Cure for the Plague of the SCARY SPIDERS?!

Updated on March 30, 2017
K.M. asks from Kent, WA
10 answers

So about 4 days ago, my kid came home from her daycare stuck on scary spiders. Roughly once an hour, she's like AAHHH!! SCARY SPIDER!! And she comes and gets me to come find the "spider" (which doesn't exist) freaking out, and she can't tell me exactly where it is. we've kinda just started stomping the ground where she's saying, but She's even told me they're on her coats in her closet, and on the ceiling. I tried "spider spray" (like just water in a squirt bottle) Like I heard works for some kids and monsters, but that didn't work. I tried showing her what a real spider looks like, and it didn't change anything. If you don't go fix it for her, she really freaks out like she's actually scared.
Any advice?

EDIT: Its not just when we're not paying attention to her, either. You'll be talking to her and she'll start saying there is a spider

EDIT: Sorry, i forgot. She's 2 and a half.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Seattle on

I have never understood monster spray.
And now i don't understand spider spray.
You tell her there are no spiders, you show her there are none. You don't spray something imaginary, then she thinks that she was right and they WERE THERE.
Be calm. "Nope Sarah. I don't see any spiders." and then re-direct.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you asked her why she thinks spiders are scary? I'm always talking to my kids about how many good things spiders do outside so they think of spiders as good animals, not bad.

When she says it, I think you should pretend catch the spider and take it outside. That's what I do at my house with real spiders.

ETA: As I think about this, I agree more with birdsfreakmeout. Why go along with her when she says she sees them. Instead. Say the obvious - there is no spider. And in moments when she's not freaking out, talk about spiders in a non threatening way.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would see if you can find some cute fiction books about spiders. If you do find a spider, catch it with her and set it free outside so it can "go find it's spider family" or "go to his spider daycare" etc. If you smush them or treat them like monsters that teaches her to be afraid of them and hyper vigilant and feeling as though they are a threat. She looks to you for her cues in life. If you can teach her to look at spiders like she would a dog, cat, bird, or squirrel, they may not be so scary to her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We didn't really have this. By that age, my kids had seen me deal with a spider - calmly, and I would take it outside. Can you do that? Next time you have one (or any bug) just show her it's no big deal - just calmly deal with it.

We have a little friend who come over here and every time there is any flying bug, she goes bezerk. The mom makes a big production and by this age (10) it's kind of ridiculous. My advice would be do as you want to going forward. Otherwise you will have a child who is freaked by spiders at 10.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I found that my kids were scared of things they didn't understand. When they developed fears of insects, animals or monsters I educated them about them and took away their fears. I would suggest getting a video about spiders from the children's section of the library along with some good, educational picture books about spiders from the library. Look for spiders you can show her, maybe tarantula's at a pet shop. You could also read Charlottes Web together, or watch the movie.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Maybe use the Charlotte's Web book with lots of pictures. You can leave out the ending and just let her hear that part later or something. She can't read it but she can see the spider living along side the other characters and that she's not a threat.

I got over my fear of spiders by watching "Arachnophobia". Nothing can be that

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If she were half asleep when she says this, I'd say it was nightmares/sleep terrors.
They are thinking more and their imaginations are much more active at 2 1/2 than ever before - which is why nightmares can really kick in at this age.
But if she's seeing them everywhere all day long and when she's wide awake - that kind of throws the whole 'nightmare' thing out the window.
If she's pretending, you'd think she'd have better control of it, and then there's the possibility that maybe she's hallucinating - which you should probably have a doctor check her out for - although I'd say she's probably too young for that.

I'm not sure playing along with it helps any.
Stomping on things you can't see makes it seem like they are really there, but you don't want to ignore her fears either.

Maybe you can tell her you're sorry she's afraid but you don't see any spiders and she is perfectly safe and needs to calm down?
Would be nice if that worked but somehow I think it probably won't.
You should talk about this with her pediatrician and see what they recommend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think you can just tell her: "I do not see a spider. If you see one, please handle it yourself." And teach her about appropriate reactions to spiders (which do NOT include screaming like the place is on fire!!).



answers from New York on

when she isn't actually scared tell her a story. Use a character. We used to tell dinosaur stories. Dinosaur might get scared of a cheese sandwich in his closet. He would scream and stomp. Is that what he should do? Kiddo would say no. Mommy can look in the closet. If there is no cheese sandwich she will tell dinosaur. Mommy can then hug dinosaur until he settles down. If dinosaur doesn't settle down by the time she counts to 20 she will then have no choice but to tickle him. Ok. Now let's pretend that you are the dinosaur. Little dinosaur do you think there is a cheese sandwich I. Your closet? Let me check? No cheese sandwich. Are you still frightened? Yes? Let's hug and count to 20. Remember if you are still upset at 20 I will tickle you. Tickle and laugh. Let little one know if they are frightened from now on, you will help them just like the mama dinosaur does.

This might help cut through the upset.

F. B.



answers from Miami on

Well, you could play the movie "Charlotte's Web" for her, but she's too little to understand it.

What I think I would do is laugh at her when she does it, and then ignore her. When my 4 year old figured out that the bacon he was eating was "Babe", I asked the ped what to do and that was her advice.

Oh, he's an adult now and still eats bacon...

Next question: Preventing Spiders on Our Backyard Playset and Play House