Help for DD's bee phobia - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just moved from an apartment to a house with lots of flowers and plants - and with that comes bees. A couple of the types of flowers, in particular, seems to attract a ton of bees. The problem is that my 5 year old DD is terrified fo them, and won't go out to play. I practically have to drag her out of the housse to the car when it's time to go somewhere. She will sometimes sit at the window and cry when my three year old goes out to play because she's afraid he'll get stung. She's never been stung before, but she was there when her friend was stung. We also went to the animal park one day and they were everywhere - no one got stung, but they kept landing on us and our food and drinks. We had to go home after about a half hour because she was having such bad anxiety about them. Now she won't go back to the animal park or the zoo, and it's hard to even get her to play at a park that has flowers. She also knows my mom has a bee allergy, and I think the whole thing just overwhelms her. To be honest, they sort of freak me out, too, but I keep it under control because I'm 32, not 5. I've tried teaching her about them, teaching her what we would do for first aid if someone got stung, tellign her that she can wear dark colors and long sleeves and pants, etc - but nothing seems to help. Any ideas?
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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Sorry I do not have advise just a
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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I have a horrific phobia of bees. I get panic attacks over them sometimes. I am desperately trying not to give my phobia to my kids, but my daughter is starting to get anxiety over bees.

So if you figure anything out, let me know.

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Old 03-27-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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HUGS......I am scared of the little buggers,mostly wasp there the mean ones and they chase..I like to run run and have been know to scream ......

I think bees like bright colors so I would just have your LO wear more netrual colors or light pastels.......
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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The thing is, bees do sting and bee stings hurt. Her fear might be extreme but at least it's pretty rational. I guess there's not much you can do except calmly explain to her that the bee is more afraid of her than she is of it, and how to react if one lands on her, etc. It sounds like you've already done that though...

I think it's awesome that you swallow your own fears to help keep her calm. I hate bees and am terrified of them (to an irrational extent) and hope to prevent my DS from sharing my stupid panic whenever I see a flying stinging creature.

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Old 03-27-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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Hugs - not the same, but there may be something to this for you as well. My daughter was afraid of birds for a while. I ended up giving her 'bird spray'. And it worked - she'd 'spay' the birds and since she now had some control it helped - a lot actually. Control and the power of suggestion can sometimes work wonders.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:53 AM
 
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I don't have advice either, but I hope you figure something out.

I spent recess in the library through elementary school because of bees. I got stung at recess once & had to go to the hospital. It was nice being in the library, but sometimes I would watch the other kids playing which made me a little sad. Now I also have to carry an Epi-Pen. Those things are scary looking. It is good to know I have one in case I do get stung, but that thing might even be scarier than the sting!

I hope you find a way to help her. I'm trying to avoid my boys picking up on my fear, but it's hard for me to hide it.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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nak

buy a book about bees- or find info online
teach her about them, thier habits, why they sting, or dont sting, what they like, how they raise thiere babies, where they live, how they are important to the environment.

they are not a monster they are a tiny creature who lives together in a community with friends, mothers, babies, ect.

maybe if she understands them she can let go of osme of her fear.

move the flowers to a place she doesnt go.

and most of all be a good exsample- dont show fear of bee, tell her they are perfectly harmless and not at all interested in her. if they land on you so what? wait and they will fly away. :

if it doest work at least she learns something.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:33 AM
 
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oh and by the way- wearing dark colors is not good, they see you as a bear, thats why bee keepers wear white.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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Would it help to let her know that the bees are doing their job and too busy to worry about her? I tell my kids that and that the bees will not mess with them unless they bother them. It's helped a lot.
(((HUGS))) to your DD. Can't be any fun for her.

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Old 03-27-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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ITA about giving her info about the importance of bees for pollination. Ds was freaked out about them for a while after stepping on a wasp's nest. He still doesn't like them close but is ok with them in theory and not buzzing around him.

Maybe there is a fun movie with bees as the good guy you could watch. I know there is the Bee Movie (cartoon movie with Jerry Seinfeld doing the voice of the main character). It's pretty cute but you'd have to read reviews to make sure it's ok for your 5 yo. My 7 yo loved it.

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Old 03-27-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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and most of all be a good exsample- dont show fear of bee, tell her they are perfectly harmless and not at all interested in her. if they land on you so what? wait and they will fly away.
But they aren't "perfectly harmless"!!! They COULD sting her, and she could possibly have an allergic reaction. I don't think that lying to her and saying that nothing bad could happen is the right thing to do in this situation.

