I love Family Movie Nights, mostly because of the popcorn but also because of the together time and shit. I also don't love movie night because my kids can be such little punks when it comes to choosing a movie for our family to enjoy on the movie night we occasionally have to prove that we do, at times, all stare at the same screen for a few hours. Yes, we are a family who enjoy our screens, within reason of course. My reason, not your reason, or his reason, or some bogus study you found on the internet's reason. We allow our children some screen time while we are cooking supper and a little more at bedtime after they do their mandatory ten minutes of reading (we just instituted this back into our schedule when the school year started, before that our lack of attention to reading with the kids would've made your hair curl). Relax, we took a little breather this summer. My kids did read when they wanted to read (kind of like I do) and we got a little lax on the screen time policing, too. Stop pretending you didn't.
So, now that we are entering Fall, we have begun to add some 'weekly/whenever we remember' rules and traditions to our schedule. Reading for ten minutes before bed, sharing a classic movie with the kids whenever we can, a cocktail before supper; you know, stuff like that. I realize I still haven't told you what my beef with movie night is, but I'll get there. With witty prose like this to indulge in, do you really want me to rush it?
The kids cannot make up their minds, ever. When it's Grace's turn we start with Maleficent, but then, it gets too scary, so we switch to The Princess and the Frog, which is okay, she guesses, but not near as good as Pirate's of the Caribbean, so off we go on a pirate ship. The following week it's Kate's turn and our family movie night turns into watching eighteen episodes of Paw Patrol. Meanwhile, they are hardly paying attention anyway.
Why don't I put my foot down, you ask? Tell these little people that Family Movie Night is a sacred tradition, and we must start and finish a classic together like the Happy Family we pretend to be on Facebook!
I don't do that, because I am still trying to figure out my little people. Believe me, I've tried to arrange the perfect evening of popcorn and The Princess Bride, only to be devastated when the uncultured little monsters dared to announce that 'this old movie is weird and why is mommy make us watch it?'
I am currently trying to let them find their own way. Will they soon understand that Jurassic Park is the best movie ever made, or that Adventures in Babysitting and Ferris Bueller's Day Off were instant classics?
Maybe not, but they'll get a chance to explore everything and make their own decisions about these things.
If we ever do come to a consensus for movie night, I'll let you know.
A mom like you.
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