Should Kids Read Scary Stories?

What If a Book Is Too Scary?

And finally, books are controllable. "Kids know they can stop on certain pages or close the book when they want," says Dr. Sipe. He recalls hearing about a boy at a New York City preschool who took Jack and the Beanstalk and sat on it to make sure the monster didn't come out. Says Dr. Sipe, "When kids feel in control, the things they fear cease to be scary."

Of course, a child can't wipe out all his fears in a single reading. So, as Halloween approaches and your child begs to be read a certain scary book again, don't try to trick him out of it. Instead, why not treat him to a delicious shiver?

Originally published in the October 2001 issue of Child magazine.

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