Home & Family

Pass the popcorn – and the tissues – movie favorites with your kids

Monday was a holiday – Veteran’s day – aka Parent/Teacher Conference Day – and we had no plans. It was pretty glum outside, yet all was going well with painting, coloring, etc. until the troops got restless. My 7 year old daughter started taking sudden ownership of a random crayon and paint kit from the dollar store that no one had touched in months, refusing to share. I told her we had to share all of the family’s arts and crafts materials and she proceeded to have attitude, talk back and exhibit overall sassiness. To her room she went. One down, two to go. My 3 year old son was stir crazy and throwing pillows around, not listening, and wreaking general havoc, so he marched off to sit on the stairs. Of course at this point my five year old daughter realized her strong positioning and helped me prepare lunch, cleaned up toys, and was a model child. I needed to rally the troops. I needed an activity. I needed something that I would enjoy too – it was only 1 pm. So I pulled out an old movie that my kids had never seen. E.T.

Let me be honest – my kids watch a lot of television. Sponge Bob and Disney tween shows are their favorites and I can barely sit through half of an episode although I do, just to check in on the shows and see if they are appropriate. Now whenever I am watching one my 7 year old daughter will ask tentatively “Mom, is this appropriate?”

Anyway, back to cloudy Monday – I popped some popcorn (here is an easy way to move away from the microwave popcorn and spice up the traditional stove top method), pulled the shades and put in the video cassette (this is literally an old movie). My 7 year old and I were glued for the full viewing, and my 5 year old and 3 year old made it through the majority. It was the first time I ever saw my 7 year old cry while watching a movie, and lots of discussion ensued on how sometimes you have to let go of things you love, how E.T had to get back to his family, how bad guys aren’t always necessarily bad guys, but trying to protect people, etc. I cried my eyes out, by the way, and was very happy to spend the afternoon watching E.T. with my daughter rather than Scooby Doo (which can be funny, of course).

My friend introduced The Sound of Music to her children this past weekend and it had something for everyone – songs for her 5 year old, and her 7 year old asked for “violence” and it had that as well. Last year my older daughter was obsessed with Oliver – the upper grades at her school performed theplay – and the whole family knew the entire soundtrack.

What are some of your favorite family movie classics?

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray