As you may know, I think having family time is not only awesome but very helpful for a child's development of social skills. I've talked about the importance of a family game night before and even starting a family book club. I wanted to talk about another way families can hang out together and interact - during Family Movie Night!
My family sometimes has a family movie night. We love watching movies and eating popcorn together, it's a great way for us to bond! In fact, last week we watched The Lego Movie as a reward for positive behaviors and everyone really enjoyed it.
Sometimes, as parents, you want to have a conversation about the things going on in your child's life, like friendships, teasing, gossip, etc., but it feels kind of weird to introduce it out of the blue. You can use a movie to jump start one of these discussions.
I came across the Disney movie Lemonade Mouth last year. I was looking for a movie to watch with my social group to talk about friendships.
Lemonade Mouth is a movie about 5 kids from different backgrounds who meet in detention, form a band and eventually become friends in the process.
A lot of different themes emerge during this movie that could be a jumping off point for great conversations.
Friendship – making new friends and new connections (finding common ground with others, creating a band, being vulnerable with others)
Change is hard (starting a new school, new people in the family)
Valuing sports vs. arts (how the principal treats the sports kids vs. the arts kids)
Bullying (in the cafeteria, at the band’s gig at the pizza place)
People’s viewpoints of you can change (how other kids look at the members of the band before vs. after their first concert)
When I teach social groups, I pause the movie at certain points to have a longer, more in depth discussions. You could do that, but the kids may not respond favorably to that.
I think in a home setting, you'll have more success having a conversation at the end. You could start by simply saying, what did you think of that movie? You could then mention a scene or a theme that really struck you. "I loved when they..." You could bring up a particular theme you wanted to discuss.
You don't even have to have the conversation that night. It could be something you talk about later, over dinner or driving somewhere. Honestly, it may not be a long conversation, but you're attempting to talk and have a conversation. You never know what can happen!
When was the last night you and your family watched a movie together?
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