What to Do if Your Kid Has Seen a Horror Movie at a Friend’s House

Every household sets its own rules about what is and isn’t acceptable to watch. You may have discussed these rules with your kids, or you may have chosen to ensure that there is nothing too scary available for them to watch. However, your carefully laid plans can get disrupted if your kid is staying over at friends’ houses. It’s possible that other parents set different limits than your own, so you need to know how you’re going to react if your kid returns from a sleepover scared by what they’ve watched with their friends.

Establish Communication

The first thing to do is to stay calm—it’s likely that the other parents just hadn’t thought to check with you. Start a friendly conversation, explaining that you’re not blaming them but that your child isn’t used to watching anything as scary. This should ensure that this doesn’t happen again in the future, as the parents will have clear guidance about what your kid can and can’t watch.

Talk With Your Kid

If your kid hasn’t been exposed to scary movies before, it’s likely that the first one they watch will have quite a big impact. You may need to take some time to reassure them and calm them down, and it may even be worth in investing in a night light so they can drop off to sleep without you there.

Don’t Ban All Scary Content

While it’s understandable that you’ll want to protect your kid and ensure that they aren’t traumatized by what they watch, allowing some age-appropriate perilous or scary cartoons can help get them used to slightly more challenging content, meaning that if they are exposed to something more scary at a sleepover, the impact should be less.