New Traditions: Family Movie Night
We have a pile of unwatched movies and I bet you do too. They might be physical DVDs or Blurays, or they might be a virtual stack on NetFlix or Amazon Prime, but they sit there, taunting you, year after year. I got sick of it and instituted a family movie night. We take turns choosing – Wise Mom, son, Wise Dad, son – so everyone gets a chance.
We take turns choosing – Wise Mom, son, Wise Dad, son – so everyone gets a chance. If we are all home, the movie has to be appropriate for everyone. If our eldest is gone, the youngest can choose something more tween or little-kid. If the little one is gone, the big one can choose something more PG13-R. Since our eldest is interested in the military, we have ended up watching quite a few military-inspired movies. Most recently, I convinced them to watch Good Morning, Vietnam. Everyone else was a bit skeptical, but they really enjoyed it in the end.
I will admit that I refused to stay when my youngest went for an all-out marathon of Alien movies but he and the Wise Dad really enjoyed it, and it will be a happy memory for them. I have also promised to not select any chick-flicks or rom-coms because I know no one else would enjoy them. If you are a dad in a house full of women, you may have to accept the reverse and not watch very many action movies. That doesn’t mean none, of course, but…. If I was in that situation, I would choose my battles wisely, and avoiding watching any movie starring Barbie seems like a more important battle.
It may seem like a silly little thing but those “silly little things” can be the most important family traditions. We can introduce the kids (and each other) to movies we love and they can force us to watch things some YouTube channel they love is promoting. The great thing about family movie night is that it grows with the kids. You may be sharing Speed Racer and Curious George when they are little but eventually, when they are grown, it can be Kill Bill with thousands of great movies to choose from in the years between.
My personal favorite was when we found Star Wars: A New Hope playing at a second run theater. Neither of the boys wanted to see it (!) but it was family movie night and that was my choice, so they went. By the end, one could see the appeal and the other conceded there were “some” good parts. Win!