Movie nights with the family can be more of a hassle than it is worth, if everyone has different tastes in movies. The kids may be interested in the latest superhero sequel, while mom would prefer a comedy, and dad has his eye on an older James Bond flick. There seems to be no middle ground here. The family could spend half an hour or more arguing about which movie to watch, and go through the endless list of choices available for online streaming or on-demand.
Just when it seems like everyone is happy with the selection, one member of the family complains, and then the whole process starts all over again.
Why Not to Always Let Kids Choose the Movie
In these situations, what usually ends up happening is that one member of the family gets to choose the movie, and everyone else accepts it, along with more or less silent suffering. More often than not, kids get this privilege, since they are the ones with the least capacity to sit through anything. If that system doesn’t work, the family may give up on movie night altogether. This is the situation more and more these days, since everyone can just watch what they want on their own computers or tablets. The drawback, of course, is that family time gets sacrificed.
Try the ‘Pick System’
There is one system that works well for some families, and avoids all the problems mentioned above. I like to call it the ‘pick system’. The pick system is surprisingly simple and effective, and it even has the bonus of teaching some good lessons to the younger members of the family. The system works like this: each member of the family gets one pick, and movie night rotates, so that each member’s pick is shown on a movie night before the rotation is reset. The only hard and fast rule is that, if it isn’t your pick, you must sit through the movie that’s showing, without complaints. When it is your pick, you can choose whatever movie you want, and you know that the rest of the family will have to watch it with you. Depending on the specific needs of your family, you could include a few other rules related to kid-friendliness, subtitles, or other very broad regulations.
Learn Some Positive Life Lessons
When it’s described in writing, the pick system seems so obvious, that it sounds a bit silly, but it’s a proven method that eliminates all the arguing and agonizing, and makes movie night fun again. There’s a bonus which you might not see coming: if you have kids, it will teach them a lesson in consideration and patience. Using the pick system, you will be surprised to find that your kids will start choosing movies that they think will be crowd pleasers. The reason this happens is simple. Imagine it’s your pick, and you choose a movie that everyone in the family ends up loving. They will praise you for having made such a great choice. These words of praise are powerful positive reinforcements-it feels great when the people we love tell us that we did a good job. Of course, sometimes, there will be a movie that someone really, really wants to see, no matter what the others think. The beauty of the pick system is that, that’s always okay.
It Really Works!
In my family, the pick system revolutionized movie night. We used to avoid watching movies together, because it would take ages to find something everyone wanted to see. Now, we watch movies together on a regular basis, because we like sharing our unique tastes with each other, and it’s fun to see what the others will come up with on their turn. We also add a twist to make it exciting: whoever has the pick, can’t tell the others in advance what the movie is-it’s a surprise!