25 Movies for Valentine’s Day: Teach Your Teen About Love

25 Movies for Valentine’s Day: Teach Your Teen About Love

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Valentine’s season is here, and it’s a great time to watch some movies about love. These are not all about romantic love, but love between friends and family as well. These are great movies to use as a springboard to some conversations about realistic love.

Relationships can be so complicated, and with all the social media options available these days, it’s even more important that our kids know that communication is key. Not texting, but talking. Relationships can and should be grounded in friendship first, and there is no rush to any of this!

These movies can really help open the door to difficult conversations!

After a painful breakup one of my boys experienced, we watched a few of these movies. He ended up liking some of these, even though, at first, he thought they were chick flicks. Watching these together opened up some great conversation that he later said really helped him. Here’s a checklist to keep track of the ones that you have watched:)

Here is our family’s list of the best movies about love to watch for Valentine’s Day!

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Movies About Love

Valentine’s Day– This is great! This is the story of many intersecting stories about love. Mother love, romantic love, puppy love and more… Each relationship in this movie is special for different reasons, and there are lessons to be learned in each situation.

You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not,” Jodie Picoult in My Sister’s Keeper

Sweet Home Alabama– A young woman in the big city learns that she can leave home, even recreate herself, but leaving the past behind is not as easy as she thinks. 

You always gain by giving love,” Reece Witherspoon

Ghost– Love from beyond. The spirit of a young man comes back to warn his love that she is in danger. Appearances are not always what you think!

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,” Emily Brontë

10 Things I Hate About You– A complicated of boy meets girl, boy wants to date girl, girl not allowed to date… A fun story about love/hate between sisters, their dad, and the boys who want to date them.

I have decided to stick to love; hate is too great a burden to bear,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Movies About Love

The Proposal– Love conquers all even when the girl is the office “witch” and the movie starts out with the boy hating the girl.

When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be,” Leo Tolstoy

Grease– Lesson learned here is peer pressure can be intense. Be who you are!

Love was made for me and you,” Nat King Cole

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

Some Kind of Wonderful– Lessons about growing up, the freedom to make your own decisions

Love is a friendship set to music,” Joseph Campbell

When Harry Met Sally– Harry wants to prove to Sally that men and women cannot be friends because sex always gets in the way. I love the evolution of their friendship throughout the movie, and ultimately sex does complicate things as he predicted. Classic!

Love is friendship that has caught fire,” Ann Landers

Pretty in Pink– Love conquers all, friendship and the struggles across social and economic classes are a few of the themes in this classic John Hughes film. If you want to show your teen a glimpse into the ’80s, then this is my pick!

Love recognized no barriers,” Maya Angelou

Movies About Love

Dirty Dancing– Another classic. Set in the ’60s, this has love and conflict wrapped up in Kellerman’s family camp in the Catskills, this movie delivers a young protagonist who “was smart, funny, reckless, tenacious, awkward, curious, righteous, strong- and instantly real.” 

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary,” Oscar Wilde

You’ve Got Mail– Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, enough said!

I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly,” Kathleen, in You’ve Got Mail

While You Were Sleeping– A girl who imagines herself to be in love with the “perfect” man, finds out that love is so much more when you find the right guy.

You don’t marry someone you can live with — you marry someone you cannot live without,” unknown

Sabrina– I liked the original Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, but LOVE this remake with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford! Girl loves boy who doesn’t have a clue she exists. Girl goes away and grows into beautiful woman. Girl comes home and then things get complicated when boy finally “sees” her.  

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other,” Audrey Hepburn

Hope Floats– Great movie about starting over after all seems lost. 

Love yourself first, and everything falls into line,” Lucille Ball

Movies About Love

Where the Heart Is– Talk about starting over! Natalie Portman is great as a young pregnant woman who is abandoned at a small-town Walmart. Ashley Judd steals the show as the sidekick. 

Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you,” Misty Copeland

Steel Magnolias– My girlfriends have my back no matter what, and this movie goes to show that we all need our girlfriends through the situations that life can bring us.

A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have,” an Irish proverb

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days– This is a cute rom-com about a relationship that has every reason to fail from the start.

