My Child Has My Fears And I Can’t Even Fake It To Help Him
As a mother, it is only natural to want to make your kids feel as safe as possible in your presence. I know that growing up, seeing my parents as confident and unflappable beings made me feel so much better about the world around me.Â To me,Â they wereÂ super heroes and as long as they were there, nothing could hurt me.
Of course, this perception of a parent changes as a child gets older. You learn that they are not invincible and that they have fears too.Â That said, I believe that for a small child, having a parent not showing their fears over everyday things is important. I think it makes the world a softerÂ place for little kids if they have the calming center point of a parent who canÂ show bravery aroundÂ the things that scare them.
For my husband’s part, he has done an amazing job of not freaking out in front of the kids. There isn’t much that scares him but when they get hurt, I know he gets pretty unglued.Â Over the years, he has found waysÂ to copeÂ so they neverÂ see it and I admire him for that.Â The kids still seem to view him as the infallible super hero who could move heaven and earth to keep them safe if necessary.
I am sad to say that I cannot claim that same status in my children’s eyes.Â I am notÂ as ableÂ to push my fears aside the way my husband does. TheÂ fear I have the most trouble hiding is my extreme aversion to bees, spiders and pretty much any insect other than ants and flies.
I know it isÂ irrational but IÂ guess if I had to give a reason why they bother meÂ it would be their insidious nature- the fact that they are tiny enough to hide somewhere and have the ability to catch me unaware. It has alwaysÂ annoyed my husband that I run shrieking like an asshole in the presence of a bee and never more so than whenÂ we had kids old enough to realize that mommy is losing it.Â HeÂ does not understand whyÂ I cannot manage to swallow back my fear in front of them so they don’t end up like me- crippledÂ by the sound of distant buzzing.
Our daughterÂ doesn’t seemÂ affected by my histrionics and (sadly) has rescued me a number of times when a bug was nearby. She has brushedÂ bees away from the front door so I could insertÂ the key and speed through to safety. She has crushed bugs with her little Stride Rite sneaker when I was too afraid to do it. She tries to pump up her younger brother reminding him that he does not need to be afraid butÂ nevertheless, I seem to have passed my ridiculous fear on to the poor little guy. My child has my fears and I feel like it’s my fault. He too will freak out when he spots a spider or hears a bee and naturally, Â I can’t help blaming myself.
I would like to say I’ve gotten better since discovering that my son is taking on my fears himself but I have not. It is not for lack of trying- I do make myself stand still for as long as I can once I hear a bee- but I always end up scurrying away like a crazy person once I can’t take it anymore. How can I tell my son not to be afraid of bees and bugs when they are enough to send me into a hot panic? How do I get over this? Until I find the answer, I talk to him about it and remind him that this is something we both need not be afraid of and that it is silly that bugs bother us so much. He’s gotten a little better in recent months and I would like to credit myself but I think he’s just getting braver as he gets older and his logical streak is overrulingÂ his hysterical one. I’ve heard him telling my husband about how spiders don’t scare him anymore because he knows he is much bigger than they are. I hope he continues on this path and that a little of his bravery rubs off on me.