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 on the screen before you. But while family movie time is certainly about fun on the exterior, there’s a far more compelling reason to fire up your big screen tv or home cinema projector and put on Disney+ or pop a DVD into the blu-ray player.
With today’s lifestyle often being hectic, and with more to do than can often be accomplished in a day, quality family time doesn’t have to suffer. Establishing a family movie night tradition in your home can provide some surprising benefits for your family that go far beyond being merely entertained.
Benefits of family movie nights
● Builds Family Bonds
Spending time together will help to form lasting connections between family members. We spend hours and hours away from family daily whether it is for work or school, so it is critical to attempt to make the most of your time when you are together. Movie nights are a great way to do that because you’re all sharing the same experience creating a sense of camaraderie.
Regular family movie nights also create a routine with deep symbolic importance. The symbolic significance is reiterating: “We are a family. We do things together like watch movies because we care about each other and like being together.”
● Builds Self Esteem
Watching movies over the weekend is a good way to make your family closer. Once your children learn that they have a close-knit family, their confidence and self-image improves. In addition, children with close-knit families are more open with their peers. Family bonding activities such as watching movies together help children become more productive, thereby increasing their level of confidence.
● Gives you something to talk about
Sometimes it can be challenging to find common ground with your kids to converse with one another. Watching the same movie together allows you and your children to connect with one another and discuss their thoughts on the movie.
Some movies may have themes and storylines that mirror situations or issues your own child is experiencing. In these instances, parents can use the movie as a conversation starter on sensitive issues by focusing on the movie’s characters rather than the child themselves. The characters may become role models you can use as examples of how your child might tackle a certain issue they’re grappling within their own lives.
● Reduce sibling rivalry
Sibling rivalry can cause all kinds of discord within families. However, sibling relationships can prosper through shared experiences such as family movie nights. By promoting the idea of ‘family time’ to the warring parties, you’re promoting inclusiveness and your family as a whole unit – as opposed to competing individuals – which works to downplay a child’s insecurities and promote cohesiveness.
Family movies often have themes of siblings coming together which can inspire brothers and sisters in real life to get along better like the characters in the movies.
One root of sibling rivalry is that parents cannot equally divide their attention to the kids. Watching a movie together as a family gives ample opportunity for parents to bond with their kids. In turn, kids will feel loved and will feel that there is no competition between siblings, which lessens sibling rivalry.
● Reminisce about your memories.
When you think of movies from your childhood, you probably have some pretty fond memories of movies you have seen dozens of times. They’re the movies that you loved, that made you laugh and made you cry. Sharing those memories with your kids is a great way to connect with them.
● Make new memories.
Another reason for the importance of family time is to make memories. Traditions will give family members a sense of belonging. Values and beliefs are strengthened through traditions and can help give families much-needed stability. It is important to do activities together as a family in order to build these memories
● Reinforces life lessons
Most family movies have some element of morality to the storyline, which parents can use as examples when reinforcing important life lessons to their child. It’s one thing to give your child a lesson, and another entirely to witness the same lesson being played out by loveable characters on the big screen. Using the examples within the movie’s storyline, you can discuss the important lessons the characters had to learn to overcome obstacles with your child.
● Promotes Academic Success
Doing activities with your family such as watching movies is a wise investment. In fact, children who spend time with their parents do better in school compared with other children. Studies also show that children who spend time with their parents on weekends score higher on tests and are more likely to graduate than those who do not. On the other hand, children who spend less time with their parents are less able to focus at school.
● Teach your kid to appreciate good movies
Those kids who watch stupid movies like the emoji movie grow up to be the reason there are 9 Fast and Furious movies. People develop their palette for media when they’re young. If they’re not exposed to great cinema when they’re younger they won’t appreciate it when they’re older. Do your part to prevent Fast and Furious 24.
● Provide greater intimacy among parents
Watching movies is not only beneficial to children. It also has positive effects on the married couple. Spending time with your spouse results in better intimacy, better communication, and strengthened bond, and in turn strengthening your marriage. In addition, you can provide your children a good example for their future relationships.
A study from the University of Rochester also found that couples who watch romantic movies together help them deal better with marital issues, decreasing the incidence of annulment and divorce.
● Make everybody happier
Snuggling up for movie night releases the hormone oxytocin. This is the hormone that helps create the intense bond between mother and her child.) But this bond isn’t exclusive to the moms. Dads, partners, and adoptive parents can get a rush of oxytocin when they hug and cuddle with their children.
On top of that, smiling is contagious. One Swedish study suggests that we can’t help but react with a smile of our own when we see someone smiling — so it’s an all-out infectious loop of happiness.
Tips for a great family movie night
Go big with your movie night
To ensure your movie nights are extra memorable, you’ll need to have the right equipment on hand. The best way to accomplish that is with a projector and a projection screen. Unlike watching a movie on your regular TV (no matter how big it is), a project and projector screen will give the feeling of watching a movie at the cinemas—your own private one at that!
Have some delicious snacks ready
Needless to say, no movie night would be complete without delicious snacks. So what should be on the menu? Well, whatever you and your family want!
Choose the movie beforehand
As you may already know from personal experience, picking the right movie for a movie night is half the battle. Sometimes, you end up spending half the night choosing between options, and end up settling on a movie that no one’s really happy with. The key to picking the right movie—and not spending all night doing so—is doing a bit of prep beforehand.
Have everyone take a trip to the bathroom before the movie starts
No one wants to interrupt the movie for a pee break. Make sure your family members go before starting the film.
Summing it all up
Enjoying movie nights with your family is a great way to spend time together. Regardless of if you are in a small family or a large family, nothing beats cuddling up to watch your favorite movies. Watching movies is an easy recreational activity that you can do with your family to make memories that last!
This content is brought to you by Brian Gluck.