I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

17 Mar 2013

Why children shouldn't watch scary movies

I love horror movies. It’s just kind of my thing. I have a Freddy Kruger action figure. He's MIB. No not a Man in Black, he's mint in box ;) Also, he's totally awesome. He watches over me while I sleep. We kind of have a deal. He doesn’t kill me, rather he protects me while I sleep. That’s nice of him. That’s why I don’t need a dream catcher (but really who does...). I used to watch horror movies when I was younger, but, and it’s a big but, children don’t know how to process the information they are seeing.

The only movie that really freaked me out was Stephen King’s It. That scene in the shower, whoooo boy. Sometimes I still don’t like to close my eyes for too long in the shower; for fear that, a spider might crawl up the drain and turn into a psycho clown, ready to kill me. I still haven’t watched it to the end.

Freddy, my friend, also haunted me a little. Back in the day, our family only had the public the TV channels. One of my friend’s families, on the other hand, had the one and only private TV channel in South Africa (O how things have changed). As TV stations do, this private channel screened A Nightmare on Elm Street, numbers four, five and six for a month or two: an opportunity I could not miss. You see, I was barely born when the movies originally came out, so I never had the chance to watch them. Freddy’s allure was too much for me, so when I saw them being advertised, I had to stay at my friends place to watch them.

In those times past, we seemed to have standards, such as TV stations could only show horror movies after a certain time. They did this because there was less chance of children being up at that time, and thus less chance of them watching. (Same thing with TV that had boobs and bums in it) The thing is, I naturally stay up pretty late. So picture the scene: one adolescent boy, late at night, in a dark room, alone, watching scary movies. Like many human being, I need to use the bathroom from time to time. My friend’s bathroom was something out of a horror movie. Just above the toilet, there is a small window, just big enough through which a person may crawl. I used to $#!^ myself when I went to pee...

I don’t think it did any permanent, psychological damage to me. I’m being a little dramatic above. However, many other children might suffer nightmares and much, much worse. In addition, scary movies can also lead to serious cases of anxiety.

As I alluded above, children don’t yet know how to process what’s happening on screen. That’s the major problem. What adults know to be a movie and fake, some children can believe to be real, especially children under seven years old.

I could run through various statistics and quotes from psychologist’s research papers, but that sounds rather boring. So I’ll rather just say this: there is a reason why movies have an age rating. Parents need to take heed of these warnings. Producers don’t put them there for fun (like the warnings on cigarette packages). It’s a parent’s role to guide their children through the early years of their lives. In addition, to explain to them the dangers of watching TV contact that is rated for over 18’s.

What do you think about children and scary movies?

I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone.

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone

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