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My son VS animals

My son Sam (4 1/2) is so afraid of animals, when ever we go past one on the sidewalk or pass one thats in a parked car, he whins and makes me carry him. He has never had any bad experiences with animals. for some reason he just doesnt like them up close. he loves to watch them on TV and look at pictures of them. He freaks out when they get close. I have tried to explain to him that they arent going to hurt him. But he just cant seem to get past his fear. What can i do? We cant get a dog or cat because i am allergic. I thought if we could do that he might get used to them.. but its out of the question. any suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by dfwhite at 11:12 PM on Apr. 5, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 14 (1,702 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Bird.....Birds are great pets..and you can cage them till he gets used to them..he can teach them to talk...I recocmend a quaker parrot...

    Answer by doula-mom25 at 11:16 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I would stop picking him up and engaging his fear as much. I know that sounds mean to do to a child and goes against every maternal instinct we have to protect our babies, but if he is in no real harm, I think it just perpetuates the fear. The panic would be long enough for the animal to pass, and eventually he will learn that it wasn't "you" that saved was that he wasn't in any real danger.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 11:47 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • My first question is, Is your son Autistic? Sometimes Autistic kids have unrealistic fears. I am wondering if you have tried taking me to a zoo? They have people there that can explain the animals to him. I hope this helps.

    Answer by sweetangie79 at 1:10 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • I agree with sweetangie, I was going to suggest your local animal shelter if it's visitor friendly. I'm sorry I don't really know what you're going through because I work at a shelter so my son's constantly around animals, but when walking down the sidewalk with strange dogs, I pick him up anyway just because while he may be great with dogs, I don't know how the dog might be with him.

    I never found birds or rabbits to be all that pleasant, but you can give it a try, or try starting off easy with a bowl of goldfish or something. They're no contact, so your ds doesn't have to feel pressured to get close to them, and they're easy to take care of. Keep his opinion in mind though, because forcing an animal on a child is about the same as making them hate it..(believe me...aunts and uncles seemed to insist on giving my sister and I rabbits...and I HATED cleaning up after them when I was a kid...I loved cats..haha.)

    Answer by BisketLiss at 3:09 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

  • You could always get one of those adorably ugly hairless cats or dogs! lol They also have the hypoallergenic cats, I think, and some dogs don't have dander. Just a thought :) As for getting your son to stop being so afraid, can you visit someone who has a pet? Or visit pet stores or the zoo?

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 10:14 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

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