The one who is scared is half beaten.
Is your kid is asking you to read the ending of the same spooky tale over and over? Are they showing fear in their eyes, trembling, and pressing against your knees but asking to read more? What does it mean? Why do kids like “spooky tales” so much? Is it a normal?
Psychologists say that spooky tales are necessary for a normal child’s development.
“Spooky tales” model the situations that can take place in real life. By living through these stories found either in books or on TV screens, it helps children cope with spontaneous situations and learn how to deal with stress once they hit adulthood. Kids are getting ready for adult life and learn that there are not only holidays, there is hardship, sickness and death as well.
These spooky stories help a kid to get rid of negative energy and allow them to live through the entire range of emotions: sadness, aggressiveness, anger. By living through these stories a kid frees themselves of tension and is able to live through fear.
Why do kids need this experience? A young child knows very little about the world and the unknown can be scary. Spooky tales are an excellent way of finding and expressing a child’s fears. The goal of spooky tales is to help a child live through all of the risks of a character’s adventure while the child remains safe in reality.
By overcoming fears a child becomes assertive and they are able to cope with fears not only in their imagination, but also in life. Because of these stories a child that identifies with a bad character may live through their aggressiveness without feeling like a “bad kid”.
Parents should understand that children have the right to different kinds of feelings. They can be angry about parents or maybe upset with a teacher. A child doesn’t always have the ability to express these feelings, that’s why negative characters can be helpful in this situation.
A child’s identification with negative characters can be a signal to parents that they do not have enough room or opportunity to express negative feelings to their family.
Each person has a physiological need to feel different emotions; to love, to be scared, angry or mad. That is why spooky tales should be read to kids! But only if the child enjoys them!
When choosing a spooky tale a child learns that not everything ends positively. Tales with a negative character becoming positive and conquering the world with the help of mind, force, and courage is also a great lesson learned from spooky tales.
Psychologist Valentina Shapovalova