How to watch a family film in 33 easy steps

A box of popcorn with the words "How to watch a family film in 33 easy steps" superimposed.

The recent nice weather came to an abrupt end over the weekend. As it was chucking it down, we decided to watch a family film on Sunday afternoon.

Now, I know this is isn’t the most straightforward of things and there’s almost certainly a direct correlation between the number of children involved and how easy it is.

But I have three of them and this is the most streamlined process I can find.

  1. Announce your intention to watch a family film.
  2. Sit back while your children all shout suggestions excitedly, while immediately questioning the wisdom of suggesting it.
  3. Foolishly suggest watching something new as opposed to an old favourite.
  4. Sit back while your children argue over whether terrestrial, Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ will be the best bet.
  5. Attempt to moderate, but remind yourself that it’s good they learn the art of debate.
  6. When the crying has finished, sit down to watch film.
  7. Look for the remote control.
  8. Eventually find the remote control, along with some long-forgotten toys and half a sandwich down the side of the sofa.
  9. Deep clean the sofa.
  10. Identify which child has nabbed the remote control during cleaning process.
  11. Prise it from their grasp and switch on preferred platform.
  12. Flick through family-friendly films.
  13. Question the algorithm that has determined some titles as suitable for young children.
  14. Slump in despair as one child remembers the family DVD collection.
  15. Extoll the virtues of broadening cultural horizons by watching something new.
  16. Give in when all your children agree on one.
  17. Put the disc on then remember it was once used as a teething ring.
  18. Berate yourselves for not getting rid of it.
  19. Go through each platform looking for said film.
  20. Find it on one with a cost associated.
  21. Explain capitalism to children and agree with their sense of injustice.
  22. Realise that the sequel is available at no extra charge.
  23. Persuade kids to watch it – bribery is acceptable at this juncture.
  24. Wait while one child goes to the toilet.
  25. Ask others if they need to go – they probably won’t.
  26. When child returns from the toilet, commence film.
  27. Pause five minutes later so other child(ren) can use the toilet.
  28. After 20 minutes, pause again when children protest that they’re dying of thirst and hunger.
  29. Get drinks and snacks, including tea for parents – even though wine is much quicker.
  30. Resume film.
  31. Answer hundreds of questions about plot and characters until the conclusion of film.
  32. Feel physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.
  33. Try not to fall over in shock when children say how much fun that was and how they can’t wait for another family film.


  1. Marcus.S

    This really made me chuckle. This is exactly what it’s like at my house with my partner and 6-year-old son. Only the other day I deep cleaned my sofa’s and ended up finding half a McDonalds happy meal, a marble and my back door key. Good work Tom.

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