It seems like just yesterday my kids were in diapers. It’s like overnight they sprung fully formed into these magical creatures, these growing boys with distinct likes and dislikes. Movie nights used to be easy to pick what to watch, age appropriate selections were obvious and there wasn’t much guesswork involved. Now that they are getting bigger it’s just a little bit trickier to know what is going to be ok for them to watch. This is my advice for movie nights with growing kids.

Do your homework. Google is your friend. Use your sleuthing skills to find out what other parents thought of the movie and what kinds of things you might need to watch for. Decide if the movie you are thinking about aligns with what you want your kids to see based on reviews, movie blogs and even the movie’s website.

Don’t just be a spectator. Talk to your kids about what they are watching and check in with them throughout the show to make sure they are still doing ok. Don’t be afraid to stop the action and chat about what’s happening and how they are feeling. It’s also a good way to practice critical thinking skills and break up particularly intense moments.

Shine a light. If it’s a bit of a spooky movie, maybe a darkened room isn’t the best choice for viewing atmosphere. Set the lighting and the volume at appropriate levels so the experience isn’t completely immersive if you are at all worried that they might get anxious. It can go a long way to helping your kids differentiate between fantasy on the screen and real life.

Some days I might miss the baby phase, but the phase we are in has its perks. While selecting appropriate movies might be a challenge sometimes, having fun together with your magical creatures, your growing boys, can be easy peasy with a little planning and forethought. Our favourites on Netflix include educational programming like The Deep and entertaining animated selections like Disney Planes. We are always exploring new titles together, just like we love exploring the world as a family. There’s so much to learn and enjoy!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam program, and receive special perks for sharing all my family’s favourites with you, dear reader. I was not financially compensated for this post.