Horror Movies for Toddlers?

I ran across a post on a blog recently about a parent that lets their 3 year old child watch horror movies. This person went on to describe how the child now won’t eat pumpkin because it’s afraid of them. I was shocked, so I left a quick comment about those movies not being appropriate for a 3 year old. I don’t expect the writer to approve my comment but I just hope they think about it.

In the world we live in today, where bad news is everywhere, I think it’s crucial that the home be a positive place of learning and of love. I disagree with the argument “Well, they’re gonna see it, so it’s best they see it with me there so I can teach them it’s (movies, violent games) not real.” People use the same argument with alcohol or drugs…”at least they’re in the house so I know they’re safe.” That doesn’t mean it’s ok!!

Toddlers have great imaginations, which makes it more important they watch only age-appropriate movies/cartoons. They don’t know scary, fiery pumpkins don’t fly around at night…if they see it, it’s real. And it’s likely under their bed or in the closet. It’s our job as parents to give our children a secure beginning so they grow up to be sensitive, secure adults. It’s not a good thing to be hardened to the news on tv where a mother killed her child. Or animals were severly abused.  Or screaming/yelling at family members (verbal abuse).

Sensitivity is not a bad thing! How else do we help/acknowledge those that need help? I saw a video on tv recently where a pedestrian was hit by a car…a full 30 seconds went by with no one stopping to help the man or see if he was ok. I’d want that time to be a lot faster if it was me or my husband or my kids.

I’m not saying a child watching horror movies is necessarily going to make them an insensitive, heartless adult. But it does start somewhere.

12 comments to Horror Movies for Toddlers?

  • Wow! I don’t even like to watch horror movies myself :-). I would never let my children watch them. I don’t even like them to see the previews for the movies when we are watching sports. I change the channel.

    Corrie @ “Cents”able Mommas last blog post..Walgreens November Easy Saver Rebate Preview

  • I don’t like horror movies either. I think that it is important that we try our best to keep “yucky” stuff from our kids as long as we can. Now, I am not saying we should create a naive child but a 3 year old watching a horror movie?

    I like to watch CSI, Criminal Minds, and shows like that but I DO NOT have them on if Hunter is in the room. Now, most likely he will not pay attention to it however, I don’t want to take the chance.

    I do not think that violence on TV alone creates problems. More than likely it is a combo of lack of affection, lack of attention, etc and then you add that kind of stuff to those situations and you have a problem. But, why take any chances you don’t have to…

    And as for what Corrie said – even if Hunter is not in the room when a commercial for “Saw” or another horror movie comes on – I have to change or mute it just for my self -lol

    Tonis last blog post..Gal To Gal

  • I am not seeing your Entrecard? Could be a prob on my end – just wanted to let you know…

    Tonis last blog post..Gal To Gal

  • I am certainly not in agreement with letting young children watch horror movies. I can’t believe that parent doesn’t think there are more negative consequences in doing so than not. I wrote a blog about letting my daughter watch Sesame Street one day after researching more fully the recommendation against letting young children watch television at all. Sesame Street and other educational and NON-VIOLENT programs are recommended if you decide to let your young children watch television at all.

    Davidas last blog post..What’s Your Favorite Love Poem and Why?

  • My kids are older, but I have to admit, I am the movie police when it comes to what they can watch. My 9 year old once called me from a slumber party to make sure she was allowed to watch the movie they were showing (it was what I call a horror movie, Cheetah Girls :)). My kids get scared very easily so letting them watch scary movies would just fan the fire.

    Annes last blog post..A Busy Small Town Weekend

  • Wonderful message Signe. I believe that once children have a firm grasp on the difference between make believe and reality, it is probably ok to let them in on some mild horror shows. But if it’s going to keep them awake at night because they’re scared witless, that can’t be healthy.

    I remember watching Salems Lot when I was about 14…for whatever reason it scared the living daylights out of me. Still effects me today…the whole window thing…

    Johnny, let me in…

    Wayne Johns last blog post..Avoid BoredQuiz.com Like The Plague

  • You’re absolutely right and making a comment on that person’s blog was appropriate.

    It’s unfortunate that with TV now giving us 24-hour news coverage we’re more exposed to what’s going on in the world and we become insensitive. A perfect example is the shootings that go on at schools. When Columbine happened, we were shocked .. now, because there’s been so many we simply say “oh, another shooting.”

    Parents DO have a responsibility to monitor what their children watch and the video games that they play. Even if they can’t completely control what their children are exposed to outside the home, at least they can set a good example at home.

    Robins last blog post..What Makes You Angry?

  • I am glad you commented on their site though,even if it doesn’t get published. Some people seem clueless about basic things. I am beginning to believe we should need a license to have a child, and it would involve a parenting class and an exam. Maybe we would have less problems in the world if so many kids were not screwed up by their parents. I love them all for trying, but some need just a little extra directions.

    Dad to Twos last blog post..Tagged!

  • khushe

    I too feel that toddlers should not be allowed to watch horror movies. They are too small to realize that it is just a movie and not reality.

  • Dani

    I really think it depends on the child.. Some children are more afraid than others when watching certain things. As are adults. My husband recently let my 3 yr old son watch Alien VS. Predator.. when i found out I was not Happy. Now that he has seen it that is all he wants to watch “alien movie”. I thought he would have had nightmares or something, or perhaps been hesitant about sleeping alone in his room at night. But he thinks nothing of it. My mother also let him watch Jurassic Park (the first one) and he referrs to that movie as “dinosaur eat a guy” he has had no trouble with nightmares on that one either.. I am not saying i will always let him watch scary movies but if its something i know he can handle(meaning not be up all night in fear over) i will let him watch it. No Saw movies or anythiing like that. but jurassic park..sure. he loves dinos. and he does understand that dinosaurs dont exist.. that they r dead. but not all toddlers can handle certain movies and shouldnt have to. but i suppose when it come to mild horror(very mild) it depends on the child.

  • Theresa

    Okay, this is a very difficult situation I’m dealing with about a scary movie that my grandchild just saw recently with her mother. She is 3 years old and watches a great deal of movies (over and over again) in the evenings and weekends without her mother supervising. Most are Rated-G and are Disney. Others are PG. She went to see the newly release “Coraline” movies that recommends no children under 10 years old and especially under the age of 6 years old. My grandchild’s behavior is extremely aggressive in the past week and is hitting, kicking, screaming “NO” constantly about just anything. Simply asking her to do something is bringing an angry, harsh response and does a great deal of very painful kicking, hitting, scrating the face, etc. She often says to me “Remember, the other mother”. I watched the trailer and know that there is a “other mother” that starts out as nice and then becomes quite evil. What can I do? I’ve talked to my daughter about not bringing her to PG movies and to research all movies and she feels the movies do not scare her child. I wish there was law that would prevent parents from allowing their young ones from viewing such horrible movies.

    • Unfortunately people make mistakes and think their child can handle something scary when they’re really not ready. When my dd had nightmares when she was about 4 (it was even a G movie), we tried to explain that what she was watching was pretend and we could turn it off and it would go away. After that we were extremely cautious about how she’d see things.