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2.5 yo DS, big scaredy-cat

(7 Posts)
mssjk Fri 17-Jun-11 14:34:58

My 2.5 yr old DS started saying a few months ago he was scared of random mundane things. We could tell he wasn't really scared, just liked saying so. But more recently he says he's scared of dogs, cats, and now since about a week, even pigeons & ducks (his childminder often takes the kids to the park to feed the ducks). Last w/end we were at my inlaws and I could see he really was scared of one of the (overly enthusiastic) dogs. I'm hoping this is just a phase and will pass, but as he does seem to be getting more scared of more things I'm just a little bit worried. My DH & I like animals and I hope he will too. Anyone have any similar experience?

Octaviapink Fri 17-Jun-11 18:39:03

You may need to differentiate between him using a new word he's found and his genuine fear. My 2.2 yo DD loves dogs in the abstract (pictures etc) but will leap into my arms wailing if one actually comes up to sniff her. Your son probably isn't scared of the birds, ducks etc, he may just be using the word, but it's perfectly normal for toddlers to be scared of big slobbering jumping furry things that want to leap on them. Hindbrain survival response! He'll grow out of that as he gets bigger, especially if you and DH teach him about them, which as you're animal lovers I'm sure you will.

mssjk Tue 21-Jun-11 09:25:36

Thanks O-pink! That's what I'm hoping, but his childminder told me that he started crying when pigeons rushed over to him, presumably when they were feeding the ducks. At the weekend he said he was scared of a butterfly (ffs!) It seems to me like he starts off by saying it because he likes saying it, consequently convincing himself that he really is scared. I don't think there's much more we can do than just reassuring him & telling him when there's no need to be afraid, is there???

peggotty Tue 21-Jun-11 09:32:55

It's perfectly reasonable for a toddler to be scared of all those things IMO. Great big slobbery, jumpy dogs that tower over him. Big bunch if squawking flappy things decending on him from above. Butterflies?! With their insecty bodies and creepy crawly legs and feelers! I'm not scared of those things as an adult but just trying to see them all from his perspective. Just stay calm and don't force him to get any closer to them than he wants. My ds is also scared of dogs, was terrified for a while but has calmed down a lot about it recently. You do sound a bit dismissive and scathing about his fears, really try and look at these things from his point of view, they're actually all quite rational!!

nearlytherenow Tue 21-Jun-11 10:47:05

DS (2.9) has some quite random fears - never animals, but anything remote controlled, automatic doors, most battery powered toys (trains, cars etc - loves the traditional non-electric kind, though). He's also very nervous of most strangers. HOWEVER, he has also learned that telling me he is frightened of things gets a response. So quite often I hear things like "I am frightened of this cheese sandwich" (i.e. I don't want to eat my lunch) and "I am frightened of [baby brother] having his milk" (i.e. please put the baby down and play with me instead). I am just trying to distinguish between legitimate fears, in which case he gets big cuddles, hand-holding and reassurance, and just saying that he is frightened (but clearly isn't), which I ignore completely. I think the first time he said he was frightened of something he got such a big reaction from me that it's now turned into a bit of a catchphrase and a way to get attention.

Lexiejack Tue 21-Jun-11 21:40:21

DS is two and keeps saying he's scared of ants and ghosts and captain hook lol must be a phase!!

mssjk Mon 27-Jun-11 09:19:15

Thanks everyone! Yep, I'm just gonna stick with hoping it's a passing phase, and reassuring him when he is obviously genuinely scared. Now that I think of it, I remember a friend's baby used to be completely petrified of tin foil!!! LOL grin

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