A new family tradition has begun. With a husband who travels, and 4 kids at three different schools and three different schedules, our life has become hectic. And it’s only going to get crazier from here. So people tell me. “When are we just going to have some fun around here?!”, I frantically asked myself. Well, I came up with a rather simple answer.
I have reserved Fridays. They belong to our family. Not optional. We will all sit here, together, in this home of ours, and have good, memorable family moments every Friday. I decree.
Friday Family Movie Nights
Here are the parameters:
- an easy dinner, homemade, that everyone likes
- flexible bedtime (so mommy doesn’t have to stress out keeping to a schedule like she does all during the school week)
- dessert. Dessert is fun. Sugar makes kids happy. They like you more if you give them sugar. And it can be homemade, but doesn’t have to be. A bag of oreos can be quite the treat.
- movie. A fun movie. that everyone can enjoy.
- Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, turn down the lights and let people sprawl where ever they want.
- No laptops, phones, ipads allowed. (this rule is mainly for me)
Here are the secrets to success:
- Pick a good movie. Pick something that you and your husband won’t mind watching. Maybe something you haven’t seen before. If I have to watch Cinderella one more time, I think I’ll just wither away. Get a netflix account. $7.99/month. Borrow movies from friends. Get an Amazon Prime account: $79/year works out to be $6.58 per month – they have a lot of instant play movies that are free. (see my list of suggested movies below, on or my Friday Family Movie Night Pinterest page.)
- The main key to success is that it really helps if you and your husband actually look forward to movie night as much as the kids do, or at least a little bit. Occasionally, you might have to sacrifice some sanity, but hopefully, if you choose well, you can find movies that are fun for you to watch too.
- Don’t over analyze it. This isn’t documentary night – unless that is really your family’s favorite film genre. This movie doesn’t have to have deep and philosophical message. Your children shouldn’t have to get out their dictionaries or encyclopedias to understand what’s going on. Those films are great – but for another time. FUN!! Think fun.
- Within reason, shoot for pleasing your older kids first. My thought here is that I really want them to like this family time. I want it to be something they look forward to. If we are watching baby movie after baby movie, they’re going to get fed up really fast. There are plenty of movies out there that older kids (mine are 10 and 12) can enjoy that are fine for little kids, too. You’ll have to decide for yourself, of course, but try to have some choices that are on their level.Your babies can watch Cars another time!
- Friends can join in, but only if they’re the type that will really participate in the evening. If your 6th grader wants to have a sleepover, make sure she doesn’t invite the girl who will try to drag her off into her room every 5 minutes. You know who your children’s friends are. Choose well. And only occasionally.
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- Little House on the Prairie – the pilot
- National Velvet
- I Am David
- Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
- The True Story of Seabiscuit
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- The Sound of Music
- The Parent Trap
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Swiss Family Robinson
- Facing the Giants
- The Little Princess
- The Mighty Macs
- Cheaper by the Dozen
- The Sound of Music