Parenting & Family

Serious arachnophobia with my 11 year old

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  • Mar 19th, 2018 2:55 pm
User avatar
Jan 8, 2013
56 posts

Serious arachnophobia with my 11 year old

We were looking at it as a kids thing, then on the highway couple days ago, a spider happened to crawl on the roof of my car. Here I am doing 110km/h and my 11 year old opened his seat belts and tried to open the door in total hysteria, absolutely zero control over his actions nor any idea of consequences what would have happened had the door opened. I have been turning on the child safety lock on the door since.

Does anyone know of any arachnophobia treatment centers? I will take him to his doc and see what he recommends as well.
12 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35291 posts
East Gwillimbury
The only way to conquer a fear is to face it. I would get a few spiders in a glass jar and let them hold the jar.

Talk to your child about what would have happened if they opened the door successfully. Don’t yell, talk in a calm manner.
Mar 29, 2015
229 posts
Ottawa, ON
Put both scenarios together. Since you have the child lock enabled, take jars of spiders and lock him in the car with them until he can at least handle them being in the car.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 22, 2005
20588 posts
This happened to me as a kid. My dad had a VW convertible (Cabrio) and I was strapped to the back. A spider came down from the B pillar and I freaked the shit out but wasnt able to remove my seatbelt due to the panic. My parents were laughing and still tell the story to this day.

That moment did traumatize me but my fear of spiders stopped being as bad since then. I turned out okay. Disappointed But Relieved FaceFace With Tears Of Joy
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3589 posts
Maybe don't take a child who is so scared of spiders that he literally tried to jump out of a car travling 110kph, and lock him in a car with spiders. The trauma is real, even if the instinct of others is to laugh it off. Real phobias, as with any mental illness, require the attention of trained professionals. I'd speak to your GP for advice and go from there.
Deal Addict
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Aug 15, 2015
1568 posts
Markham, ON
Autolock can actually causes stress to people unfamiliar with your car. I once sat in someone car everytime he stopped the auto lock will turn on and off. I can hear the locking mechanism everytime. I felt uncomfortable the entire time.

With that said, I don't know if your child would ever get over the fear of spider. I would suggest buying vehicles where the back doors slide open instead of opening outwards. And the windows do not row down.

Like a 1997 Ford Windstar model. I don't know if they still make cars like those. The door does not open automatically and make sure your child sit far away from the door everytime.
Deal Addict
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Apr 7, 2012
2541 posts
Educate your child on spiders.
Teaching is the key ..
Don’t just shove a spider in a child’s hand ..
Wtf if wrong with you adults.
Deal Fanatic
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Aug 16, 2010
6947 posts
Between Countries
I hate spiders too. Same with bees - I'd be highly uncomfortable with a trapped bee buzzing around inside the car. Unless it's truly arachnophobia, which I doubt, he'll eventually learn to live with it and control his fears. I wouldn't force spiders on him. My own son doesn't seem to share my discomfort; he once had a huge tarantula sit on his face in science class which is something I'd never do - hell no!
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 12, 2005
947 posts
I can relate to your son. Up until a few years ago I was severely arachnophobic. I once had a spider slowly drop down on its line from the roof liner of my car about 10 inches in front of my face. I freaked out and screamed at my passenger to "get that #@%$^& thing outta my face" and then proceeded to run a red light without even realizing it cause all I could see was that damn spider. Luckily there were no cars in the intersection. I was in my early 30s at the time, a grown man freaking out like a little girl. Not my proudest moment.

Since then I was able to confront my fears over time by selective exposure (daring to remove/ignore small spiders I find around the house instead of running away) and not turning away when I see them on TV or documentaries about them. Now I actually think they're kind of cool for the most part, especially tarantulas. I'm more afraid of medium size house spiders that dart about than I am of big hairy spiders. Go figure.

As far as phobias go, I currently struggle with trypophobia - that one is going to take some work!
Shojin wrote:I like to quote myself.
Feb 25, 2018
79 posts
Look for your child’s phobia patterns.
If an isolated incident is resolved, don't make it more significant than it is.
But if a pattern emerges that's persistent or pervasive, you should take action, seek a consultation of psychologist.
If you don't, the phobia is likely to continue to affect your child’s life.
Mar 1, 2018
40 posts
Does the fear seem unreasonable in relation to the reality of the situation; could it be a sign of a more serious problem?
If your child's fear seems out of proportion to the cause of the stress, this may signal the need to seek outside help, such as a counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2006
911 posts
Barrie, ON
I think spiders are cool. I saved up for a tarantula when I was a kid then I revealed my plans to my mom and she refused to allow me to get one because she is terrified of spiders, so I ended up getting a hamster. I loved that hamster but he was missing four legs and six eyes.


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