Yes, I Let My 9-Year-Old Watch Horror Movies

horror movies kidsI received a judgmental e-mail from a mother in my daughter’s school. Sometimes, even over e-mail, you can tell if someone is judging you, even in the smallest way. In this case, the mother’s simple question was, ”Are you allowing your daughter to watch horror movies?”

My reaction was a mixture of, ”Does she really care?” and ”Why the hell is she asking me this question?”

I sent a reply, because I quite like this mother, with the simple word, ”Yes.” She wrote back. Apparently my daughter has been going around the schoolyard at recess talking about demons and how they can take over your body to this mother’s daughter. Apparently, this girl is not as brave as my daughter when it comes to these types of gory details. But, yes, I allow my daughter, aged nine, to watch horror movies.

In fact, a couple of weekends ago, she watched all FOUR Paranormal Activity movies with her stepsisters who are 11 and 13. I haven’t seen the Paranormal Activity movies, because personally, I don’t like horror movies. But why should that stop my daughter from watching them?

The mother wrote me again (!) asking, ”Doesn’t she get nightmares?” Again, I had an immediate mixed reaction: ”Is she asking because she cares?” AND, ”Does she actually think I’d LET my daughter watch horror movies if she DID get nightmares?”

Of course I couldn’t write the latter back, because that would sound and be rude. But I did write back, ”No, she doesn’t get nightmares. She loves that stuff.”

It is true. My daughter loves to be scared. She loves roller coasters, getting up and singing on stage in front of hundreds of people, and she loves when I tell her horror stories — the type you would tell around an adult campfire. What can I say? My daughter is odd. But the best kind of odd, in my opinion. She loves magic, vampires, wizards, ghosts and”¦horror movies.

When I picked her up from school that day, after the e-mail exchange with her friend’s mother, I asked my daughter if she has been talking about demons to her friends. ”Yes,” she told me.

Now, I can’t control what my daughter says during recess and I definitely can’t help it if another girl is scared of horror movies, but I did tell my daughter, ”Girl, can you please keep the demon taking over human bodies to yourself when you are at school?”

My daughter answered, ”Sure.”

End of story. It’s like how I explain swearing. You can swear in the house and in the car, but absolutely nowhere else. I say this not because she swears (she, in fact, hates swearing) but I sometimes swear in the house and car.

In any case, my daughter is mighty proud that she doesn’t get scared by any of the horror movies she watched. She finds them fascinating. And, like I said, I don’t watch them with her, because mommy doesn’t care for horror movies. I’m not scared. I just kind of find them a waste of time.

But I can’t help but laugh that this mother sent me an e-mail asking if I was ”allowing” my daughter to watch horror movies. I mean, what’s next? Am I going to get an e-mail asking if I’m ”allowing” my daughter to stay up past nine? Or an e-mail asking if I’m ”allowing” my daughter to eat sugar cereal for breakfast?

Maybe it is awful of me to think it’s kind of funny that my daughter was going around telling people about demons. The truth is, I’d rather my daughter watch horror movies and talk about demons who can walk through walls and take over your body than have to listen to the other pre-teen movies about a girl having a crush on a boy just because he’s hot.

Yes, I allow my daughter to watch horror movies. BOO!

(photo: Jeff Thrower / Shutterstock)

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