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Arachnophobia in 7 yr old. Getting out of control. Any solutions?

(6 Posts)
teslagirl Wed 06-Aug-08 19:58:13

Another evening ending in DH hardly speaking to anyone, a sobbing 7 yr old and me, heartily fed up.

Admittedly, an unfortunate event which was only bound to happen to DS2 with his profound and growing phobia- a largish spider on the outside of DS1's bath towel as it was wrapped about him! DS2 in bath, became completely hysterical (DS1 wisely dropped the towel and ran and now thinks it's quite funny- not his brother's fear, just the incident!). Last w/e we camped in a forest and a lovely walk, just DS2 and I was completely ruined because a 1/2" spider dropped onto DS2 shoulder. Screaming, swiping at it, beside himself. End of walk.

What can I do? I don't LIKE spiders but I have NEVER overreacted at them in front of DS2, even when we lived in Oz with 4" Huntsmen! Right now I am seriously considering cancelling this coming w/end's camp in case DS2 encounters another spider. DH has never been particularly in tune with either son so it's up to me to deal with it- I doubt DH will talk to ME for the rest of the evening, let alone DS2 after the screaming hysteria. Yes, I know somewhere along the line I have to tackle DH and his attitude- again- but right now I need some way to help DS2 through this to at least a toleration of spiders as you can't ever get away from them in life!


OrangeCrush Thu 07-Aug-08 16:48:02

I have no experience of this, but have you thought about contacting your local zoo to arrange a creepy-crawlies keeper to introduce DS2 to spiders in a 'safe' environment and perhaps instill some kind of enthusiasm for the horrible things rather than being scared?

My SIL was determined not to cause a reaction to spiders in her DS1 despite being petrified of them herself, and unfortunately has been a bit too successful and DS1 now has an invisible pet spider called Henry who goes everywhere with her! Not sure how she approached it in the first place though, sorry

cornsilk Thu 07-Aug-08 16:50:59

I agree with the pet spider approach. You could put one in a glass tank with a wet piece of cotton wool and let him watch it. Also lots of books with good pics to explain that they are actually good guys!

UnquietDad Thu 07-Aug-08 16:51:50


teslagirl Thu 07-Aug-08 20:11:54

You'll get ME hysterical, UQD!

May do the zoo approach. Funny thing is, DS2 SELECTS books about creepy crawlies from the school library (ie choices over which I have no control) and will look at them with interest, and today got 'reasonably' close to some biggish what we Ozzies call 'daddy longleg' spiders in the shed - those with small bodies and long spindly legs who live in the ceiling corners of rooms. We did some prodding (me, of course!) to watch them do their 'Shove off' dance and DS2 was "ok" with that- perhaps a bit too much so in that I could detect the forced jollity in his voice!

I guess the issue will always be the element of surprise. Hell, I'D'Ve run for it, adrenaline pumping, shaken if not screaming, if a spider that size was on MY towel, but I don't think I'd've become a sobbing mess!

tengreenbottles Mon 11-Aug-08 21:01:49


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