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to ask how you teach your children not to be frightened

(18 Posts)
enormouse Mon 08-Jul-13 14:58:32

Watch a bugs life or antz? That worked for me when I was little.

Lweji Mon 08-Jul-13 14:50:59

I usually show DS that the bug is harmless, often by touching it.

Except bees. No need for screaming, but they can sting. Ouch!

maddy68 Mon 08-Jul-13 14:48:54

Pick them up and show them interesting features such as joe md h legs colours etc. then place them gently down Let them touch them

kawliga Sun 07-Jul-13 20:35:08

Also don't use the words afraid, frightened, scared, hurt, etc as that's all the children will hear, so for example avoid saying: 'don't be afraid, it won't hurt you, see, there's nothing to be frightened of, it won't bite you' etc all the child hears are the scary words being repeated over and over and it sounds a bit sinister frankly. Better to use positive words like 'come and see, it's very friendly, it's only looking for honey, it's trying to build a web' etc the child hears the words friendly, honey, nest, etc which are safe words.

I learned this tip from advice on teaching dc how not to be scared of dogs, the worst thing to do is to say 'are you scared? why are you scared, don't be scared, he won't bite, there's nothing to be afraid of' which just repeats the negative words going round in the child's head.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Sun 07-Jul-13 16:14:03

How old are they? Could be just a phase they are going through.
Your being calm about it will help them work through it.

plecofjustice Sun 07-Jul-13 14:02:04

Though pay attention to irrational fear too - I'm extremely frightened of wasps and always have been for no very good reason. Then I got stung when i was a teenager, and it transpired I'm allergic to them. I strongly believe my fear is the way my body communicates that, for me, wasps are a bit of a bad thing.

cantdoalgebra Sun 07-Jul-13 13:24:26

I agree, don't pander to this behaviour. I always refused to move any insect/spider out of their way/chair/bed unless it was bigger than a plate and potentially carnivorous. It teaches resilience!

teacherlikesapples Sun 07-Jul-13 10:44:52

There are three main things:

1. Factual information: Watch nature documentaries (anything with the calm reassuring voice of David Attenborough is ideal- there are loads of clips on youtube )
Go to the library & get reference books. Help your child to connect to the important role these creatures play in our loves.

Research the campaign to save the honeybee

Help your child to see that not only do they play a vital part in our lives- they are vulnerable and need our help. They are more in danger from humans than we are from them.

2. Role modelling: Go on a nature walk, get up close & personal with the insects you find. Be a picture of calm & interest as you observe & maybe even gently touch what you find.

3. Stop enabling the behaviour: Often the over reaction is attention seeking. Kids like to be babied & cared for sometimes. But this can become habit forming. Give the positive attention during the nature walk- lots of 'touch & praise' (e.g high five or hug as you give a compliment about how brave they are)

At the times DC overreacts, calmly say "remember that it won't hurt you" Don't mention DC behaviour, just repeat the reassurance, then change the topic. Don't give hugs, lift up, or indulge the over reaction. Just calmly & quickly reassure & remind, then move on.

If they have all of the information and ideally if you can find a way to help them connect & take an interest in insects, rewarding that with plenty of attention & praise, while essentially ignoring the times they overreact, you should see some progress. You might need a slightly different strategy if your DC is older & has had years of practice acting this way.

nokidshere Sun 07-Jul-13 10:16:06

I have no idea really since I am scared of lots of things - dogs, worms, snakes, - anything that moves really lol I wont even walk through a field of sheep!!! I make no secret of my fears but my boys think that its hilarious and haven't picked up on any of them.

GibberTheMonkey Sun 07-Jul-13 10:10:34

Im another who doesn't make a fuss yet dd has learned from her best friend to, and ds has learned from her

I name spiders to try and make them seem friendly but she still won't have any of it.

PolterGoose Sun 07-Jul-13 09:28:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChangeyMcChangeName Sun 07-Jul-13 09:21:52

Mine did this for a while for attention...I just brush them aside "Oh well it's harmless leave it alone." and then walk away....I don't engage and now they're fine.

Buzzardbird Sun 07-Jul-13 08:56:42

I get my dd interested by looking at the bugs and what they do. Bees are fascinating especially (although she did cause a stir at nursery as she kept picking up the tired bees and presenting them to the staff to help). She makes her own check lists of bu
gs to find in the garden now and draws pictures of them.
She is very confused by children that scream and stamp on bugs.
It is something that comes from the way they are taught by their parents imo.

RunsWithScissors Sun 07-Jul-13 08:48:40

DD was suddenly afraid of bugs after a friends much older daughter made a huge song and dance about a bug (trying to get her dad's attention, she wasn't actually scared).

I started to just calmly walk over to the bug and tell her it was fine, try to explain (in toddler terms) why they were good/friendly etc. showed her how bees tickle flowers to make the flowers on strawberries into the fruit.

Then got her to walk over with me, holding my hand, to "have a look".

Seems to have worked, coming in from sitting out in a garden step to have a drink she told me she saw a bug and "smiled at it".

likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 07-Jul-13 08:45:28

I just Dont know where its come from I am not frightened of bugs and have always shown them, watched the bees working. even if we are confronted with giant spider I dont faff just either move it or say we will get dad to move that. its driving me bats every few minutes someone is fussing that there is a bug

Eyesunderarock Sun 07-Jul-13 08:45:22

I had a couple of bugboxes, the sort with magnifying lids. From being small, we'd look at a bug in the container and how it moved and the colours and patterns.
They then got excited when they saw a similar bug in the wild.

insancerre Sun 07-Jul-13 08:43:12

by modelling not being frightened of things yourself
is the simplest and easiest answer

likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 07-Jul-13 08:40:48

of insects, bees and flies. its not come from me as bar huge massive spiders which I make dp move I am quite happy amongst small creatures. the dc are a nightmare will come running in because of bees. there is a lot we have a lot of flowers. if there is a tiny beetle on the play stuff they will fuss and scream until I move it, not sure why its suddenly happened as didn't notice it being so bad last year. how do you help your dc not be frightened of things

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