Halloween is quickly approaching and with it MONSTERS! Costumes, decorations, movies, books etc. Why is it that kids are drawn to these mythical or fantastical creatures? For many of the same reasons that many kids love scary stories and movies.
1) They help kids Face Fears.
Deep down kids know that monsters aren't real so going through the motions of being scared and then talking themselves out of it helps develop that skill. The next time they need to face a fear like jumping off a high dive, introducing themselves to a new friend or performing on stage they can draw from that experience. It helps them say, "there isn't really anything to be scared of, I am brave enough and strong enough to handle this!"
2) We like to be scared.
It seems to be human nature to like to be scared. We seek the thrill, the heart pumping anticipation of what is coming and the unexpected noise or movement that makes us literally jump out of our seat. For whatever strange and bizarre reason, it's just fun to be scared sometimes!
3) It is Empowering
Paul Goat Allen writes in his article, 5 Reasons Horror in Children’s Literature Is a Good Thing that "by exploring (albeit superficially) the dark side of humanity and the nature of fear, kids learn more about themselves (their strengths and weaknesses, etc.) and hopefully become more empowered because of it."
Unfortunately, our kids will face truly scary situations and not nice people in their lives. Reading about characters who show strength and positive qualities despite the things they are facing, gives them role models and stories of triumph to hold onto.
4) Happy endings
Many times the "monster" turns out to be a friend in the end (E.T. , Beauty & the Beast, Pete's Dragon etc,) showing us that there is good in even the most unexpected places. The scary stories usually end happily and give us hope that the real life scary things will also only be short-lived.
Want to have some fun with Monsters? Maybe host a Monster Play Date or Party? Here are some fun craft, game, book and snack ideas!
Check out some of our best Monster Books:
Hope your 'lil monsters have a wonderful Halloween season full of all the right kind of scary!
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