I am afraid of spiders, please help me overcome this.
I am 1o years old. I am afraid for spiders. Please help me overcome this.
Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex. Many thanks for reaching out to talk to us about your fears. You are very brave doing so. We want you to know that you are not alone in having a fear of spiders, many children have the same fear and so do lots of adults!
Fears and phobias are the words that we used to describe our emotional reactions to something that we perceive as dangerous. When our fears start to interfere with our day-to-day life, we call these phobias. People have many different fears and phobias such as heights, mice, needles, snakes and flying to name a few.
Luckily there are a few techniques that can help us to overcome our fears. Perhaps you can ask a parent or another trusted adult to help you with this. This adult may also support you in getting help from a trained professional if need be.
Firstly, it might be helpful to learn a bit about spiders, they are actually really interesting! Take their webs, for example, not only is it their home (that they just instinctively know how to build) but it is also a means for catching food and a beautiful piece of artwork too! Also, they can be really helpful to have in your home because they eat all the bugs we don’t want to have in our houses. Keep in mind, you are a literal GIANT to a spider, chances are, they are more scared of you than the other way round!
Secondly, another way to manage your fear of spiders would be to use a method we call “gradual exposure” – this means, getting used to a scary thing very slowly, one step at a time, until the thing is no longer frightening. Your trusted adult can help you to become exposed to spiders in a slow and safe way. By gently exposing us to our fear, we can learn distraction and relaxation strategies, positive self-talk and help us understand the root of our fears and phobias. This method takes some time and patience but if you keep at it, you may even build up the confidence to touch or hold a spider!
Finally, we recommend reading a book called “Charlotte’s Web” about a spider who is smart, kind and just about the best friend a piglet could have.
If you are finding it hard to talk to those in your life whom you are close to, you are very welcome to chat with the Childline Team through our web chat on www.childline.ie by text on 50101 or by phone on 1800 66 66 66. Childline service are free and confidential, and are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.