Sure, family movie night is fun. You pile on the couch together, you eat a little popcorn and you laugh (or cry, depending) about what’s unfolding onscreen before you. But movie night is about much more than just fun.
Yes, absolutely, your family will undoubtedly enjoy movie time together. If your kids are young, they’ll revel in feeling like adults for getting to watch TV longer than you normally allow. If they’re teens, well, they’ll probably just be pumped you don’t want to have a one-on-one about who they’re dating or what they’re doing or, even worse, what they’re doing with who they’re dating.
But while family movie time is certainly about fun on the exterior, there’s a far more compelling reason to pop that copy of Frozen or 42 into the Blu-Ray player: communication.
You’re probably thinking, “Wait, what? Unless you’re one of those annoying people who talks through movies, there isn’t a whole lot of communication going on.” Think about it, though. Carving out that couple of hours once a week or once a month to spend time as a family creates a true sense of cohesion among you. It starts a dialogue — even when there is very little actual conversation going on.
Movie night brings your family together, thereby prompting emotional bonding. That emotional bonding, in turn, opens the door to actual communication. Your children will feel much more inclined to open up to you about what is going on at school or after school or with their friends and, later, their significant others.
Studies have proven that children who spend more time enjoying leisure activities with their families tend to do better academically, act out less and steer clear of violence.
Plus, movie night is a great platform for launching discussion. Not so crazy about how Princess Anna managed to “fall in love” with two men in the blink of a snowy eye in Frozen? Ask your kids what they think. Is it realistic? Is it even responsible? Having your kids weigh in on topics arising from your movie of choice will clue you in a great deal to what’s going on in their lives in general and where they stand on important issues.
Regardless of whether your family agrees with you or thinks you’re a total stick in the mud, the point is you’ll be interacting with them. And, in the process, you’ll be making great memories. I watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween because it’s a tradition I started with my family and one that I can’t wait to continue with my own children when they’re old enough.
Besides, what have you got to lose? A few hours of relative peace in your home? A night snuggled up and snacking with your loved ones? Your teenager actually — gasp — talking to you? Family movie night could very well keep you from losing touch with your family.
And quite possibly your sanity, too. Mama needs a break every now and then, and spending it with your favorite people watching your (that’s right; you’re in control) favorite film seems like a pretty OK way to squeeze one in.