Can Phobias & Fears Influence our Children


It's been a question that I have long pondered about...do our children naturally inherit our phobias or are we unknowingly passing our phobias on to our children.

Whilst I'm absolutely terrified of spiders and creepy crawly's . I have always done my best to put a brave face on in front on the kids ..."Oooh it's only a spider it won't hurt you" ("I would say") whilst screaming inside"get me out of here".... So it must have paid off over the years...right...As my eldest son will happily pick up spiders and the other week a hairy caterpillar that found its way in to my slipper...
I let out a mighty scream and my son came to my rescue...my children now being a little older know how I feel about the little critters and just think its me overreacting as usual...but is that because I encouraged them not to be afraid or fear them!!! And I always tell my son's how much more braver they are then me....

At work I have them same issue...working with children we often explore a wealth of bugs and creepy crawly's ..it can be hard to say "Oooh look at the worm"...when all you want do it bolt out the door..although I must admit I once a had a huge spider on my lap whilst a work... I jumped to my feet jumped around like a nutter only to then gather myself as if nothing had happened, replying to the children "Oooh silly me"as they looked on dismayed.
I hate even touching the blinking plastic ones....it's not so bad if they don't look life like
I can handle those ones...but not the big black hard ones...eeeek

Is it important to me that I don't show my fears to my children and those that I work with...so I don't turn them into nervous wrecks...my mum didn't like spiders...and once she threw a yellow pages at one and could remove them if absolutely necessary...Whilst I'm much worse and can't even pick up a dead fly...
What do you think do we pass on our fears and phobias !!!!
I defiantly know that children pick up on our moods and our behaviours and attitudes and feed off of us as adults...so from my experience I can say...we can pass on our fears and phobias to our children.
But what's your experience.....

8 comments

  1. I'm sure we can pass them on in the same way that careless remarks can prejudice children against maths or anyone else. However my daughter's many phobios - of sharks in swimming pools, rats in leaves, monsters in wardrobes - are entirely her own and doubtless a result of some insecurity I've never identified. Parenting is a minefield!

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    1. Agree....also some children have an over active imagination to help them along...and can be the most smallest thing that causes a trigger..eg watching something on TV...I hope you eventually identify your daughters phobias xxx

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  2. Yes I am sure we can pass on our phobias. Once in Spain, there was a monkey and I thought it was cute until I saw my Mum's fear of it at which point I became terrified and screamed the place down.
    Really interesting question you have set and I look forward to seeing what other people think.

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    1. I too would like to know if other people have the same experiences xxx thanks for you story... Looking forward to more xx

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  3. I hate spiders! I don't think my daughter is quite so fearful of them but she does often cringe when she sees one and won't go to sleep if there's one on her bedroom wall. Dad to the rescue! I'd definitely say that's come from my fear of them. I think it's inevitable that we will pass on our phobias to our children, as we pass on our influences.

    CJ x

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  4. yes, I believe we can definitely pass on fears and phobias to our developing children. I have a couple but with one in particular I have to feel the fear & do it anyway!! :)
    Mine have none so far, TC is a brave soul, so not sure anything is going to get to her, I will follow her lead :))

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  5. I hate spiders too and sadly my 6 year old has picked up on it!

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  6. I have a fairly healthy (as in unhealthy) fear of flying and I know I got that from my sister, with whom I flew a few times after she'd had a nerve-wracking experience. I also read that such fears are usually triggered by someone else's fears so I'm very careful when I fly with my children. When they were really little, they were oblivious to my plight and now, since I've told them it's motion sickness, they just ask me if I'm feeling alright.

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