Every weekend day, while my two-year-old naps, the older two kids get to watch a movie. We just got a flat screen TV and can stream Netflix. So exciting for movie lovers. Wow. Have you all been doing this for years? My husband starts going through the options, and the photos come up of all the movies. My kids shout: “Thumbelina! Tangled!”
We say: “Look! “Howl’s Moving Castle!” Miyazaki. I bet that’s great.”
Kids: “No, no, no!”
Grown-ups: “It’ll be so good!”
One kid bursts into tears. The other sulks.
This is the point where you give in, right? It’s a movie for God’s sake. Who cares? Let them choose. Just as long as they stay quiet so the little one can sleep. They hardly get to pick anything in life. Why not a movie? What’s the big deal?
But this is where you need to resist. What they watch is really important, and kids are going to choose what they are familiar with. They love routine. So pick for them. Get them to try something new.
This is how our story ends:
We put on “Howl’s Moving Castle.” They keep crying and sulking. We leave the room. Not a word came out of those kids for the next two hours. They loved it. Today, they asked to see it again. They just need a little push, the same way with everything else, to try something new. Give it to them. It’s worth it.