It is a proven scientific fact that phobias and anxieties get passed down to children from their parents. And I certainly can back that up as 8 people out of 10 who come onto our Spider Courage Experience say that is where they get their own fear of spiders. Sometimes it’s difficult to face your fears for just yourself but maybe if you know how much it might affect your children’s lives it might be the motivation you need.
“All early learning is based upon the process of association and identification,” said John McGrail, a Los Angeles-based clinical hypnotherapist. “Thus, as kids are developing, especially through age 8, they are like behavioral sponges, associating and identifying all they experience, programming their subconscious, (their) internal computers, where their learned fears will reside.”
Dr. Francine Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist and anxiety specialist at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey says “This learning occurs through parents’ verbal and nonverbal cues to their children.”
Rosenberg goes on to gives an example about how a child may start to become apprehensive about dogs if their parents start telling them to avoid a park because dogs will be present, or if a parent behaves anxiously around dogs. From running the Spider Courage Experience, I have heard countless stories of how people saw their mums or even dads reacting in a terrified way of spiders and thus they themselves had been afraid of spiders as long as they could remember. Phobias are usually learned as children in most cases.
This is from a really interesting article (among many others) about this topic that discusses how animal phobias and other fears/anxieties are passed down to children and the importance of preventing them.
In all the articles I read, health professionals were emphasizing for parents to face their fear, take control and to seek therapy and get help. Children can grow up being unnecessarily afraid of animals and the world around them and limit their life experiences because of it. If a parent has suffered and limited their own life because of a spider or other animal phobia, why would they want their child to go through the same thing? Becoming a parent is a big responsibility and actually, being the best role model one can possibly be is one of the most important aspects of parenting.
I don’t believe this issue is really taken as seriously as it should and people who suffer from arachnophobia or any other phobia are often just made fun of. But these phobias are affecting people’s lives and their children’s lives and can create generations of life-limiting fear. There is not enough up-to-date and modern support for phobias and that’s why I run Creature Courage. I wanted to create the best possible animal phobia course in the UK that would deliver all the most modern and effective methods into one course to break the chain of fear for good. Fortunately, phobias are for most people, very easy to break even in just one session if the right treatment is provided. So why let the chain of fear be passed on?
Check out the article I mentioned here: