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Any arachnophobes with toddlers? (warning, may be uncomfortable to read)

(6 Posts)
UpSinceCrapOClock Fri 22-Aug-08 10:16:03

Wasn't sure where to post this but seems like most of the phobia topics are in this section.

I'm terrified of spiders (in fact can't even cope with toy spiders, not even soft 'cuddly' hmm ones). I know I need to conquer this fear, but, well I keep putting it off and haven't yet. Partly because I don't know where to start in terms of conquering a fear and partly because I'm scared of thought of conquering it (as silly as that sounds).

I have a curious 2 yr old (like your average 2 yr old!) and it's been weighing on me for a while about what would happen if she should find a spider, pick it up and show me. I really don't want to pass my fear onto her, but I know how my immediate reaction is when shown any spider. It's a knee-jerk reaction and something beyond my control.

I wonder how other parents with phobias have gotten round this? Or if there is anyone else who has this same worry hanging over them?

derelicte Fri 22-Aug-08 10:28:10

I'm in a similar boat. I'm interested to see what anyone has to say on the matter. I actually dropped DD when I found a spider on her once. blush sad She was only about a foot off the ground at the time, but I worry that my reaction would be the same in any situation (e.g. while er...dangling her off a hotel balcony or er...whatever hmm grin).

I have been able to talk very positively about them in abstract situations (e.g. stories about friendly spiders and how good they are at making sure we don't get over-run with flies, and how clever they are at weaving their webs), but I will be totally stymied if I'm ever in a situation where I have to deal with one in front of the DCs.

My main tactic at the moment is to totally avoid any situation where it might happen. This means that I can't enjoy my garden, or do any gardening with the DCs, or even reach into dark corners to fetch toys etc. I'm so annoyed with myself.

Actually, does anyone know if any therapy is available on the NHS for this sort of thing?

bethoo Fri 22-Aug-08 10:30:44

it may be worth seeing a councellor for this type of thing, if not able to 'cure' you as such, they may be able to help you channel your fear.
you are right in that the last thing you want is to pass your fear onto your children.
there was a thread here a while ago of a girl who refused to have a vb as her mother and grandmothers fear had been so badly embedded into her.

snowleopard Fri 22-Aug-08 10:34:58

Me and DP are both a bit scared of spiders - not to the extent of a phobia, but I do feel daft in front of DS, bickering about whose turn it is to catch the latest spider and turf it out and then screaming when it moves as we try to catch it blush

BUT I have read that fear of spiders is genetic and naturally much stronger in some people than others. So in a way you don't have much control over your feelings or your DD's.

Also, fear of small crawling/flying things kind of has an evolutionary purpose. They could be dangerous, eg wasps, and spiders too in some countries. So it's not so terrible if children learn to fear them at least a bit.

UpSinceCrapOClock Fri 22-Aug-08 10:55:03

Really - I haven't read that about the possibility of it being genetic?

My mum assumes that my fear was passed onto me - a lady used to sometimes look after me when I was about 3 or 4. She was an arachnophobe and apparently would scream at me to get away from spiders. When my mum saw that happen, I stopped going there and my mum says that I was never afraid before then. I don't really remember any of that, so it's pretty much all speculation.

Unfortunately, my parents tried the 'confront your fears' method of getting rid of my phobia and my little brother (much younger than me) used to think it was hilarious to chase me with spiders because of my reaction, so I think these 2 things may have cemented my fear (I still can't cope if someone comes towards me with a closed fist, hands hidden behind their back etc).

Derelicte - I go similar lengths to avoid spiders and I'm certain I would have reacted in a similar way to you if I had found a spider on my child. It's like some irrational instinct kicks in that is beyond your control

snowleopard Fri 22-Aug-08 10:59:44

I'm sure experiences can have an effect too... just don't think you should blame yourself too much. There is some interesting info in science papers if you google it.

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