I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the cinema with my kids in half term. The Croods is a great family film about a family of a ‘cavemen’ who have to evolve. Unlike many films that are family based this has the Dad as a central character struggling to get to grips with a teenage daughter and the changing nature of his family.
This started me thinking about how our children see family or fathers in the films or programmes they watch, from the non-conformist extended family in Ice Age to those with a comic father figure such as the Simpsons. When I was growing up the Hanna Babera Cartoons often focused on family , from The Flintstones and The Jetsons or family values shown in dysfunctional ‘gangs’ or friends in Top Cat and even Scooby Doo.
I remember that, as I was growing up in the 1970’s with divorced parents the most powerful film I saw was Kramer Vs Kramer. Even now I find it poignant. As parents we may often be concerned about films we see with our children and often a trip to the cinema is a nice family activity, but perhaps it can be a time to stimulate conversation about values about how we see the world.
As a non-resident parent it was a nice way for us to talk about families changing and moving forward, in the past we have had nice discussion after a range of films, even films I have said No to seeing just yet have allowed us to have good discussions on what is and isn’t appropriate.
However for me the nicest part of going to the cinema, apart from the large tub of Ben and Jerry’s, is the shared experience and the fun you can have recreating moments and lines…… My 5 year old now has taken up using dramatic music to emphasis things just like Belt. …Dum Dum Dummm!!
As a non resident parent the cinema is a nice way of spending time with my kids, but the cinema is getting expensive so a DVD is a great alternative and making homemade popcorn in the microwave if a fun way to enhance the experience. It also a nice way to allow your children to see some of your favourite programmes, mine have experienced “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Thundercats” and “The Goodies” as well as a range of ‘classic’ films – my 10 year old was surprised to see the original Karate kid!!
Film and TV programmes make much of our childhood memories, why not share some of your favourites with your children and help them make theirs….
Till next time ….Dum Dum Dummmm !