“You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly,”  Sam Keen

Fried Green Tomatoes– Another example of girl friends being there through thick and thin.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart,” Eleanor Roosevelt

The Vow– True love twice! An amazing true story…

You are my sun, my moon, and all my stars,” E.E. Cummings

Movies About Love

Beaches– Girlfriends again. Even when a friendship seems to end, their love for one another shines through in the end…

There are friends, there is family, and then there are friends that become family,” unknown

Regarding Henry– True love, true friendship, and what is important in life is what Henry and his wife discover after a horrible accident.

The couples that are meant to be, are the ones who go through everything that is meant to tear them apart, and come out even stronger,” unknown

A Walk to Remember– Be true to yourself. I showed each of my boys this movie when they were in middle school. Peer pressure, love, family, and how to stand up for what is right are all themes in this great movie. The book is great, too!

You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness,” Julia Roberts

The Notebook– Loyalty and lifelong love are the story here. I cry every time!

I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

She’s All That– Another great teen flick. Their relationship starts on a dare. Pygmalion updated…

To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you are the world,’ Dr. Suess

Clueless– Another update. This time Emma is the story, and Alicia Silverstone is hilarious as the heroine.

She was one of those, who, having, once begun, would always be in love,” Emma, Jane Austen

I hope that one or many of these movies about love will help you to enjoy the Valentine’s season!

We love to use movies to teach a lesson in a totally “innocent” way. These movies about love and friendship can spark great conversations about all facets of life and love. Have fun, and enjoy some movies about love with your teens this Valentine’s season! Remember to download the checklist to keep track of the movies that you have watched!

Related posts: 49 Movies to Watch for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, Best Valentine Gifts for Teens to Give and Get, 7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager, and The Best Sports Movies to Watch with Your Teen 

I have to include one more movie for the Leap Year! This is a cute rom-com with Amy Adams.This movie’s theme is that you can’t control love!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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Middle School:  Advice for Success

Middle School: Advice for Success

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Start Early for Middle School Success!

Middle school is a time of transition and growing.  Your child leaves elementary school, and has three years to be ready for high school!  How is this possible?  Here are some hard-won lessons learned from getting three kids through these years for middle school success.

Both you and your teen have lots to learn.  It is a challenging time, in fact, this might be the most challenging age since they were toddlers!  These years can be difficult, but you can help your child start some forward thinking with some of these strategies, and you guys can survive.

Quick update: I am now teaching middle school. I can tell you that these kids are savvy!  They already have ideas about what they want and don’t want. Take advantage of this time! It goes so quickly…

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Middle School: 9 Tips for Success|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Start the thinking process!

Begin talking about things that your child likes to do or that they are interested in or are good at.  Do a Google search for schools with different majors that you think of together. Start conversations with your child when you are with other adults and talk with them about their jobs.

Check out my book.  Some, if not all, of these conversations really are better if started before high school!  Here’s a link to the book,  College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School.  

What types of things do these adults like, and/or dislike, about their jobs.  What are the expectations at their workplaces?  Do they have really long hours, or maybe just a four day week?  How much did they make starting out?  How much school was required?

Adults usually love it when a kid is willing to talk and have an actual conversation with them, so encourage them to ask away.  Plus, it’s an added bonus to that adult that your child is asking questions and interested in them.

Think about future job possibilities.

Help your child to start looking around at different jobs that people have wherever you all are.  Even when watching a show, try to notice how many jobs there are on that show.  Watch the news for different stories about people’s lives and what they do during the day.

These conversations can be very interesting to say the least, it’s amazing what they know and think that they know.  Remember, though, that it’s a conversation, not time to lecture!

My video goes into more detail about this here. And be sure to read on below the video for the rest of the story!

Try new things.

Middle school is the perfect time to try some new things.

Try a club if it sounds interesting.  Try to stick with it for the year.  Sometimes these start out a little boring because no one knows each other yet.  Give it a chance.  If it is just not a good fit, then try something else.

Run for an office in a club or be in charge of a particular event.  This is good practice for more leadership in high school.

Try out for a sport.  This is the time to do some of these things to get a taste to see if it is something that might be a good fit.  Most kids at this age make the team.  It’s a good time to learn about a sport, especially if your child hasn’t played it before.  There are lots of beginners at this age as well as other kids who have played for years.  You will see it all in middle school!

Try out an instrument for all of these same reasons.

Again, if your student doesn’t just love something, then they have tried and now they know!  The great thing about middle school is that it’s practice for being in high school without the pressure of grades counting and everything being super competitive.

Thankfully, middle school success doesn't depend on playing in band!

Take the aptitude tests seriously.

