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How to Properly Terrify Your Children

A few years ago, I was trying to get my then 4 year old excited about a local rocket launch. In my grown up mind, it was something he would be completely excited about. It’s a rocket! Flying into the sky! He’s a boy! Boys love rockets!

Unfortunately, I failed to take his tender little personality into account. That, coupled with the fact that I didn’t think through exactly how I would explain it to him, led to disaster. If I remember correctly, he spent many of the following nights terrified to go to bed alone. We laugh about it now, but it wasn’t very funny back then. You can read all about that story on my personal site, here.

Since then, I’ve learned my boundaries when it comes to scaring my kids. At this point in life, I’m pretty much limited to hopping out from behind a door and yelling “BOO!” at them. Anything much beyond that will end up haunting me in the form of lost sleep and sobbing children.

It’s not worth it. But I do have plans for scaring the pants off of them in the future.

My  husband and I saw this video on America’s Funniest Videos years ago and thought it was one of the greatest things we had ever seen. The kid’s reaction at the end is priceless. It has been filed away for future inspiration, should the occasion present itself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qhucVsq9CE[/youtube]

Last year we attended the Halloween celebration at our local Zoo. The creepy crawly critter house had been turned into a haunted house, and Dylan desperately wanted to go through it. He made it through about 5 seconds of it before a hand reached out from behind a wall and scared the ever loving daylight out of him. He and his dad left the haunted house immediately and he swore them off for the rest of his life.

I’m pretty sure that, at some point, he will want to go through one again. Which is good, because I’ve seen a lot of photos lately from a particularly popular Haunted House, called Nightmares Fear Factory. They’ve been taking pictures of people at a particularly terrifying point in their haunted house and posting them online. The photos are hysterical to look at and make me wonder just how scary this particular haunted house is. It also makes me want to take my kids for a visit (if only we lived anywhere near Niagara Falls) when they’re older. Of course, I’m no dummy, so I’d send them inside and just wait to see the photos after they make their way through it.

Here are a few of my favorite reactions from the Haunted House. You can check out  the rest on their Flickr page.

nggallery id=’126751′

  • A family that scares together, stays together 1 of 10
    A family that scares together, stays together
    The mom's reaction is epic
  • Scared Boys 2 of 10
    Scared Boys
    I can totally see this being my son's reactions
  • Train to Terrified 3 of 10
    Train to Terrified
    I love how close together they are. The kid is in danger of being squished to death.
  • Haunted House Strangler 4 of 10
    Haunted House Strangler
    He's about to inadvertently kill his mom
  • MOMMMMYYYYY 5 of 10
    MOMMMMYYYYY
    This guy looks like he's screaming for his mommy to come save him
  • Group Hug 6 of 10
    Group  Hug
    These girls are straight out of a horror movie. Don't they know you should separate so you're not all killed together?
  • Close Quarters 7 of 10
    Close Quarters
    I hope the guy in the middle doesn't wet himself. That could be awkward. (Also, doesn't the guy on the right look kind of like Carlos from Big Time Rush?)
  • Family Fright Night 8 of 10
    Family Fright Night
    The dad's reaction is the best I've seen yet
  • Piggyback Ride 9 of 10
    Piggyback Ride
    He's either about to hitch a ride or he's going to leapfrog over his dad to get the heck out of there
  • Hand Holding 10 of 10
    Hand Holding
    She's holding on for dear life, but he looks like he's about to leave her in the dust

What about you? Have you ever accidentally, or purposefully, scared your children?

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