Hey, Mom and Dad: When Is It OK for Kids to Start Watching Scary Movies?

Parents, Patch wants to hear from you on the questions that get families talking.

Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area.

As Halloween approaches, the movie channels start screening old horror movies and new slasher flicks are in plentiful supply at theaters. Your kid asks to go see a scary movie at the theater with friends, but they're barely out of grade school. Do you let them go?

That leads us to this week's question:

What's the appropriate age for kids to start watching scary movies?

Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the Comments section.

Cathy Fischer "It depends on the kid..I'm still not old enough, lol!" — Darien Patch Facebook

Carla Marie Vasile "I agree with Miss Leigh. My son loves cheesy SyFy
movies but with our Halloween decorations up now he won't go in front
alone and now I have to meet him on the driveway when his dad drops
him off. He likes spooky but not flat out horror stuff like the movie
Halloween or stuff like House of a 1000 corpses. He thinks he can
handle it but we know he's just trying to grow up too fast." — Lemont Patch Facebook

Jan Rueffer Brones: Why is it there has to be an "appropriate age"? You know you're children and you know what they can handle. There isn't always and "appropriate age". Some kids won't be ready for scary movies until they are 12..others can handle them, no problem by 7. And yet there's some that even in adulthood, can't handle them. There is no "appropriate age." — Naperville Patch Facebook

John Ekkert I've been terrifying my children since birth in
preparation of enjoying a good horror film together early on in their
life without those meddlesome nightmares. — via Lemont Patch

So what's your take? At what age are kids mature enough to handle a horror film? Tell us in the comments below.

Fran Connelly October 09, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I think the best response about an appropriate age for scary movies was given years ago by Steven Spielberg when asked the same question. His response was 13, the same as "PG-13". In fact he was instrumental in bringing that new designation about and also adherred to it with his own children.
Bruno Fontana October 09, 2012 at 05:44 PM
A few years ago, I went to a 10:00 (thats 10:00 pm) showing of 300 in Hodgkins. There was a family with a baby, yes a kid probably less than a year old who was thankfully quiet, and another kid that was maybe 4 or 5. Lets leave the baby alone for a minute and talk about the 5 year old...ten pm at night, nachos, giant pop, twizzlers. I've seen this scene repeated at other violent/scary movies as well. I'm of course veering into the subjects of desensitizing kids to violence, bad nutrition, why are they out at 10:00 at night?, etc. Tell me that kid is not going to have any probelms someday. There's nothing wrong with preserving a little child-like innocence and if that means monitoring (ie actually caring about) what they watch, so be it. If they grumble about "so & so's parents let them watch a scary movie" just tell them they'll have their whole adult life to be frightened! Enjoy Spooky Buddys now kid....


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