How Movie Night Saved My Family

My teenagerWe’ve hit upon another milestone that none of the parenting books prepare you for: when your kids discover their room. It’s not that they didn’t know it was there or even that the didn’t enjoy spending time in there before this point, but suddenly your child goes from wanting to spend time scattering toys throughout your living room to holing up in their own space in the house.

They want to eat in there. They want to use the phone in there. They want to spend hour after hour after hour doing whatever it is kids of that age do … in their rooms.

It sounds marvelous, doesn’t it? All this free time to spend with your spouse? It is … for about a day. Maybe two.

And then it hits you. Your little snuggle buddy is gone. The days of cuddling on the couch, just the two of you, are numbered. And life has changed … forever.

Unless you don’t let it. Remember pizza and a movie night?

Go ahead and hate on it, folks, but there’s nothing that bonds two people (or more) together like watching the same thing on a screen. It’s why movie quoting is a thing.

And these days, it’s something that will draw even my “I’m trying so hard to be a teenager even though I’m not” kid out of her room and into the family. I’ve even gone so far as to offer up the Netflix queue to the kid — add what you want to see, and we’ll suck it up (no, really). That my queue — and the suggestions made to us because of it — now skew embarrassingly toward Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato made-for-TV flicks is just a sacrifice I make for the sake of having some real quality time with my quickly getting too old for hanging out with Mom and Dad kid.

The big thing may be limiting your kids’ screen time, and I get it for so many, many reasons, but when my family tried to go screen free a few months ago, I also learned a valuable lesson: a screen that brings a family together has its benefits. Because if it draws you in, if it gets you to stay, that’s when the conversations can happen. It’s when you can regain common ground … and find your kid again.

I confess I worried this summer, worried that everything I’d been warned about the teen years tearing my family apart was already coming true.

But so long as we have movie night, we’re safe … for now, anyway.

What does pizza and movie night do for your family?


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Disclaimer: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive free Netflix, however I was not otherwise compensated for this post, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.


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