As the future gets closer, tell your student not to just blow these tests off.  These tests are really a tool to help decipher personality traits, likes and dislikes, and many other factors which might help steer your child in a direction they have never even considered.  Many give really good ideas if honest and thoughtful answers are provided.

Right now jobs with good employment rates are engineering, administration, many sciences, and graphic design.  Many jobs are not even listed yet–BECAUSE they have not been invented yet!  85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 do not even exist today!

Middle school success does not depend on these scores, however the information that can be gained from these results if your teen takes it seriously might be really helpful!

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Start early for middle school success!|www.parentinghighschoolers.com

Have conversations.

If I could go back and do one thing differently, it would to be to have more conversations about all of this.  We are trying this a lot more with our youngest son.  No decision needs to be made at this point.  But, just having these sort of conversations will really help with everyone’s mindset as high school is looming just ahead.

One big mistake is to wait until junior year to start all these conversations and by then your kids are so super busy and there is a lot going on in general.  Give yourselves the gift of time. Here’s the link to a post with 5 tips to improve communication with your teen.

This is also a good time to start keeping track of all activities because as your child moves forward, especially by high school, a good record of all this needs to be kept from the beginning of freshman year.

Check out my parent toolkit for this and other ways to help your teen through these busy years!

Apply for scholarships.

One thing that I wish I had known with my oldest son, is that this whole process could be started in middle school.  Many scholarships are available starting for students when they are 13!  These are good ones to try for, because who knows this?  No one that I have spoken with about this process has known.

As a parent, you need to set up a specific email just for scholarships, and so should your child–even if you are the only one checking them.  Sign up for scholarship websites, and fill out the profiles. (These can be edited down the road as your child learns more about themselves and their likes and dislikes.)

These websites will start to send lots of emails about different scholarships that are available.  They will be organized in many ways.  Stay up with them and create a list of ones to try for.  Many can and should be deleted.  Don’t go crazy with this.  Maybe try for one a month, more during the summer or over holidays.

Look for scholarships!

Here is a list of scholarship websites for you to look at: Chegg.com, ScholarshipOwl.com, Scholarship Points, Fastweb Scholarships, Scholarships.com, Cappex.com, Niche.com, and Scholly.com

Two AMAZING resources are:

How 2 Win Scholarships
Monica Matthews is a former teacher and a stay-at-home mom of three boys. She’s a mom who worked with her son to earn enough scholarships to attend college for free. Monica has parent, as well as student guides which are extremely useful and worth the $27.00.  I’ve signed up for her newsletters and she’ll let you know when to apply for scholarships. She always has up to date information on her blog.  

The Scholarship System– Jocelyn Pearson. She has a free webinar you can register for here.  She paid for 100% of her college expenses through scholarships.  Jocelyn has definitely done her homework and creates a yearly Scholarship Guide.  I liked her webinar. Very honest and tells it like it is. 

Practice writing a few essays.

Good topics for essays are:  goals and aspirations, how to help the environment, safe driving habits (such as no texting and driving), and where do you see yourself in 20 years. Just having these few essays in their pocket will be super helpful in the whole process because they can be tweaked and used more than once.

There will be more and more writing in high school, so this is good practice.  Also, many colleges require an essay on their application, so these could be used again for that.

Set up a calendar for college related items.

This can be a dedicated calendar for scholarship due dates (pretend that they are actually due earlier than actual date, so they are never late) and also test dates like the ACT and SAT.  Eventually, in high school, due dates for applications can also be added.  There are many due dates, so a calendar dedicated to just college can be super helpful.

Books to read that will help!

Here are some great books to help you through the middle school years! A few by name are: Middle School Matters, Middle Schooled, Middle School Makeover, and Planet Middle School.

This is a lot!!!

Do not try to do this all at once! Middle school lasts three years, so give yourself grace. Try one thing at a time. Get to know your child as they mature and grow into young adults. The main thing is to keep the lines of communication open with your child so that all of this planning and prep work is done together.

It’s too much for any one person.Get on the same page as your spouse, significant other, or ex– or as close as possible because it is your kid’s future that is important right now.  There will be times that you don’t work on any of this because you are busy and have a life.  When you can, take baby steps into this whole process, the chances of middle school success will increase. It is a really exciting and fun time for all!

Related posts:  Why Toddlers and Teens are So Similar, Mom, Take Care of Yourself!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter for more articles about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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