When Your Son is Afraid of Everything

Okay, I exaggerate a bit in the title of this post.

He isn’t afraid of everything, as evidenced by his complete lack of fear when on a scooter, zipping down my neighbor’s hilly driveway. And, he isn’t afraid to defy me when I am standing right in front of him…

But, the list of what frightens him is pretty specific:

the table fan in the bedroom, especially if it (hold me) oscillates

the angry king in
Katamari Damacy’s Playstation2 game

people in costume, including the cuddly ones at Disney World:

“Get your paws off my sister, you beast!”


“I’ll just watch the parade from back here, behind these towels”
“Do you think they can see me? Can they?!?!”

pictures of ghosts (even if I draw them)

these scary beasts:


his hero Lightning McQueen because this car made a “Vroom, Vroom” noise

Note the absence of D from the photo

There are many more things that frighten him, and they can pop up without warning.

Fortunately, there are many, many things that delight him, so I think I’ll live through this phase without too much eye rolling and even a touch of empathy.


  1. Dood. The King of all Cosmos frightens us all. Check out the picture. The guy gives me the jibblies too!

  2. If I were FOF I’d be afraid of losing oxygen where D has that death grip on his neck!

    We have role reversal – son loves anything and daughter is afraid of everything!

    Hope to catch up this weekend?

  3. Ahh hahahah! The “mine. mine” seagulls scare him? Oh, funny stuff. I still remember Jilly hiding at the Six Flags show when Tweety came at her. Phe hates characters, too, so no idea where it comes from.

    And you forgot to mention the dreaded Mall Santa. You’ve got years of photos to prove that…

  4. Dawn on MDI says

    Remember Sigmund and the Sea Monster on Saturday mornings? Witchie-poo sent me screaming into the kitchen to hide behind my grandmother. I couldn’t even go in the room to change the channel until the TV was safely on a commercial. But then, I liked to watch the commercials, so that was an issue.

    Oh, and those Sleestack things in Land of the Lost? Hated those really bad.

  5. I agree. He’s just exceptionally smart and pragmatic. Seagulls freak me out, too.

  6. Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children says

    All least he’s not afraid of motorcycles. Those are SO SAFE!


  7. Subspace Beacon says

    I would actively encourage a fear of motorcycles. But then: I have my own fear-related issues.

  8. I thought for sure he’d love the cars guys!

  9. What a cutie he is! Great motorcycle!

  10. Don’t push him to confront his fears. I still have fear issues and do not appreciate people making fun of my fears. I do not make fun of others fears’.

    Talk to him about it, and let him know you have your own fears. He may think you fears are silly, but remind him that some people might think his are silly.

    I am 46 and still cringe at the thought of roaches. My sister once joked with me as a young adult and I cried then. Fears are something to be worked through not made fun of.

    My daughter is petrified of frogs, because of an experience once, so we avoid them at all costs. This past summer someone threw a frog at her knowing of her fear, my opinion of that person is about the level of pond scum.

    Your son may outgrow his fears, then again he may not. Be supportive and do not make a big fuss about it. And let him know that everyone has fears, young and old alike!

  11. Well M is going to grow up and ask why we never took her to see Santa, the Easter Bunny, or any characters on vacation. She even refused a photo op with her granpa!

    I hope that she’ll out grow it….

  12. Fairly Odd Mother says

    Red—great advice. He is actually very much like his older sister, my middle child, who is also petrified of people in costumes. Instead of making them stand in lines to meet characters (my oldest’s favorite thing to do), we split up so that we could spare the younger two the trauma. We also try to carry earplugs when we’re going somewhere noisy and try to get outta dodge when he starts to freak out.

    We decided he’d love Nascar, but unfortunately, the noise would scare him to death. I don’t think they make earplugs big enough for that!

  13. Gray Matter says

    You know the thing to remember about people in costumes is that they’re more afraid of you than you are of them…

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