I started a tradition last year of watching a movie together as a family on Friday nights. We sometimes watch movies other nights as well, but I officially declared Fridays to be “Friday Night Movie Night” and established it as a regular weekly event. It’s a routine that helps us decompress from the week and head into the weekend with a relaxed, united attitude.
My kids are still pretty little, aged 1, 4, and 7, and only my eldest attends school. But I’m laying the groundwork for the coming years, when extracurricular activities, plans friends, and personal hobbies will compete with family time for my kids’ attention. To keep movie night fun and special, I adopted a few out-of-the-ordinary habits. Instead of my usual full meal on the dinner table, we opt for plates of snacks and sippy cups on the living room floor if we feel like it. I allow the kids to skip their nightly baths (which for some reason is super exciting to them), and we put on our pajamas earlier than usual so we can cozy up in front of the TV and pick out a movie.
I have two rules for selecting a show on movie night: No cartoons, and it has to be one we’ve never seen before. After we pick a title, we watch it for ten minutes and decide if it’s a keeper or we need to switch. Sometimes we pick a dud, and we revisit the streaming ques to try again.
I also insist that movie night is a No Phone Zone. This rule currently applies only to my husband and me, but it’s a good foundation to establish now so the kids can follow suit in the coming years. We all look forward to Friday Night Movie Night as a time we can bend the rules and immerse ourselves into a cinematic story together.