Geek Dad Report: Introducing Your Child to Horror
Horror has always been a huge part of my life. The first movie I ever remember watching was Hellraiser when I was three. From there I remember watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ghostbusters, Friday the 13th, Poltergeist, and the Shining all within the next year. Some people consider this poor parenting… maybe some of it was, but it was also a gift. I’ve never been afraid of monsters, ghosts, or anything supernatural. I was raised with a healthy fear of strangers, and somehow developed a few odd phobias as I grew but I never mistook fiction for reality. As far as desensitization to violence goes, I’ve never been in fight in my adult life. I had to defend myself a few time as a teen, but nothing serious. Furthermore I’ve never been arrested, never had a dependency problem, and was able to study psychology at the University of Idaho.
So what kept me from mimicking the slashers I’ve watched on a regular basis for the last three decades? I have a few theories, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that I had parents who spoke openly and honestly with me. They allowed me to ask any questions I wanted, and never made me feel stupid or wrong. My childhood was nowhere near perfect, or even good, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So now I have a daughter of my own. She’s two and she watches horror movies with her daddy on a regular basis. One thing I can say about my bright young daughter is that she’s already the most empathetic child I’ve ever met. She’s not only quite capable of reading facial expressions and body language, she actually cares about how other people feel.
Now I understand not every parent is going to want to show their child straight up horror movies, but if you love the genre and want to start your kid off right, I suggest these titles. I recommend each of these movies period! Whether you’re a parent or not, they’re all worth watching. So if you see one down there you haven’t watched yet, give it a view.