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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ask Mummy Mayhem - These Flies!

Our first Ask Mummy Mayhem question comes from the lovely Katie of No Missed Opportunities.

Katie writes...

So I have this son. He's 6. He is an amazing child. Super friendly, polite, charismatic, funny, well behaved smart as a whip and cute as a bug. Basically the perfect kid. (Sounds like bragging I know, but all true. Pinkie promise).  
Anyway~ even though I shouldn't complain...he is afraid of just about everything. Stairs. Animals. Loud noises. Water (bath time is a trial), etc. The biggest thing though is FLIES. He is hard to get out of the house anytime except winter (no flies), and GOD FORBID there be a fly in the house. He doesn't want to be in the house but can't go outside either.
If one gets near him, he screams, cries, hollers and basically has a breakdown and the neighbors must think we are poking him with forks or something.
Flies are everywhere. What should I do?
Well, Katie. Believe it or not, my 8yr old son had this exact same problem when he was about 3. We'd try a nice little evening picnic on the lawn on a hot summer's eve, and within five minutes we were back inside because the 8yr old would start freaking out! Just one fly would buzz past his little face, and he'd run screaming for cover. 

We tried to make light of the flies. "Oh shoo you silly thing," we'd say to the fly in front of our son, then laugh to show the 8yr old it wasn't a big deal. We'd take him close up to look at a fly and say, "See? He doesn't want to hurt you, he's just a little pest, that's all."

In the end, it was persistence that paid off. I'm afraid I can't tell you it worked overnight, nor did it work over a period of 3 or 4 weeks. It took longer than that, but it was just being persistent about it, and trying not to make a huge deal out of it. I think it was at its worst for one summer, and then by the following summer, he was a little hesitant again, but was pretty good by the end of the warmer months. 

Kids are funny little things. I think some are just naturally more sensitive to their surroundings than others. With such sensitive skin, I think the feeling of the fly probably doesn't feel great to them. I think the key is to be as relaxed about it as you possibly can (even as frustrating as it is at the time)! Eventually, they'll relax about it too.

Can any readers offer any advice for Katie? Besides buying half a dozen fly swatters? I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Remember - if you have a problem you'd like to ask, just email me. See the homepage for details. 

Katie - I hope it has helped a little to know that your son isn't the only one who doesn't like flies!


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