Too Young For Scary Stuff?
When it comes to the thrilling nightmare movies that make all of us jump in our chairs, they sure are great, but at what age do they become ok for youngsters too? If your child is reaching for the chainsaw hacking monster movie at the video store should you introduce them to the gory just yet, or let it ride out a little longer?
You are your child’s monitor to the outside world. You see their development and you know their limits. Some children actually do mature quicker and more naturally than others and only you can know this, and notice this with enough clarity to determine their ability to handle the unknown.
The age-appropriateness of movies is changing but the ratings are your indicators. Begin by looking up the theatrical trailers of movies online. Using your child sensors you can tell by the previews whether this movie is something that your child can handle as being ‘just a movie’ or see it something that will cause them nightmares for a month.
Abrupt and loud noises gore, and intense danger can be startling for even older kids. Generally, children younger than seven can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality even if they are told so. Children that are older, or those that have matured faster than normal, can endure creatures and concepts that younger children still believe to be real. If the Boogey-man still hides under your child’s bed it is fairly safe to say the time has yet to come.
If your child insists that they are old enough for a scary movie, but you disagree, work together on a compromise. If you are aware of a film that is comprised mostly of suspenseful actions such as loud noises, creepy features (such as shadows), and music that can lead anyone to suspect something is about to happen (but not), then give it a try. Like a test. If your child is upset or alarmed by the mere implication of scary-concepts (without any actual gore or horror) then it may not be the best time to introduce scary movies. By using this little test you can be certain that you are making the right choice and being rational about the situation. Being a parent can be confusing but knowing your child will help you to make the best decisions possible.