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What can I do about dd's phobia? (she is nearly 2)

(31 Posts)
SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 13:43:38

Dd is coming up two and is normally confident and happy, likes little creatures, ladybirds etc.

However she is terrified of Flies. I have just gone and rescued her from the stairs where she was frozen, completly white and screaming hysterically because a fly flew past her. She shrieks when she sees them anywhere and is petrified if they are close by/in a smallish space like the stairs.

So, any suggestions? I have dealt with phobias in older children, but never had a child this young being so so scared. For the record I don't know of any bad experiences she has had with flies - what could you have anyway, they don't bite or anything?

Please help, we are just entering perfect fly weather and I can't spend all summer with her screaming and scared, both she and I will go potty! Also, I am thinking that if I get this sorted early/soon enough she may be able to get over it to a greater or lesser degree?


SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:37:28

Little bump incase anyone has any ideas please?

girrafey Tue 06-Jun-06 14:40:04

hi there. im sorry i cant help as such but just wanted to tell you my story. i have a terrible phobia of flying things. ( as does my mil)
i mentioned to my mum about it last year, asking if anything happened as i cant remember a time not having it, she said that i started showing signs at around 20 months and she left it and done nothing thinking i would grow out of it!!! i am terrified of ALL flying things. birds, wasps, flies and butterflies. it is only bats for some reason that i dont mond!!! wtf!!

my dd is 13 months and was scared by a dog the other day, so we are making a big effort now when we are out and we see a dog, that we point him out etc, and if we no the owner and the dog etc let her touch it so that she does not end up with a phobia.

sorry that it is not any help, just wanted to parise ou for recognising it and wanting to do something about it. ( though have to say, at that age most children dont like something, either, flies or spiders etc.)

hth x

girrafey Tue 06-Jun-06 14:41:35

sorry for bad spelling etc. must learn to preview!!! lol

tissy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:42:08

sorry, can't help, but am in the same position! Dd(4) is also terrified of flies. I heard a blood-curdling scream coming from the sitting room the other day and dashed in to find her sat on the sofa, white with terror, as she had a greenfly sitting on her arm! I told her the greenfly was lost and trying to find a nice rosebush to sit on, and just stopped for a rest. I don't think she believed me!

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:45:10

thanks for that amyjo, I am keen not to leave it, I have just had a conversation with her about them just flying around trying to find some dinner and a bed to sleep in but they sleep on walls and windows etc. She is happily talking about that atm. I am working on the theory that things are not so scary if you are interested in them and have some way of talking about them IYSWIM.

Anyway, I would still be gald of any advice/experience, I don't want to get this wrong, I have phobias and would hate dd to have them if I can so anything about it!

BettySpaghetti Tue 06-Jun-06 14:47:09

securmummy -my DS has just started this as well. If anything flies anywhere near him, or if he sees something flying around the room, he gets all upset and says "bee hurt me".

Hes never been stung and we don't tend to overreact about wasps or anything so I've no idea where its come from? (Probably the same place as his fear of baths and afternoon naps, both of which have started in the last couple of weeks but thats another thread! ).

I'm just patiently saying "no its only a fly, it won't hurt you" but its getting a bit tiring! I think they are maybe at that age where they develop irrational fears.

(DS is nearly 2 by the way)

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:48:27

sorry tissy cross posted!

Yes, I have got away without the "on me" one yet but think she would suffer from serious problems if one did!

Interestingly she is fine if they are crawling around as then she thinks they are spiders (and apparently that is ok? )

hunkermunker Tue 06-Jun-06 14:49:25

Don't know, but thought you might smile to know that DS1 is scared of leaves...

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:50:53

hmm, yes you may be right, I guess it is the age where they realise that they can get hurt (teaching about roads etc) so maybe that is part of it. DS likes to shout and scream about wasps stinging him (in fun not scared) but I guess dd doesn't know the difference. Strange though that it is flies as she knows the difference and is not scared of wasps or bees ata ll!

