Halloween is just around the corner and the question of whether to let your children watch a horror movie is on the minds of many mums. If your child wants to know what the horror genre is all about, you need to be ready with an answer and I don't believe that no is always the right one.
If you allow your child watch TV randomly I believe you are letting them watch content that is far worse than a horror movie. Take the news for example - in the last week we have been treated to pictures of a murdered Gaddafi on every station and newspaper in the country. So why is it worse for your child to watch a horror movie than it is for them to see murdered (albeit villains) in real life? At least you can explain that a horror movie is fake.
I’m not saying you should throw on a slasher movie and leave little two year old Bobby to it. I just don’t have an issue when my 9 year old son wants to watch a horror. I watch the movies before he does, so I know exactly what content is in there, and if I deem it ok, then it is. I’m the parent after all.
And there are rules: it can’t be a gore-fest or anything with an explicit sexual nature (I know my nine year old won't deal with that very well because he is not yet of the age to be able to). There has to be a reasonable ending to it, not necessarily Hollywood style, but something where the main character has learned something. And we all watch it as a family.
Anything my son has watched has not effected him one way or the other; he doesn’t have nightmares, he knows it’s not true and he hasn’t been phychologically damaged by them.
In my opinion, making horror movies totally off bounds to children makes them want to see them even more. It then becomes the number one priority of the child to see it (without your knowledge or guidance) to find out what the fuss is all about. When they eventually get to watch a horror, they see it out of context because you have told them it’s not suitable, so who’s to say the child doesn’t think it’s not suitable because maybe it’s true? Without your guidance, what is the child to think? Sticking your head in the sand and making horror movies strictly off limits just because you don’t like them, may cause more trouble for you and your child, than if you had just let them watch it. You never know, you might even like it too.
As I said, there are a lot worse things out there. Horror movies are a fun way to spend a Saturday evening with the family. Go on, live a little.