Terrified of flies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-20-2009, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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My 5yo ds is absolutely terrified of flies. In past years we've had a few issues with it, but this year it's insane. Absolute hysterics when a fly comes near him. I've tried talking to him about it, reasoning with him, but it's definitely not helping! What can I do? I admit to having very little patience for this because his reaction is so over-the-top.
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#2 of 11 Old 05-20-2009, 03:57 PM
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I'm hoping someone offers some insight...I've got the same problem.

I've consistently modeled a love for all creatures. We take inside bugs out, no killing. I've never shied away from a bee/fly.

Her reaction is as you describe, insane. It's by far the shrillest scream and real fear I ever see from her. BTW, she just turned 3.
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#3 of 11 Old 05-20-2009, 04:58 PM
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Any chance they've been stung by a bee?
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#4 of 11 Old 05-20-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Nope, no bee stings here. He's never even been bitten that much by flies before!
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#5 of 11 Old 05-20-2009, 07:22 PM
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Mine proclaims to be scared of flies but I honestly wonder how much of the reaction is for dramatic effect. So far we've read some books with flies in them and we talk about how small the fly is compared to her. I ask her what she thinks the fly might do to her and answer factually. "Yes, the fly might get into your mouth but you would know to spit it out." "No, the fly cannot get into your ear far enough to see your brain." ( )

Some of the books we've read:

"A Fly Went By" by Marshall McClintock
"Diary of a Fly" by Denise Cronin
"Fly Guy" series by Tedd Arnold
Any of the housefly books in j595.77 at the library.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#6 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 02:21 AM
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I don't have any good advice just sympathy. My ds went through a phase like this last summer or the summer before. It was only a huge problem if they got in the house. I got pretty good at fly swatting that summer! We ended up having to shut his bedroom door so he'd sleep at night. In the end he just had to outgrow it.

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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#7 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 04:43 AM
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Oh, I have one for you :

so my DD wa just like that and before I got to what I say in sec..
I used to tell her stories about flies wheneve she had her
fly panic attacks that a fly is a creature just like humans but tinny..
it has babies somwhere else waiting for mama and dada to come home
so they just go and shop for food in the fly stores and they are on the
way home.. and if they get lost on the way and fly into a house
they are upset more then we are because they want to go home
to babies back with foodie.. and they even ask us to let them out
in tinny voices "help me help me" where should I go.. which way is my
way home?

but we can't hear them really beause their voices are so tinny..
and this is why you see sometime a tired upset fly flying around
that does not want to hurt you as they never hurt anyone
as they are very funny and friendly guys in general but
they just are tired and lost.. and even if they sit on you
it is just to rest as they feel safe knowing you are good
person and would not hurt them as they are afraid of bad people ..
because they need to go back home safely to their babies
that waiting home for them..

that always did the trick to create emphaty for the fly and
take the momentum of the fear. the kids don't really
undersand the bugs and so they make mental models
and do not know what to expect so the fear is self propelling..
puting the person into a fly really helps them to ralize the
fly problems and see the fly prespective.

okay and now the hit of the fly season!:

prepare to be amazed :

I found in the library a book called: diary of a fly.
so funny.. it shows a little boy fly day by day and his thoughts..


and there is also DVD with the same tittle.

You don't have to buy it, go to the library and if they don't have it in stock
they might be able to order it from different libraries.. for free.

it is so coool.
I jsut hope you will find this thread.

the book tremendously helped my dd not to be afraid of the flies
at 3.5 years old.

and she used to be afraid of spiders eather but I created a fairy tale about
spider and named him Johny the spider and he has lots of kid like adventures so it also made her not to be afraid of the spiders..

aside form that kdis need to be afraid of something, it is brain thing.
so if not this then they will find the other thign to cling to their fears..

obviously you don't show your kid monster or robot movies because he would embrace those to be afraid of and have nightmares

fly is favorite subject to be afaaid of for smart and happy kids ;-)

they just dont' know any worse :-) lucky them.

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#8 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 07:19 AM
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i wish i could help you. with us its BUGS!!!! even those teenie tiny the size of a period bug. this is so 'insulting' as i am just the diametrically opposite as i catch insects with my bare hands.

i have done the mama baby story so dd wont ever hurt any animal and carefully precautions everyone, but OMG everytime a bug is on her DRAMA!!!! however it IS genuine. it IS over the top reaction. i mean hello - even those non biting ants.

she just hates bugs. she is 6. what is slowly working (since i am a biology student) is to actaully tell her about the life of bugs. how many there are. got her a butterfly garden which she is not scared of and had them climb on her finger to release them.

some days her reaction just make me laugh - because her reaction is so unreal.

however empathy really IS the key here. 5 is the second (how shall i put it) 2 year old phase. v. emotional and not know how to handle it. its also a stage when the irrational fears return.

i call this a serious test of motherhood. esp. when i cant relate. i want her to know - that no matter what she is supported - or that she matters to me. even though in my case my dd is a 'liberachi' - so full of drama.

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#9 of 11 Old 05-23-2009, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone! Thankfully we haven't had any major meltdowns about flies the past day or two, though he's definitely on edge about it.

After the last meltdown I asked him what would happen if a fly came near him ("it would land on my arm") and then I asked what would happen next ("I would be scared") so I asked him what he thought it might feel like, but he didn't know, so I gently touched his arm with my finger and said I thought it'd feel like that, and what did he think of that? He didn't quite know what to make of it, so then I started tickling him and asked him if he thought it would feel like that and he started laughing and saying no, and, well, then we just ended up being silly, heh.

Anyhow, hopefully with some books, extra empathy and the mama fly stories we will get through this summer somehow! (Really not looking forward to camping now though!)

Thanks again!
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#10 of 11 Old 05-24-2009, 12:52 AM
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No advice but lots of empathy. I swear I am ready to lock us up in the house for the summer and put the kids in a bubble. We are always outside in the summer and the kids are afraid of everything this year - bees (they have both been stung before so I get that one), flies, tiny little bugs, ants, birds, dogs, etc. etc. etc. I also admit to having very little patience. My DD has the loudest, shrillest scream and it makes my ears and head hurt every time she yells.

I took them out on a walk this evening and they were even afraid of all the little noises.

I will keep watching this thread for advice.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-24-2009, 01:01 AM
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today it was the mosquitos for ds age 6, he started shaking and screaming in the car about a mosquito, im like, its. a. mosquito. arg

but i do try and talk about irrational fears rationally, if you will, like pp said, we go through the "what then" questioning and generally are able to move on.
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