Luther Darkmore's News Corner
Children nightmares

Why It’s Good For Kids To Read Scary Stories

Reading is an important factor in child development. A child who begins reading at an early age will be more likely to enjoy reading throughout life instead of feeling as though it is a chore.

Encouraging your child to read at an early stage in life will help your child to develop basic speech and communication skills. When a child reads they learn about problem-solving skills. The child broaden his or her imagination and develops the basic skills of reading comprehension.

Your child isn’t born with the knowledge of knowing how to read from left to right or when to turn the page, or how to control the pacing of a story.

Choosing the genre for your child is another important factor. Believe it or not, even scary books have valuable lessons to teach. There are many reasons why scary books can be good for your children to read.

What Age Is Appropriate for a Child to Read Scary Tales?

First you will want to consider the age of your child and at what stage of learning they are at. I would eight years old is about the average age a child can handle reading scary stories on their own, but this will depend greatly on your child’s emotional maturity level.

Conquering Fears

One way for your child to overcome fears is by reading a scary story with them, or allow the child to read the book by themselves.

Perhaps your child thinks that moving to a new school and making new friends is a frightful thought. Reading such a book and talking through it with your child can help him or her conquer fears and gain courage knowing that the character in the book has to deal with the same frightening things.

The Hero of the Day

Often times a fictional tale is not always about fear, but instead it may be about problem-solving and courage. This is particularly true about children’s horror novels, which may feature monsters and ghosts, but are not themselves filled with any detailed descriptions of gore or violence.

In the story, the bad guy might be trying to get away with something while the good guy rises above all his fears to capture the bad guy, thus becoming the hero that saved the day. This type of story can teach your child the difference between good and bad while trying to solve problems along the way. Your child can learn that even the big guys are scared sometimes, but that they can overcome fears when they have an important job to do.

Your Child Can Be In Control of Fears

When your child reads a children’s horror story, your child gets to control how far he or she wants to go with their fears. If the child is scared, they can close the book and go back to it at a later time when he or she feels brave again. Your child can decide when they want to continue reading the book, choosing a place to return to in the story that makes your child feel the most secure.

Reading and Learning Life’s Lessons

Sometimes children’s horror stories might be filled with vampires, ghosts, or zombies. The story might take the child through an imaginary walk through the woods or encounters with strangers in a park. While reading these stories your child can learn valuable lessons such as why the child shouldn’t walk through the park alone or talk to strangers. As many stories deal with children ignoring the rules and consequently getting into trouble, your child can learn the importance of following the rules and always doing what you as parents instruct in order to avoid dangerous situations such as those experienced by the characters in a scary story.

The Difference Between Fantasy and Real Life

Children’s horror stories can help your child to learn the difference between fictional stories and real life. Your child can learn that vampires and monsters are only make believe, and the stories are just for entertainment.

You child can also gain courage by reading the stories, and seeing that sometimes they are even funny and have happy endings when the protagonist correctly assesses the danger and solves the problem by getting help.

When a real life event is taking place in your child’s life such as divorce or abuse, this can become a real children’s horror story. Choosing to read books about a subject such as in a horror novel can help your child to overcome fears of being alone or loss, and build courage to face the future. The stories can give your child the opportunity to understand that the character in the book is facing the same fears, allowing your child the comfort to knowing that they are not alone in experiencing such emotions.

Supervision With Reading

As a parent it is important that you monitor and control your child’s reading habits.

  • Always remember that some children’s horror stories are meant for older children ages 8 and up, while the cuter fairy tale featuring monsters is more appropriate for younger children.
  • Know what makes your child scared and talk to your child about it.
  • Make sure your child understands the difference between real life and make believe.
  • Know that reading a horror story can help your child to conquer fears and build braver.
  • Your child can sometimes relate with the character in the story allowing your child to open up and talk to you.
  • Your child will learn that it is okay and perfectly normal to be afraid of things.
  • A children’s horror story can teach your child valuable lessons about real life.
  • Know that smaller children may get frightened easily from pictures.
  • Your child will be anxious to read a horror book because it can be exciting, leading your child to be curious to find out how it ends.

There are many kinds of books you can read with your child that will keep his or her interest, and scary stories are one such kind of book. Not only is reading a great way to bond and spend time with your child, but he or she will find reading exciting while exercising and nurturing their mind.


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