Why Children’s Scary Stories Are Important For Development


As a parent, you want to protect your child in every way possible. You do everything you can to keep them away from things that frighten them or give them negative emotions, but the truth is that they need a dash of scary to help their brain’s develop. So, if you’re trying to keep your little ones away from scary stories for kids for their own good, I encourage you to read the rest of this blog.

Scary books for children come in many forms whether talking about monsters, ghouls or being lost in the woods and they all serve an important function. By continuing to the end, you’ll understand exactly why your kids SHOULD read middle grade horror books and other child-friendly tales from the crypt!

“It’s Irresponsible to Scare Kids With Stories!”

There are certainly some parents out there that hold the opinion that exposing children to scary literature is irresponsible, but the truth is that in order to develop their young minds, a little scariness actually helps. They’ll find out soon enough that it can be a scary world out there and children’s scary stories actually help them to deal with what life will undoubtedly throw at them at some point.

Aside from being lots of fun – the primary reason why horror books exist – scary kids books allow children to experience the peril and thrills that come in stories like this from relative safety. The story they’re reading will likely take them out of their comfort zone to begin with, but then after reading, they have the comfort of returning to the real world.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Experiencing the Full Range of Emotions

When children encounter scary stories, what often happens is that they get to understand emotions in context. When following a tale about a monster or a scary event, they’re almost certain to experience fear, anger, relief and the full range of emotions this type of literature provides.

As the chosen story progresses, they may have to cope with feelings of anxiety, jealousy or frustration and it helps them learn how to cope with it in a consequence-free setting. That said, not all of the emotions offered by horror literature for kids is negative, as they indirectly teach many positive values.

They also teach the reader about things like teamwork, friendship and honour as the monster or scary event is endured and beaten by people working together. Essentially, children’s scary books prepare kids for the real world in perhaps the most enjoyable way possible.

Enjoy Children’s Horror Responsibly & They’ll Benefit

No one is suggesting that you allow your children to read whatever they like in the name of ‘building character’, as that’s not the point here. You should still vet what they read, even with scary stories for kids, as you need to be sure that it’s appropriate for their age, but they shouldn’t be cosseted and wrapped in cotton wool, as that comes with its own set of problems.

You only have to look at books from the likes of Roald Dahl and J.K.Rowling to see that dark and monstrous things can be educational and uplifting when done in the right way. Children are able to comprehend and make sense of far more than we often give them credit for and if something is too much for them, they’ll usually self-censor and put the book down anyway.

Introduce appropriate scary stories into their reading in a responsible way and you might just be surprised how many positive things come out of the experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.