Thursday, December 6, 2012

Parenting Tips: Old Movies To Share With Your Kids

By Deborah Pace Rowley
My husband started a tradition in our family that has become a cherished part of our Christmas celebration and continues throughout the year. Many years ago, Lin decided that he wanted to introduce the movies of his childhood to his children. So for Christmas he purchased a set of old Marx brothers movies and wrapped them up as a gift for the "Rowley Family" from Santa. On Christmas afternoon, we gathered our skeptical young family into the family room where we watched the first movie together. Before too long it was hard to tell who was laughing more.... Dad or the kids! Throughout the rest of that year, we watched 6 or 7 more Marx brothers movies together. The following Christmas we got another set of Marx brothers movies to enjoy. Over the next few years we watched the entire Marx brothers collection. Joseph began to do a mean Groucho Marx impression and we had a whole language of movie quotes and jokes to share together.
After the Marx brothers, we moved on to Elvis Presley and Dad shared 5 or 6 classic Elvis films. Then he introduced Cary Grant. Our kids were becoming quite cultured! Last year Dad purchased the complete set of Hogan's Heroes episodes. Now I regularly hear the kids coaxing their Dad into watching "just one episode" before bed.  I can hear them laughing together in the other room as I type this post. This has become such a fun tradition for our family and has brought my husband and his kids so close together.  I am sure most everyone has purchased a new DVD or two to put under the tree. Have you considered some old movies or T.V. shows from your childhood?
Perhaps you didn't watch the Marx brothers or Hogan's Heroes when you were young. How about the Three Stooges or Charlie Chaplin? We have friends who have purchased several seasons of Gilligan's Island to share with their kids. We know other friends who have the "I Love Lucy" Complete Set. There are so many fun shows from the past that are available now. What about "Scooby Doo" or "I Dream of Jeanie" or "The Brady Bunch." Think about the great moral lessons that are found in 'The Andy Griffith Show." The great thing about most of these shows is that they are clean and appropriate for children of all ages. Chances are if you liked a show as a child, your kids will love it too. Try putting a blast from the past under your tree this year!

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