by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – Fear of Bees
Editor’s note: Apologies for using the Pearls yet again. Yesterday I ran across this letter and response and was too horrified by Pearl’s advice not to share it immediately. Poor children in Pearl World are apparently not allowed nightmares or irrational fears and yes, one of the solutions Michael uses is to go for the switch. Poor poor kids! No one works themselves up to ‘get attention’ because they are afraid of something.
Would not a better solution be to comfort the child, teach the child about bees during the day and come up with some comforting ritual? My son was afraid of monsters in the dark at 3 years old and we had a spray bottle filled with water and vanilla extract that we told him was ‘Monster Spray’. We gave him to use when he was afraid a monster was nearby. It helped him gradually lose his fears about monsters in the night.
Please Help. My 3-year-old has developed a fear of bees. One day a few flew close to her head and scared her. She was so scared that night that she would not go near her bed. She seemed to be over it until a few nights ago when she started to cry and scream saying she heard and saw bees in her room. She has done this several nights straight and we made the mistake of letting her sleep on the couch and I sat beside her until she went to sleep. I believe she is really scared but at the same time she is probably working herself up some to get attention. Do we make her stay in bed and cry it out?
Thank you. R.
It is not a case of either catering to her fears on the one hand or of abandoning her to her fears on the other. First, consider the fact that she did not come by this fear naturally. She has never experienced bee stings. There have never been any bees in her room. The fear first expressed itself when several bees only flew close to her. She does not fear butterflies that fly close; why bees? Somehow on your watch she developed this inordinate fear. I would ask you two questions as a way of getting to the root. Of what have you expressed an inordinate fear? Have you warned her against insects and showed fear yourself? Fears like this are learned from adults. What television movie did she see that had attacking, stinging creatures in it? Children can’t tell the difference between a make-believe drama and the real thing. Fear of one creature can be transferred to fear of another.
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