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".
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“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.