Ghosts, monsters, dragons: What to tell kids (I’m quoted)


Ghosts, monsters, dragons: What to tell kids (I’m quoted)

A new study in the journal Child Development suggests that reassuring kids by telling them scary images aren’t real is helpful for those around 7 and up, but for the younger ones it may not be preferred. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that when preschoolers get scared, they prefer to think of the fantastical threat as “nice.”

Children ages 4, 5, and 7 were asked questions about stories involving a protagonist of the same gender encountering real and imaginary creatures such as bears, snakes and dragons. They found that the girls tended to suggest that the protagonist avoid the creatures, while boys wanted to attack them.

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