Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scary Movies & Kiddos

One of, if not the, hottest movie out right now is New Moon of the Twilight saga. If you've seen the ads, and how could you not have, you know that one of the iconic visuals is a werewolf jumping down on you, the innocent movie-goer. And it's likely that at least one kiddo under the suggested viewing age of thirteen will see this and get a little scared.

So what do you do? Maybe its not New Moon that strikes fear into the heart of a movie-loving kid; maybe it's The Lion King or The Wizard of Oz. Whatever the movie, we all know that sometimes kids who are too young to see a scary scene in a movie, do in fact see it. It's up to us to make sure kids either 1. don't see that scene that's too scary or 2. calm their fears.

A recent article on gives parents tips for helping their children overcome scary movies. In summary, children who are old enough to understand the difference between reality and fiction can have it explained to them that way. Younger children can't always accept that idea though so a commonly successful tactic is to reframe the scary culprit as not so scary. "The boogie monster just wants to be friends" kind of approach.

Plenty of child-appropriate movies include potentially scary scenes and by helping a child stay calm during those can build their confidence. That little explanation and confidence boost unleashes their potential. Just knowing, for example, that they can make it through that movie at their friend's sleepover party makes the party more fun and empowers the child for more social growth.

It might seem like a little thing to make it through the flying monkey-Wicked Witch of the West scene in the Wizard of Oz or the werewolf infested New Moon, but for a kid, a whole world of social confidence can be born.

Wicked Witch of the West image is a downloadable file from Warner Bros.

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