Overcoming Fears of Bugs
Today, Hillary of Mass Audubon shares tips on befriending bugs:
If you caught my last post about dragonflies, you will know that my daughter's fear of bugs borders on insanity. Lucky for me, I work for a wildlife organization where bugs are revered. In order to tackle this fear head on -- both for my daughter's benefit and to share with those of you wrestling with the same issue -- I checked in with Tia Pinney, teacher naturalist extraordinaire at Drumlin Farm, and Bob Speare, camp director at Wildwood, Mass Audubon's overnight camp for advice. Here's what I learned.
Why are kids afraid?
According to Pinney, fear of bugs is a learned behavior, which means a child learns to be afraid either by watching a parent (ahem) react or another kid or teacher at school. There's also fear of the unknown -- they don't know what the bug is and they don't trust it.
What can you do about it?
Speare adds: "The important things to do are go slow, watch reactions carefully, and make each step a positive experience. Insects and other invertebrates are a fascinating part of our animal world. Turning fear and misunderstanding into curiosity and wonder will lead to a healthy respect for all life."
Here are a few bug books recommended by the staff at the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm to get you started:
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