A couple weeks ago, when Coraline first hit theaters, we asked readers what they thought about scary movies for kids—not scaring them just for the sake of being scared, but scaring with a message while making an important point … as Coraline does. We wondered, "Where do you draw the line as parents?" And, "What are some scary movies that have 'worked' well for your kids?" Here are some of the responses.
With parental guidance (required, not suggested), kids need to understand the dangers of "scary things." We have become a society of hover-parents, who seem to think our reason to exist is to prevent every possible badness from happening to our kids. Sometimes, however, "badness" is good. The skinned knee reminds us not to be so reckless; the tender tongue not to stick it to a frozen flagpole. The bloody nose causes us to reflect on what is worth fighting for, and to consider that battle is not without cost. I believe it was Mr. Beaver who, when Lucy asked if the great Lion was safe, replied: "Safe? Of course he's not safe! But he's good."
I recently heard Tony Campolo speak, and he was trying to communicate to parents that "safe" is not what we are raising kids to be. Safe kids will not change the world. Instead, we want them to be wise, powerful, courageous, tenacious, furious at injustice, unprotected from reality, totally dedicated to serving Christ and his beloved people. I don't know exactly how taking kids to scary movies contributes to this, or when in their development it is best to begin the process. That is up to each parent to decide. But I do know that my children and I have had some outstanding discussions of issues of faith prompted by the inappropriate or disturbing behavior of people ...1
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Not Safe, But Good
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