- December 2, 2016
While Dad watches the game in the den and Mom checks her Facebook in the living room, the kids sit in their respective rooms listening to music and playing video games. Since American households average roughly three television sets apiece, families are no longer forced to share their nightly entertainment. Throw in Xbox and Netflix and you’ll understand why family movies are not a special event anymore.
Are family movie nights a thing of the past? Something from a bygone era that wouldn’t work in today’s age of smartphones and instant streaming? Although you may have to put a little effort in, family movies are still as doable today as they were in the past. Here are a few ways that you and your family can still enjoy family movies together:
Think About Your Family Movies
Before you bought that cable bundle that comes with 2,000 channels, there only used to be a handful of stations to pick from. In a bit of clever programming, they would run TV movies or exciting movies of the week to encourage a household to sit down and tune in. While this still happens a little today, networks have mostly given in to having their own original shows be the “must-see TV.”
Since entertainment has changed so much over the years, parents now have to do the heavy lifting when it comes to picking out the entertainment for a family movie night. This means you’ll have to do a little bit of planning if you want to watch something good for the whole family.
Don’t worry, you can put down that monthly planner, unlink the satellites, and stop the telegraph relay. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Use technology to help you make more informed decisions. Don’t get stuck with the same 15 family-friendly movies you own. It’s time to “let it go” with some of those popular movies you’ve all seen 100 times and look for more diversity.
For starters, there are Christian movies on Netflix. You may not be aware, but there are also streaming services that specialize in Christian movies. For the 21st century Christian household, the possibilities for family movies extend beyond its own physical collection.
Plan Ahead for a Family Movie Night
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will a family movie night happen all by itself. If you’re looking to start enjoying family movies together, then you’re going to want a game plan. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just keep the idea in your head.
Once you’ve opened the door for family movie nights, the next question is going to be “when do we have time to do this?” Between school, sports, and church, life can get pretty busy. Family movie nights don’t have to be 2-3 nights a week. They really don’t even have to be weekly. There is no gold standard for this kind of thing, so just plan for whatever fits your family’s lifestyle.
With that in mind, movie selection is pretty important if you want this to be a repeated event. Find a movie that promotes good values, but is also entertaining. Depending on the age of your kids, there are certain tolerances for bad acting and cheap melodrama. With teenagers, you want to find something a little closer to Hollywood standards production-wise. You can even turn this into a game with your kids by awarding whoever does the most chores or finishes their homework first with movie choice. Just make sure you stack the deck with films that are wholesome and fairly agreeable for everyone.
You’ve established the time and date and you know what movie you’re watching. What else do you need? Food.
If you’re going to plan a family activity that traps everyone in a room for two hours, food is a must. Whether you decide to make it a pizza night or you want to do a home-cooked meal, make sure everyone has a full stomach. Go the extra mile and buy some popcorn and candy, if possible. You want this to be a fun event that everyone looks forward to all day.
Don’t Force Serious Discussion
This is the part where we have to tell you not to let your planning brain get out of control. A little structure is great but it can go a long way. The reason for planning a movie night is to get everyone together and have fun, so keep things running smoothly. When family nights feel like a punishment, there’s a good chance the experiment is over.
When it comes to picking the movie, don’t just dig up your old copy of “A Thief in the Night” or something else that’s going to come across as preachy and dated. Let the kids see that there are fun, wholesome family movies out there that won’t put them to sleep.
You also don’t want to be the parent that pulls out a workbook full of study questions after the film. That’s going to feel like a setup to your kids. If you’re watching a movie with your kids that presents a tough moral choice or theological question, ask them about it later that night or the following day. There’s nothing wrong with movies sparking conversation, but the point of a family movie night is to have fun together.
Take Advantage of Slow Nights
Earlier in this post when we were talking about planning family movie nights, there were surely some parents thinking “I don’t have time for all of that.” We know that planning to watch family movie together may seem like such a low priority to you that it’s not really worth it.
For parents who don’t want to plan, we encourage you to take advantage of slow nights. We’ve all had the occasional night where it’s raining outside, all of the kids happen to be home, and everyone is just doing their own thing throughout the house. What a great opportunity for a low maintenance family movie night!
Grab some blankets, a bucket of popcorn, and a couple of your favorite family Christian movies and you’ll have a fun evening in no time.
At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, we want you and your family to take advantage of any opportunity to enjoy Christian entertainment together. That’s why we’re inviting you to the biggest weekend in Christian music all year. The K-LOVE Fan Awards weekend features the hottest names in Christian music, movies, sports, and books all in one place. To find out how you and your family can take part in the ultimate fan experience, click on the link below.