Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

When a Movie Scares Your Child

posted by Nell Minow

There’s a viral video this week of a couple of children who were upset by the new Disney film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  SPOILER ALERT: The title character does not die, but he moves on to another place and that is hard on the couple who were hoping to be his parents.  Some children enjoy the scary-funny zombies, ghosts, and witch in ParaNorman but others will be disturbed by the decaying bodies and the ghosts showing the way the characters died.

Dr. Michael Rich’s blog, Ask the Mediatrician, has some very sensible and reassuring advice for parents whose child was upset by a film.

Advertisement

Help your daughter process what she saw and how she feels about it. Most concerning content can be managed well by talking to your child about it and helping her process it. Try the following:

  • Listen to your child. Have her tell you about the scene as she saw it, and what about it scared her. Then affirm her feelings, saying, “It sounds like that was really frightening for you. I can understand why it would be hard to fall asleep.”
  • Answer your child’s questions. Topics like death—and particularly murder and suicide—can be very difficult for young children to understand. Offer simple explanations that will be meaningful to her.
  • Comfort your child. Reassure her that she’s safe, and that the people she loves are safe. Offer hugs and stuffed animals to hold, especially at bedtime.
  • Let her set the pace. It may take her some time to process, but she’ll ask questions when she’s ready to. For weeks after seeing The Artist, my boys would sometimes questions like, “Why would he want to kill himself? Why is anything so bad?” Answer your child’s questions when she has them, waiting for her guidance as to what she needs reassurance about.
  • Forgive yourself. Don’t continue to feel guilty over making a judgment call that backfired. Remember that there will always be situations outside of your control that may upset your daughter. Use this as a learning experience and try to improve the next time around. If your daughter is invited to another movie that you won’t be able to watch first, maybe do some research on it online, or ask a trusted friend who saw the film if she feels as though it is appropriate for your daughter.

 

Previous Posts

I'll See You in My Dreams
Blythe Danner gives a performance of exquisite sensitivity in "I'll See You in My Dreams," the story of a lonely widow. She plays Carol, a ...

posted 5:55:53pm May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Brett Haley, Writer/Director of "I'll See You in My Dreams"
Brett Haley wrote and directed "I'll See You in My Dreams," a bittersweet romance starring the luminous Blythe Danner as Carol, a widow ...

posted 3:12:21pm May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Friar's Club Documentary -- Tonight on WNET and Online
Tonight on New York PBS station WNET, "Treasures of New York: Friars Club" will explore the rich history of the exclusive private club through never-before-seen footage of Frairs roasts and interviews with some of the club's most prominent ...

posted 8:00:01am May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Alamo Drafthouse Tells Audience Members to Turn Off Their Cell Phones with Lewis Black of "Inside Out"
Lewis Black plays Anger in Pixar's new film, "Inside Out." So who better to remind the audience to TURN OFF THEIR CELL PHONES! [iframe width="560" height="315" ...

posted 4:05:38pm May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Claire LaZebnik, Author of Wrong About the Guy
The wonderful Claire LaZebnik has written another terrific YA book.  This one is Wrong About the Guy, the story of Ellie, a high school ...

posted 3:54:36pm May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.