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  • Slenderman stabbing case: When can kids understand reality vs. fantasy?

    CNN - 06/03/2014

    The case of two 12-year-old girls accused of stabbing their friend multiple times to impress a fictitious Internet bogeyman raises so many questions for parents: How can we be sure our children can truly separate reality from fantasy? What are the warning signs that children are confusing the two?

    And how on Earth can we keep tabs on everything they’re consuming online?

    Police said the girls told them they attacked their friend on Saturday to win favor with Slenderman, a make-believe online character the girls said they learned about on a site called Creepypasta Wiki, which is filled with horror stories.

    Children of all ages are consumed with fantasy in books and movies such as “Harry Potter, “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries,” and don’t seem to have a problem making the distinction between what’s real and what’s not. But a story like this makes any parent wonder: Whoa, maybe my kid doesn’t get it?