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Child terrified of bugs....nothing new right? WRONG!!!

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Hey Ladies!!! So, my 3 1/2 year old Luciana has a new fear....BUGS! My husband and I are NOT like that about bugs at all. She completely looses a noodle! Screaming, crying and scaring a lot of the kids at daycare. She is to the point that the daycare provider told me that when everyone goes outside for play time, Luci actually spends most of the time outside looking for bugs(ants and mosquitos are the most common where I live) and will proceed to flip out, until she stops and finds another one. It's aparently becoming a problem and I don't know how to help her be less affraid. She has never had a sting or bite(other than blackflies and mosquitos) before so it's not the association with pain or anything I don't think. She doesn't understand that when I tell her there is nothing to be affraid of. I am just sort of at a loss as to how to help her with the fear short of puting an ant on her! LOL! Not that it's funny, I can only imagine the reaction to that if someone did that to her. I don't want to scare her more so I am sort of at a loss and I don't want daycare to say she can't go outside any more :( Ideas here would be great! Thank you          -Ally

by on Apr. 19, 2013 at 8:24 AM
Replies (11-15):
by Lisa on Apr. 20, 2013 at 12:18 AM

My son has anxiety.  He was terrible about bugs when he was younger and we live in the country!  One time he didn't sleep in his bed for 6 months because a bug landed on him when he was trying to sleep.  He would scream, cry, and refuse to return to a room where he had seen a bug.

Ok so the steps we took...

1. I went out and bought plastic bugs and a full bug catching set.

2. I would sit in the floor everyday with one plastic bug in the bug container making a big deal out of how cool it was.  He wouldn't come anywhere near it at first.  I just continued daily until he was comfortable looking at it in the container.

3. Once he was comfortable with that I took it out of the container.  I just told him "I bet we can see it better this way!"  Until he was comfortable with that.

4. Then I would pick it up and look at it.  Talk about how it felt and how I could see every side of it that way.  Really playing up how much fun it was.  This step took a while.  If he ever showed fear in any step I went back a step and built our way back up.

5. When he was finally comfortable actually touching the plastic bugs I started with a real bug in the bug container.  This step took a very long time.

6. Then we progressed to finding bugs outside and talking about it being their home.  If he got uncomfortable we would go inside.

7. We finally worked up to touching "fun" bugs like rolly pollies.  At this point if he saw a bug outside I would tell him they live here and he can either ignore them, move elsewhere, or go inside.

He is much better now but he still panics sometimes and he is almost 6.

by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 12:26 AM

when my step kids were her age they FREAKED out about frogs... FROGS! lol I mean crying, screaming, running away etc.. it was ridiculous. So one night I took them outside and we looked for frogs (summer time, they were always out) and when they'd scream I knew they found one so I picked it up and had each of them touch it. It took a few mins but they got used to it and now hunt frogs down to play with every summer lol

by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 1:10 AM

 dd's 16yr old boyfriend tried to swat a ladybug out of the car last night. It touched his finger. He screamed and jumped out of the car, ran across our parking lot and hid by the door. DD and I then spent a couple of minutes gently getting the now flipped lady bug off the carpet of the backseat and released it into the bushes.

so yes, I know someone who is terrified of bugs.

by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 2:07 AM

get a few bugs, put them in a jar and let her look at them.  Talk about them, their legs, their wings, their eyes.  Tell her what they eat, what they do for the world, what they are food for, like birds, snakes, mice, etc.  Talk about how tiny they are, and what she can do to protect them.(Like not hitting on them, or stomping on them)

My daughter teaches conservation in Texas to middle school children an lots of times they start off by being scared of bugs, but by the time she talks to them, they are very interested and protective of them.

by on Apr. 20, 2013 at 6:36 AM
Yes...but absolutely no Ant Bully movie, my ds 7 is now afraid ants will shrink him down to their size. lol.

Quoting Tckosdk.2012:

Try bug movies like Bugs Life & A Bee Story. Also get some fake bug toys. I've heard good things about doing both of those things.

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