Halloween may seem like so much harmless fun, a time when adults enjoy laughing in the face of death, and implore their young children to do the same. According to a Penn State researcher, however, the humor of tombstones, monsters and other scary elements is often lost on kids at the ripe age of 6 or 7--many of whom dont find the holiday the least bit funny.
Cindy Dell Clark, associate professor of human development and family studies at Penn States Delaware County Campus, says parents need to realize that scaring the bejeebers out of kids this age isnt necessarily a way to make safe kids fears of death and other things frightening.
"Halloween is a time when we expose kids to behavior that is not the norm. Children connect the holiday with death," said Clark, whose study, titled, "Tricks of Festival: Halloween, Children and Enculturation" was published recently in the anthropological journal, Ethos. "We typically distance ourselves from death and shield children from it, but in this case, young children encounter their fears when they face decorations of skeletons and tombstones."
Dave Jwanier | EurekAlert!
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