I really wish I had some tips to help her feel safe, but to be honest I'm scared of the little buggers myself!
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:04 PM
 
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she could also stub her toe on the bed or step but you dont tell her those thing are dangerous. bees only sting when protecting their hive or defending themselves. explain that to her.

also only 3% of stings result in allergy - not really worth mentioning to a child, imo.

http://www.childrenshospital.org/pat...Flevel225.html

most case- it hurts for a few minutes. no big deal.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I am going through something similar with my 3 year old. She developed an irrational fear of bees after my mother took it upon herself to scare her about them supposedly to protect her because I guess she felt me just telling her not to chase them or try to catch them wasn't enough. I think it's fair to say she went a little overboard though because the poor thing started to freak out any time a bee came around. Yeah, thanks mom :.

What really seems to be helping telling her that bees are more afraid of her than she is of them and that they sting because they are scared and pointing out to her how much bigger and stronger she is than a bee. Also, I have been pushing the point that if she doesn't bother them, they will likely not bother her.

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Old 03-27-2009, 03:56 PM
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i was extremely afraid as a chld until I was an adult. nothing helped. i would run screaming if they came near me. i was told if i stood still they wouldnt sting me and one landed on me once (before I was afraid) I stood still and it stung me and thats when I became afraid of them. my mom had flowers in front of the hous I hated leaving the house and had to run past them. no advice. my parents tried everything i was afraid until I was a teen and I didnt want to be made fun of so I was quieter but just as afraid about it. after a few years of not seeing many bees I now have a lot in my yard and I avoid them but dont have the same extreme fear.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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IMO, as a beekeeper, it is totally logical to be afraid of bees. They are supposed to scare us; it is part of their survival. Evolution in action...

So, it is also really important that all people accept that the world NEEDS bees. We could not eat without bees. So, it would be good to help children at least find a reasonable way to handle their fears. I actually worry about the future of bees when so many people find them so terrifying.

Ideas: bees are important. They do LOTS of work. They are really interesting. They really do not care about people.

An irritated bee will sting, and you cannot always know what irritates a bee. They respond to vibration, so a heavy truck driving by or a lawn mower will irritate. Dark colors are irritating. Walking too close to their flight path in and out of their hive irritates. Some bees and wasps are ground nesters, so it can be tricky to avoid their nests. Orange scented stuff (like fake orange drinks and some soaps) smell to a bee like a pheromone they release when they have stung something. The other bees know to follow this smell to attack a predator. If a bee sounds irritated, it is. They buzz differently when they're working and when they're agitated. Move away from a bee that is hovering; there is something that is bothering it.

Bees and wasps are different. I know less about wasps, but their behavior is different.

Maybe, teaching her ways to help the bees avoid her, she can feel more empowered? How very hard!
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Bees and wasps are different. I know less about wasps, but their behavior is different.
Wasps get really cranky as the summer goes on. In late July and August, if one lands on you, it may very well just sting you. That happened to ds the year after he stepped on the nest. It landed on his back and he held very still but it stung him anyway. He got stung on his hand a year or two before he stepped on the nest, as well. That time might he might have surprised one on a flower or something. I had just gotten stung on the hand the month before while weeding... all times were wasps.

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Old 04-15-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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Maybe your daughter is allergic to bees and her instincts are telling her to stay away? I think kids sometimes have a way of knowing - beyond logic - what is good or bad for them. My oldest DD refuses to eat meat. Even during the pregnancy, I couldn't eat meat with her (and I love meat!). Her younger sister eats meat all the time. Turns out she has elevated iron levels naturally. She has since birth and it hasn't changed. So her aversion to it is just her body telling her she doesn't need it.

Just an idea.

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Old 04-15-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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Maybe your daughter is allergic to bees and her instincts are telling her to stay away? I think kids sometimes have a way of knowing - beyond logic - what is good or bad for them. My oldest DD refuses to eat meat. Even during the pregnancy, I couldn't eat meat with her (and I love meat!). Her younger sister eats meat all the time. Turns out she has elevated iron levels naturally. She has since birth and it hasn't changed. So her aversion to it is just her body telling her she doesn't need it.

Just an idea.
i was terrified to the point of panic attacks over bees when i was a child. my dad thought it was silly, and irrational, and one day to "rid me of my fear" he made me go over and "face my fear" by standing by a wasp nest. i got stung once, and ended up in the hospital for three days after a severe allergic reaction.

obviously you would never do anything so heartless, but i totally agree with writteninkursive that sometimes our bodies know more about what's dangerous than we do!

telling your daughter that bees are harmless is lying. you don't need to tell her about allergies to bees, but please don't risk a breach of trust over this!
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. She's gotten a bit better since I posted this - I can get her to play in the back yard sometimes, now (most of our floowers are out front) and she'll go to the van now without panicking, so that's progress.

She does know about allergies, as my mom is allergic, but the fear seems really more about the pain - which of course is reasonable.

Laura, my goodness, I can't believe your father did that. I'm so sorry. I'd imagine that, even if you hadn't had an allergic reaction, getting stung wouldn't have done much to get you over the fear.
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