Forget the Red Carpet - Make Your Own Awards Show

     February is awards season, which also means it's the month that I find out about all the movies and music I missed last year. The lists of nominees always make me think, "when did that movie come out?" or "I've never heard that song before" and "I need to pay more attention."

     But when it comes down to it, I just don't care. I don't care who's nominated, whose speech ran long, or who wins best-breakout-whatever. I don't usually watch a movie or listen to a song because they were nominated for an award. Like most of you, I make those choices based on recommendations from my friends and family. 

     Award season is the perfect chance to make our own lists of favorites and share them with everyone in the family. Your kids definitely have their favorite movies, TV shows, and music, and they would love to tell everyone about them! Forget the red carpet, and make your own awards show with your kids. Here's a few ideas to get your family started.

1) Make your lists.

     Give your kids a few categories, and let them pick their top 3 in each. If your family loves movies, you could make categories like "Funniest Movie," "Best Animated Movie," or "Movies My Friends and I Like." If you've got a family of readers, make categories for books like "Longest Book I Read Last Year," "Saddest/Scariest/Happiest Book I Read Last Year," or the classic "Favorite Book." You can make similar categories for music, tv shows, restaurants, games, etc.  

2) Present your favorites.

     This step can be as glamorous or as informal as you'd like. You can go all out decorating the family room to look like an awards show, or simply post your lists on the fridge. Give each member of your family the chance to present their lists while everyone else gives their full attention. The undivided attention will help each of your kids to feel loved, listened to, and appreciated.

3) Experience the winners together as a family.

     After the presentations are over, make time to experience each person's favorite book, song, movie, or show together as a family. Even if it might not be your personal favorite, you'll learn more about your kids and what makes them tick. Take advantage of the teachable moments in each of their picks, and talk to your kids about the messages and lessons that they communicate. Your kids will be thrilled that you took the time to share in their favorite things.

What movies, shows, or music do your kids like? Leave a comment and let us know what you would recommend to other parents, and what you would avoid. Let's learn together how to listen better to our children and enjoy the things that they love.