Children Watching Horror Movies

Julian resting on rug

Tucking my kids in has been one of the most consistent and, as far as I can tell,  my most favorable tradition in strengthening our parent child bond. Last night was no exception.

I laid with Julian last night and we watched a two minute video on my phone that gave us a synopsis of an amazing robot developed by MIT students.  It really was fascinating . We enjoy watching these tidbits at night, if we are not reading. It is a nice way to clear the days moments and prepare for rest.  It normally works but last night there was a problem.

After tucking him in, I turned out the light and whispered, “I love you J.T.” and I gently shut the door.  I was out of the room for about five minutes before I heard the yelling, “MOMMMMMM!” I knew that there was nothing wrong other than an emergent need to share something with me.

I walked in and quietly asked him what was on his mind.

Apparently, the children in his class of 5th graders are watching horror movies and watching trailers on their phones, before and after classes. Julian does not watch them but he does hear the stories about “dolls and scary clowns.” The first thing that came to mind was the movie Chucky. I am not a fan of horror movies and it is not something that I want Julian to watch, at this point in his life because …. they are SCARY!

I told Julian to name some of his favorite movies that he has seen over and over. He named Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo, Meet the Robinsons …basically Disney and  Pixar movies. I asked him to think of the one that he remembers the most. He said, “Toy Story.”

“Julian” I said, ” I want you to close your eyes and replay the movie in your head starting from the beginning of the story, do you remember the starting scene?”

He said, “Yes, it was the birthday party.” I told him to start there and replay the movie in his head and if he cannot remember the sequence he needed to just think of another scene in the movie and keep doing that.  He said, “Okay, I can do that.”

I began to leave the room  hopeful that he could replace the scary thoughts with ones that consistently brought him smiles when he was younger. I said, “Goodnight J.T., I love you.”

“I love you mom, ” he replied.

The next morning:

I asked Julian if the movie idea helped him.  He told me that it did not because he could not fall asleep while replaying Toy Story in his head. He said that he decided to just not think about anything and just go to sleep.

I guess I will have to think of a better approach next time.


Ivy L.


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