My Children. My Opinions. My Tales.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Little fish, Big fish and Sharks oh my!

Yesterday, one of our "mini-vacations" that we are taking this summer, we traveled to the Baltimore Aquarium. We knew the aquarium would be a huge hit after seeing our daughter's eyes light up with the sight of fish in a small tank at the pet store.

After arriving at the Aquarium around 9:30 am (hint: great time to visit on a Monday and early!) we started our adventure with the Sting Rays and as we moved up the building looking at all different colors and sizes of fish, I never would have thought my daughter would be so terrified at the sight of a shark. I mean, don't get me wrong, they are big fish with big teeth, but how does a child know to be scared? Isn't fear taught rather than inborn?

What I know about fear...
When a child feels your anxiety, they feed off of you and become anxious too.
When you are scared, your child will be too.
When you tell them something is bad, they will then take that to heart.

What I learned about fear...

"Toddlers normally have simple fears of separation, noises, falling, animals and insects, using the potty, bathing and bedtime." (

"Also, children who have parents that are very anxious or fearful, or who tend to overreact to things, often have children who have the same reactions in similar situations." (

Dealing with your toddler's fears are as simple as:
Respect their feelings and fears.
Communicate with them about their feelings and fears.
Actions speak louder than words, show them it is ok.
Don't be overprotective.
Don't overreact.
Reassure them.

I am not sure if it was a combination of those things that made the Sharks scary, but I do know that she is afraid of them and I won't push the issue...I mean, for me, I don't like them much either.


Jill said...

Hmmm...easier said than done though, I imagine!!!! It's true though - they feed off our emotions & MAGNIFY them by about a kajillion.

Bastet said...

It really is amazing what they pick-up they can "smell" fear.

It will be interesting how these work...I assume they are affective to some degree, obviously it won't make them fearless.

Working as a teacher, how do you deal with your kids fears?