I remember it a few summers ago. Owen was probably 9, maybe 10. He had been having lots of sleepovers at his friend’s house in the neighborhood. Staying up late playing video games, playing baseball in the cul de sac past dark; it was just easy to let him crash there. What I found out later is that sometimes they would watch a scary movie, something involving the paranormal. The other kids didn’t see the big deal. But Owen has never liked scary. Doesn’t like it when someone sneaks up on him, doesn’t want anything with ghosts or just that creepy factor. He watches all kinds of action and adventure films that don’t scare him. He says when they have fictional fantasy aspects, he can differentiate that it’s just a movie, it’s not real.
But in some paranormal films, the plot and storytelling are just TOO real. And you can really wonder what that sound was you heard downstairs, or are the lights playing tricks on you.
So. What do we do when our kid watches a movie that scares them and now they want to sleep with the lights on?
I have partnered with Grace Hill Media and Warner Bros. to bring you some tips on what to tell your kids and help them through this. Also, I have a GIVEAWAY for the grown ups that LOVE to see scary, intense movies with real plot lines and great story telling. The Conjuring 2 is opening Friday, June 10th and I’m looking forward to this sequel.
• The first thing you need to do is sit down with your child and give them the chance to discuss the film openly. Ask them what they saw, what they thought about it, and how it made them feel. Whatever you do, don’t make light of their fears or dismiss their feelings as silly or immature.
• Once their emotions have been aired, assure your son or daughter that this was only a story, just like the imaginary tales they may have seen in books or other action movies and cartoons. Bad things weren’t happening to real people – they were actors playing a pretend game, like they and their friends do.
• Reassure your child that you, as their parent, are dedicated to protecting them. Let them know that it is one of your most important jobs – ensuring they feel safe and are safe. Reinforce that message with plenty of hugs.
• If you are a Christian family, you can explain that God has promised to be with them at all times, even in the midst of danger. Read some Bible verses together that show comfort and protection. Pray with them about the scary movie and their fears, and encourage them to pray on their own when they become frightened at night. If it seems appropriate, you can also practice some coping techniques with them, like deep breathing relaxation exercises or visualizing a happy place.
What we did for Owen was talk to him about his fears during day time. Waiting until it was right before bed seemed to remind him of the images he saw in the film. I explained that there’s special effects and people on the set that are either waiting behind walls or in a control booth that create the images and situations for us on screen. We see the finished product set to music and it just plays with our emotions. Those people in the movie got up and laughed after the director yelled “CUT” and went to go have lunch. Also, we let him sleep with as many lights on, night lights on and stuffed animal fortresses that he wanted. I also used lavender oils and some aromatherapy and breathing techniques like mentioned above.
He is 13 now and will still not go to a scary movie. I’m fine with that. His friends also respect that he doesn’t want to watch them. I know kids even younger than his age love the scary stuff, and that’s okay. The horror and super natural movie genre is one that some grasp onto early and for some others, never enjoy.
My daughter and I love a good scary film. She and I will definitely be going to see The Conjuring 2! And we’re going to wear our T shirts from the film. Which you can too if you win my Conjuring 2 prize pack.****
In it is:
2 movie passes to see the film
1 Conjuring 2 T-shirt
1 Leather bound and embossed Conjuring 2 journal
2 Creepy tumbler cups with a movie image screened on it
1 Keepsake Conjuring 2 candle
All you have to do is comment**** below if you like scary movies or not. And if you do- tell me which is your favorite because I might not have seen it and need to check it out!
Grab your Rosary beads and light your candles and check out the Conjuring 2 this weekend in theaters!
****giveaway now closed, thank you for your responses!