Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Top 5 Movies For Parents

 I love movies.  I love movie theaters, it is the only place I can truly say that I like popcorn.  I love movies almost as much I love TV and that's pretty huge.  Comedies, action thrillers, dramas, tear-jerkers, Indie, big-budget, artsy, goof-ball....I love all movie genres (I even went through a brief horror movie phase).

Even though I enjoy all movies, I was never one of those people that went to kid movies before I had kids.  Well, okay, I saw Lion King in the theater a million years before I had my own kids and I had to sit through Macaulay Culkin in The Little Rascals with my little brother.

Now my life is dominated by kid movies.  And it's not a terrible thing.  As we parents know, most "kid movies" have a lot of good lessons for grown ups.  In fact, many a kid movie has made me not just a better person, but a better parent.

In honor of Oscar Week, I thought it would be fun to list the top five movies I think every new parent should watch and watch again as their kids get older. 
This post is part of my partnership with Mommy Bear Media, a great place to find and order family friendly movies.

Here are the top five must-watch parenting "kid" movies in no particular order:

Finding Nemo
Duh, right?  I mean the whole idea of holding our kids a little too tight out of fear of the unknown gets me every time.  There have been times when I sound exactly like Marlin the fish as he told his kid fish Nemo he couldn't do things because of his bum fin.  I call them my "Nemo Moments."  

My famous Nemo moment actually inspired the name of my blog--Jumping With My Fingers Crossed. A few years ago, Lucy was was standing on top of a very high playground structure.  I told her she better not jump and that it wasn't safe, she might get hurt.  She replied "I might not."  And with that she closed her eyes, crossed her fingers and jumped.  After sticking her landing she turned to me and said "see, told ya."

My favorite character from the movie is Crush the turtle.  He is so chill and I love him.  I think all parents could learn from Crush.  Learn to relax and let their kids find their own way, make their own mistakes and as Crush says "koo-koo-cachoo find their way back."
I re-watch this one a lot.

Mrs. Doubtfire
This is an oldie, but a goodie.  Maybe this movie hits home because I grew up with divorced parents.  But the movie is about more than divorce, it's about being silly and being present.  We recently watched this movie as a family.  While my kids were laughing at Robin Williams dressed up like a woman, sticking his face in a cake and shouting "Hellllooo!," I was being reminded a very important lesson.  A lesson about the importance of playing with my kids, connecting with them and being there for them.  

Oh this movie is for all mothers who might have gotten a little lost in the whole business of motherhood.  This movie is a reminder of the power of a dream and being steadfast.  It is a reminder of how mothers can be compassionate caretakers and brave powerful women taking on the whole world.  It's about leading, teaching, mothering by example.  And it has horses, it's good.

Beezus and Ramona
I adored these books by Beverly Cleary growing up, so I was skeptical about what the movie would be like.  While the movie is different, it is also so good.  The movie is one of the truly G-rated movies out there.  There are absolutely no bad words or over-your-head-you-dumb-little-kid jokes.  The movie is about a pretty cute family facing some pretty big but true-to-life problems.  For example, the dad loses his job, their car doesn't start, they have to put their house up for sale, etc.  But through it all, they remain hopeful.  The movie highlights how letting go of stress for both dad and daughter can be as simple as rolling out paper across the floor and drawing the "longest picture in the world."  It's simple.

They may not have a huge house or the the best jobs, but they are together and they love each other.  Awwww.  Really so sweet.  "We are movie magic," I told my kids.  "We are living the life of this sweet movie, we are living the happy ending."  We don't have the biggest, nicest house, or the best jobs, or the biggest, best anything.  But we do have so much love.  It's simple.

Toy Story 3
This movie is harder to watch the older my kids get.  Lesson here we all know is, oh man it goes fast.  Play and enjoy every moment.  It's almost too much to write about right?  I mean the scene where Andy leaves for college...sniffle...and goes to the little girl's house...sniffle, sob, sniffle...and plays with his toys...too much!!!!!

What's on your list?  What are your Nemo moments?  You have them right?  We all have them, I hope it's not just me.  

Take a look at Mommy Bear Media--they have a wide variety of older movies and the best new movies on DVD for the whole family. And they offer free 2-5 day shipping on all orders.  In addition to their website, you can follow up with them on Facebook and Twitter as well. 

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