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3yo suddenly has irrational fears; how to stop them???

(19 Posts)
Hulababy Mon 11-Jul-05 13:45:24

Can anyone help or suggest some ideas.

This past few weeks DD (3y 3m) has developed a series of completely irrational fears that seem to be taking over at home.

Anything vaguely resembling an insect, sider, bee, fly, whatever - she is suddenly terrified of them all.

It has come from nowhere; can't thing of any trigger.

She only has to see a fly in the apartment and she is hysterical with fear. This lunch tume a fly came in the bathroom where she was on the toilet - so kinf of trapped with it. She was so scared - screaming for me, crying, etc. A few minutes later she was sick, a little, - probably brought on by this.

I have tried ignoring it. I have tried reasoning with her (she is a bright, alert, articulate child - this normally works) over it. We have discussed the worst case scenarios - why can a fly do to you, etc. We've compared her size to its. I have tried showing her to just waft it away.

I am running out of ideas.

Really need to nip this in the bud now. Any suggestions would be great. TIA.


BTW, nursery hasn't mentioned it so presumably they do not have the same problems with her, about it. She has been like it at PILs though when they look after her.

Iklboo Mon 11-Jul-05 13:48:46

Does your MIL or any of her friends freak at the sight of a bug - or any of DD's friends at nursery? They can pick up on this and over-react?

Hulababy Mon 11-Jul-05 13:52:29

I am terrified of spiders, but can't think of any time I have seen one and paniced with her. I have really made a point of that and I am really careful. Besides we never get them now we live so high up in the apartment.

PIL and my parents don't have any fears. Neither does DH.

PIL do have a lot of bees in their garden, and a lot of ants too - but DD isn't really scared of ants. Much to our dismay she seems to find it okay to step on them to "deaded" them. I blame MIl for that though as she has a running battle with them in her house.

Not sure about nursery - as I say nursery hasn't mentioned any problems with DD over this. May try and ask them this week though.

CountessDracula Mon 11-Jul-05 13:56:03

Hula my dd 2.9 has just started this too. She totally freaks if a fly comes near her (or any flying insect for that matter). I can't understand why unless is something she has picked up at nursery

puddle Mon 11-Jul-05 13:56:15

What about getting a bug viewer and looking at them in a safe way? One of my DS's favourite things to do at the moment is catch things, draw them and then free them into the wild!
What about watching Bugs Life with her?

Hulababy Mon 11-Jul-05 14:01:06

May be worth a try puddle - to confront her fears in a safe, controlled way. One of our local nature ponds do a bug watch thing - did consider that maybe.

Hulababy Mon 11-Jul-05 18:07:54

Any more suggestions?

slefley Thu 14-Jul-05 10:53:07

Books? Maybe if she understands them a bit more they won't seem so alien. I also think the bug viewer a great idea. I would do pics first, and then move on to bugs at a distance. Not every day though! Don't make a big thing of it, it will most likely pass. She probably saw another child react badly to an insect, or had one land on her that she couldn't shake off easily.

KiwiKate Thu 14-Jul-05 11:34:22

Have you tried getting excited over bugs? As in "wow! loook, how lovely. A fly! Goodness we are so lucky this fly came to visit us ..."

mumsyof4 Thu 14-Jul-05 13:14:57

Hi Hulababy, are you sure you've not got my DD she was 3 June 18th and started exactly the same thing overreacting at anything that moves.I'm still trying to resolve it .Maybe it is the hot weather or something in the water.

Hulababy Thu 14-Jul-05 15:59:29

Odd isn't it - how it just starts.

Will try books and bug viewer I think.

Already tried the games of chasing it, justifying, and y talking about them in fun, exciting ways. That didn't work.

Pixiefish Thu 14-Jul-05 16:01:12

Don't know if you've thought but could it be moving house that's upsetting her- could it be related do you think- she's scared of the move so its manifesting itself like this. Just a thought

Hulababy Thu 14-Jul-05 16:24:33

I don't think so, as we haven't done anything about moving house for ages now - not been to look anywhere or anything. It is occasionnally mentioned, as in "when I have a garden can I have...." but very rarely at the moment. As we don't do viewings on the apartment either (done through agents) she doesn't even get that change at home. She seems to have started with this fear since after the house moving stuff stopped - a bit after too.

andif Thu 14-Jul-05 17:24:26

My ds2 had a similar problem but with sudden fear of car travel which seemed to come from nowhere. Eventually we took him to a child homeopath (who is also a child psychologist) and this has worked wonders. Moving house could easily be a trigger, even if you think she's not aware of it. It became increasingly debilitating for us (and him!) and got to the stage when a 10 min car trip had him retching.I was amazed the difference from taking a few little tablets as I had been v sceptical how this could possibly work!
You may think your dd's problem is unlike this, but to me it sounds similar.

Hulababy Thu 14-Jul-05 19:58:52

My friend is a clinical psychologist. I am seeing her this weekend for a couple of hours. Will ask her about it.

sfg Mon 18-Jul-05 21:32:28

We had this with DS1, aged 2. It's taken a while but we seem to be on the up now. We tried to give him a way to react to flies - shouting GO AWAY and stamping his feet, and hitting them with a muslin. He still gets scared when he sees a fly, but cheers up as soon as I start running round the room like a lunatic flapping at them. He is especially pleased if we manage to kill them: don't know what to make of this but I think it's a different thread...

Evesmama Mon 18-Jul-05 21:39:22

sorry to but in, but dd has fears of hoovers, electric fans, road sweepers(especially those in town centres)airoplanes and alarms...all seem to be noises as when we look at books or play with toy items of the same she is fine..but it is very upsetting for her and concerning for me??any one know how i could help her?TIA

galaxy Mon 18-Jul-05 21:44:24

Hulababy, dd is 3 in November and 3 weeks ago developed a fear of the 3 Bears story and burst into tears at nursery when they were going to read it. since then, she wont watch anything on TV or read books with pictures of bears but her cuddly bears are fine! I think it's just a phase and I've decided not to make a fuss in the hope she gets over it.

Hulababy Mon 18-Jul-05 21:46:07

That is the way I am trying right now.

At home DD does now have her safe place too. Realised that the canopy thing over her bed is like a mossie net - so she knows that inside there she is safe from flies as they can't get inside (I hope!). So if in a real panic she can go in her bedroom, on her bed and feel safe for a while.

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