20 Best Movies for Families

Check out our family movies list for your next night in. We have the round-up of the all-time top family movies—like Goonies, Pollyanna and Wall-E—that parents will enjoy, too. The films range in maturity levels, so you’re sure to find the right fit for your group. Now grab some popcorn, gather up the family and have fun enjoying your new (or old) favorite movie!

Goonies, PG, 114 minutes
If you’re hosting a sleepover, you’ll be a hero by turning on this action/fantasy about a cadre of adventure-seeking kids on the run, treasure maps, death-defying close calls and impaled skeletons. What we all remember and love about the Goonies is that they “never say die!” and their bond can’t be broken. (Warning: it can be a bit scary, and there’s some mild swearing. But we think it’s safe for kids 10 and up.)

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Going Out to Dinner: Before and After Toddlers

What used to be a relaxing way to unwind has now become an hour of cutting up food, cleaning up messes, and being interrupted 374 times. But it’s OK. What toddlers lack in manners they make up for in adorableness. Here are nine ways going out to dinner is different once you have a toddler. Bon appetit!

Going Out to Dinner Before Toddlers

You casually peruse the menu while chatting with your dinner companion, and you don’t even notice that the waiter hasn’t come over to your table for 20 minutes. What’s the rush?

Going Out to Dinner Now

You politely flag the waiter over to your table two minutes after sitting because your child is hungry NOW.

Going Out to Dinner Before Toddlers

You always BYOB if it’s an option.

Dinner Now

You always BYOSC (bring your own sippy cup). Because a cup without a top is a cup that will be spilled.


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Positive Reinforcement: 9 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Child

I was trying to do two things at once—cook (in the kitchen) while deciphering some paperwork (in the next room). I’d been interrupted a thousand times with requests for snacks, shrieks over spilled paint water, questions about what squirrels like to eat, and arguments over whether clouds could be blue and flowers could be green. And did I mention that a ruptured disk in my back was throbbing even worse than my head?

Still, nothing can excuse my behavior that afternoon.

I erupted like Mount Momsuvius: “Enough! Get out! Stop bothering me!” The look on my daughters’ faces said it all. The 2-year-old’s eyes widened. The 4-year-old furrowed her brow and jabbed her thumb between her lips. Immediately I wished I could stuff the hot-lava words back into my mouth. They certainly hadn’t come from my heart, or my brain.

We all say the wrong thing sometimes, leaving our kids feeling hurt, angry or confused. Read on for some of the most common verbal missteps moms and dads make, and kinder, gentler alternatives.

“Leave Me Alone!”

A parent who doesn’t crave an occasional break is a saint, a martyr or someone who’s so overdue for some time alone she’s forgotten the benefits of recharging. Trouble is, when you routinely tell your kids, “Don’t bother me” or “I’m busy,” they internalize that message, says Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D., founder of the Ozark Center for Language Studies, in Huntsville, Arkansas. “They begin to think there’s no point in talking to you because you’re always brushing them off.” If you set up that pattern when your children are small, then they may be less likely to tell you things as they get older.

From infancy, kids should get in the habit of seeing their parents take time for themselves. Use pressure-release valves—whether signing up with a babysitting co-op, trading off childcare with your partner or a friend or even parking your child in front of a video so that you can have half an hour to relax and regroup.

At those times when you’re preoccupied (or overstressed, as I was when I exploded at my girls), set up some parameters in advance. I might have said, “Mom has to finish this one thing, so I need you to paint quietly for a few minutes. When I’m done, we’ll go outside.”

Just be realistic. A toddler and a preschooler aren’t likely to amuse themselves for a whole hour.



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