Toddlers: 24 Months+

"ahh buggy!" + problems with bathing

My DD has always loved taking her bath before bed.  Well since we have had nicer weather, we are spending a lot more time outside.  DH was trying to show her bugs outside so she wouldn't be scared of them. (She was apprehensive and didn't like them.  He figured this would desensitize her.)  Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect.  Now at bath time, if a little bit of dirt, fuzz, or something gets in the tub from her body (I can't stand this digging in dirt thing!) she loses it and starts crying hysterically that she's scared of the bug and claws/jumps out of the tub and up my body. Truly, she is scared because she is losing it.  If a piece of lint is stuck between her toes from her socks, she starts flailing saying she is scared.  Honestly, I keep reiterating that is only fuzz/dirt and it can't hurt you but she insists it is a bug.  How do you reason with a terrified two year old? Quite frankly, I am not sure what to do. Any advice?  Anyone else been through this or something similar?  TIA

Re: "ahh buggy!" + problems with bathing

  • LC122LC122 member
    My DD has had some moments of reacting to bugs, but not quite to the degree that you mentioned.
    We have done some discussions about being bigger than bugs. DH stepped in with a paper towel to get one bug (he never actually saw it by the time he got there) and somehow his wiping with the paper towel and announcing that he got it completely calmed her down.
    There is also a book called Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire that we've been reading since DD recently took an interest in Fancy Nancy. It talks about not thinking bugs are gross because that's just immature, which is fancy for babyish. It also talks about looking and not touching bugs. I feel like the book has helped a little.
    We also just try to downplay reactions. If we're outside and she gets upset about a bug, we just respond with "Oh, a bug? Ok, well, walk over here instead".

    Not sure if any of that is helpful since you may have a more extreme case, but that's what has been working for us.
  • SusieBWSusieBW member
    DD has been over-reacting to bugs lately, too.  This from a kid who used to sit on the back steps and feed crackers to the ants with her Nana last summer - now she's apprehensive about sitting on those same steps because she doesn't want an ant to come near her.  I'm sort of taking an opposite approach than PP, and we're trying to teach her to like bugs instead of avoiding them.

    I have a gardening book about bugs, and I've been looking through that with her, and when we're outside, I've been pointing out different bugs and trying to teach her about them and tell her things about them that are cool or exciting, like what they eat or how they are good for the plants, or especially about how pollinators take care of our flowers and veggies for us.  Or how spiders spin webs like Spiderman.  I think I'm going to get one of those little bug houses so she can get a better look at some of them with out them getting away.

    It has also helped to remind her that ladybugs are bugs, too, and she likes them. 
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