It is not hard to see why a spider might seem scary to a child and their physical appearance alone, is one of the main reasons why children can often have an innate fear of spiders.
Companies like Fisher Environmental Services are constantly kept busy dealing with all sorts of bugs and arachnids that are often uninvited guests in our home. That is certainly one way of removing the presence of arachnids, but it should also be perfectly possible to help your child overcome their fears, so that they are not so stressed when they encounter a spider.
Why do so many of us fear spiders?
A fear of spiders can often be analyzed and divided into two distinct categories.
There are plenty of children who become adults, harboring an intense dislike and disgust for spiders, while the other category of people who portray spiders in their mind, as something much more fearful and dangerous to them than they actually are in reality.
This fear of spiders can grow to such an extent that people who are genuinely afraid of spiders, will demonstrate classic signs of arachnophobia, which can take over their lives as they take every measure to avoid spiders, unless their fears are addressed and conquered.
There are a number of issues that affect us as parents, which can often be traced back to our childhood when looking for the origin of the problem.
Creepy-crawly spiders, the dark and monsters under the bed are just some of the fears that seem very real when we are young an impressionable, but most of the time, we all learn to distinguish genuine fear from things that just make us feel uncomfortable.
Spiders tend to invoke these natural fears within many of us as children, but there are plenty of steps you can take as a parent, to help desensitize your child and allay their fears, to such an extent that you will probably find them volunteering to hold a spider once they have overcome their emotional response.
A good way of starting to help your child to deal with a fear of spiders, is to work on replacing their fearful response with a new one, changing their mindset gradually.
Try to encourage your child to think about calming messages as opposed to warning signals.
Aim to get your child to become curious about spiders and learn more about their characteristics. This can include doing something like drawing a picture of a spider together, and then talking about or picturing what it would be like to encounter one for real.
The trick is to introduce various images of spiders, such as on a video, even a spider cuddly toy, slowly building up to introducing a live spider in a jar, when you think they are ready for the encounter.
Keeping calm yourself about the process and allowing your child to control their fear threshold, so you know how far you can go each time, should eventually allow your child to come face to face with a spider, and overcome their spider phobia.
Robert Kunst has worked in the pest control industry since 1974. Today he is president of Fischer Environmental Services. This award-winning company was awarded “Champion of the Environment” in 2004 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and is still 1 of only 5 Pest Management Companies to receive this prestigious honor out of 18,000 Pest Management Firms in the United States in the history of the E.P.A.