Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Inviting fright at nighttime

When I was in elementary school, I bought a book for myself at the Scholastic Book Fair (which has been a thing in schools for forever). It was not my usual genre of book, though. This one was a book of spooky stories. I can still recall the ghostly figure on the cover and a few of the stories within. And, I am also sure my parents can recall me crying in the kitchen, too afraid to go to sleep, because I was fairly certain I was going to be visited by ghosts in the middle of the night. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!)

I've never been big into scary stories or movies. I am not sure I can pin it all back to that book, but let's just say that they are not my thing.

So, as a Mom, I notice that I tend to veer my son away from scary stories as well. For example, over the summer we read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone together. He loved the story. He begged to read it again. It was magical. And he knows that there are more books, but I won't go into the second one. For starters, I know that I read the first book with him a little earlier than I should have. Also, I know that the scary factor in the second book is accelerated. And, I am not sure he would be into that.

But, am I being fair to my son? A recent survey points out that about one-third of parents don't read their children books that seem too scary. I can understand why: No parent wants to produce nightmarish scenarios in their child's head at bedtime. And most parents know what their child's thresh hold is for scary stuff.

It's important to introduce villains into stories, but maybe villainy has a sliding scale.

As for my son, I still think he is too young for the second HP book - maybe next year. And, depending on what he can handle by that time, we might read that book in the middle of the day with the lights on.

Does your child like scary stories? Tell me which ones in the comments.

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