
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The Walking Dead - Maggie


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Unread 02-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #14
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My daughter's going to be 8 this spring and we've been taking her to cons since she was 4. We keep bringing her along not just because we want to go but SHE asks to go.

My biggest tips are similar to ones already mentioned.

1) Keep them engaged.- look at the schedule and find panels and events that they will enjoy. For example, my daughter LOVES going to voice actor panels even if she doesn't recognize what they've done because she loves hearing the 'funny stories' and finds voices they've done she knows.

2) Take time to take a break. We are lucky that our favorite con has a room for 'children's programming' where we can take a break and do crafts, color, etc. If we don't to that for our 'break' we sit in the open areas and people watch for about an hour between events/panels.

3) Take time to browse the dealer's room. With school age kids it can become a little 'game' to go through the dealer's room and look for products for shows the watch or know. Many times if the room is not to crazy the booth attendants love to assist the kids in their searches.

4) Dress up. If your child likes to dress up, let them. First 2 cons we went to she wore her Disney Princess costumes from the Halloween before and LOVED the attention. This year she dress up as her first anime character and she could believe all the attention she got. This normally shy little girl lit up every time someone asked for a picture. Costumes are a nice ice breaker for kids.

Now, for a caveat to my advise, we've only gone to small to medium size cons. I will be taking my daughter to her first 'large con' this spring when we go to Anime Central, so I think I may have to adjust some just be cause of the size and make sure she's not overwhelmed.
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Unread 02-22-2015, 01:05 AM   #15
jessjess05
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Thanks for all the tips, i'll be using them. Now another question and sorry to be asking so many, but the outfit my son wants i need to get wigs for, he was pretty upset i told him no to contacts but i have no idea how to put them in and i figure it's not the biggest deal in the world right now, but wigs when i look some up i'm seeing kid wigs but they are extremely pricey and i was wonder what you guys do for wigs if say you can't get the kids one
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