Select Region
Follow us!
Enter the First Day of School photo contest to win LEGOLAND NY Resort tickets!

I Let My Son Watch Scary Movies—and We’re Both Happier

I Let My Son Watch Scary Movies—and We’re Both Happier

While this mom isn't a fan of scary movies, here's why she sat through "It".


As with all things when it comes to parenting, choosing when to let your children watch scary movies is up to your discretion. Here's why one mom let's her tween son watch scary movies—and how it's good for both of them. 

It started with Stranger Things. My husband, my son Henri and I watched the first season together and loved it. I was terrified, but Henri was cool as a cucumber. He’s always loved scary stuff. Even as a toddler, he was never freaked out by gruesome Halloween costumes or macabre movies such as Coraline.

There was only one occasion when he woke me up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. He was 4 years old at the time and he dreamed of a skeleton called Masterpiece. His retelling of it scared the bejeezus out of me, but he—having unloaded it all—managed to go right back to bed.

When the second season of Stranger Things came out, Henri and a group of friends got together to binge-watch it. I know some other parents gave us the hairy eyeball for allowing our 11-year-old to watch it, and frankly, I also questioned the appropriateness. But then something magical happened.

This pack of boys, who normally just played online, suddenly wanted to be like Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will—which meant riding their bikes to each other’s houses and going in search of adventures. It made my 1980s inner child sing with happiness. And it also made me realize that some scary things are okay.

But then came It, the Stephen King movie. He wanted to see it and I wasn’t so sure.



“Please, mom. I promise, it’s not too scary. Dad said it’s okay.”

I wasn’t as concerned about the scariness as I was about the violence and language—but I also knew he was already exposed to a lot of that. And honestly, I wanted a night to hang with my increasingly independent son. So, one Saturday night, I relented. My husband went to bed early, leaving Henri and me and a big bowl of popcorn.

The previews alone had my heart thumping. “It’s not real, Mom,” he continually reminded me. I wrapped myself tightly in a blanket and white-knuckled it, trying not to scream. How could he be so calm?

And then it happened. During the scene when Pennywise the Clown peeks out from the sewer, Henri reached out and grabbed my hand. This was a child who never wanted me to hold his hand—even when he was a little kid crossing the street or walking into the first day of school. So, when he tightly squeezed my fingers, Pennywise took a backseat to the utter joy glowing in me. He needed me! My tough tween son actually still could be vulnerable.

I won’t go so far as to say he snuggled with me that night, but for two hours, we experienced something together. I’m still not a fan of scary movies, but I’m not against them either. Stranger Things helped him tighten the bonds of his friendships and It gave him a gentle reminder that it’s still okay to need your mom.

Now I can’t wait to surprise him with a trip to the local haunted house.

   


Want more content like this?


More Parenting Articles:

Ask Dad and Buried: Why Do Kids Have So Much Laundry?

Mike Julianelle, the Brooklyn dad behind the popular @DadandBuried, shares his take on why kids have so much laundry.


Latest News:

Ask @DadandBuried: How do We Survive the Home Stretch Until Summer?

Some humorous parenting advice for getting your family through this last homestretch until summer.


Family Activities:

Outdoor Adventure with Ranger Eric

Sands Point Preserve Sep. 25, 2021

Biologist and ranger Eric Powers knows the Preserve’s wildlife and landscape like the back ...



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.

Featured Listings:

Therapy and Learning Center

Therapy and Learning Center

TLC provides expert instruction in pre-academics, fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic, along with core knowledge in health, science, and ...

Future Stars Summer Camps-Queens

Future Stars Summer Camps-Queens

Old Westbury, NY Future Stars Summer Camps offer weekly Sports and Specialty day camp programs on campus at Farmingdale State College. Summer 2016 camps will run from ...

Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village

Forest Park Carousel Amusement Village

Woodhaven, NY Forest Park Carousel is an historic Carousel nestled within Forest Park in Woodhaven, Queens. It was originally carved by hand in 1903 by Master Danie...

Steps on Broadway Youth Programs

Steps on Broadway Youth Programs

Upper West Side, For 40 years, the Youth Programs at the internationally celebrated Steps on Broadway have nurtured young dancers, ages 18 months to 18 years. Whether...