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:51:59

hunker - poor ds, what on earth do you do about that one?

I assume you mean ones not on trees? or isit al leaves no matter what?

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 14:58:17

I have to go and get dd2 from school but will check back later in case anyone else has anything suitably encoraging to say (it is great to know that poor little dd is not the only one!)


Tortington Tue 06-Jun-06 15:15:23

i go with the " don't be so silly" approach - and whack it - then give her the newpaper to whack it - they prey becomes preditor and she becomes fly whacker - or get some fly spray for her

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 16:04:31

Custy, I kind of get the don't be silly theory but whacking? Dd tells ds off if he unintentionally walks over an Ant

May not work for her, thanks for the idea though!

Hallgerda Tue 06-Jun-06 16:19:05

How about finding a book about flies and reading it together? They may not seem so scary once they've been "properly introduced." In the UK, fear of insects is as groundless as fear of people from different backgrounds, and both have their roots in ignorance.

My children became considerably less concerned about wasps when I showed them how to distinguish between the different kinds. Instead of running away, they began chasing after them with my field lens.

Elibean Tue 06-Jun-06 16:20:46

dd was terrified of owls (not that she'd ever seen one) when she was about 20 months old. Then buttons. Then more recently trains (she loves going on them, stations, etc I think its imaginary trains only!), and to some extent bells (?!).
With buttons and owls I did exactly what you are doing - I made button collages with her, showed her pretty buttons on my own clothes, gave her buttons to play with etc. She is ok with them now. With owls, I looked up owls on the internet and got them hooting for her, made up stories about friendly owls, etc.
You could try making up stories about a sweet little fly called Freddy (or whatever) and she could build some positive associations....don't overdo it though, or she'll be inviting flies in for tea
Good luck!

fondant4000 Tue 06-Jun-06 16:24:03

My dd seemed to get on better with them when we told her they were 'go away flies' and would not bite her - i.e. they would shoo if you waved them off.

Now she says, 'oh it's OK, that's a go-away fly'. She even brought a greenfly in on her finger the other day!

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 16:49:48

Thank you everyone, some good ideas here (of course lol!)

I will see how she goes today and then have a special story at bed tonight hopefully she will be cured lol!

FrannyandZooey Tue 06-Jun-06 16:56:10

Could you catch one in a transparent plastic box and let her watch it walking around in there without the worry of having it going near her?

Ds (3) is quite scared of flies, but then dp is rather phobic about wasps and bees, so I presume it has rubbed off from that. A friend taught him the song "shoo fly, don't bother me" and told him to sing it when a fly came, and that helps take the focus off the fly.

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 17:16:39

That is an excellent idea F&Z any ideas how to catch one

Like the song too, will try that one!

Hallgerda Tue 06-Jun-06 18:05:16

They're surprisingly easy to catch. Put a glass jar just in front of and above the fly, disturb it from behind and stick the lid on before it realises it can't get through the glass.

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 18:35:20

Really? wow, I had visions of chasing them with a small fishing net lol!

That is great, thank you so much everyone!

Feistybird Tue 06-Jun-06 18:38:15

Do you think she's seen adults reacting to wasps and assumes the flies are wasps, maybe?

SecurMummy Tue 06-Jun-06 18:44:05

No FB, she is very clear about the difference between buzy bees (and wasps lol) and flies, she actually quite likes bees/wasps, with the whole flowers and hunny thing they are just her cup of tea. Also I am certain that she won't have seen anyone reacting to wasps as none of us are scared - although ds likes to scream for a laugh [grrr]!

I just don't understand where it has come from, although I guess that is the defining point of phobias isn't it!

hunkermunker Tue 06-Jun-06 19:20:53

All leaves, SM... But fortunately only up close! He kind of knows it's daft, because he giggles if you hold him up to a hedge or similar, but nervously, and he will only tolerate it for the shortest time before saying "nooooooo!" and cringing away.

Obviously I sit him on hedges occasionally

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