10 Things Kids Should Like That Actually Send Them Screaming

LOL 14

When you're the parent of a toddler or little kid, you never can tell what they'll run toward and what will send them running for the hills. One day they're begging you to buy up all the balloons in aisle six of the supermarket; the next they're screaming bloody murder at every children's birthday party they attend. Their fears come and go as quickly as any other phase they go through -- still, you have to wonder what runs through their little minds. How can you love ice cream and hate the Ice Cream Man? And just why do they have obscenely strong opinions about male facial hair at age 2?

Here are 10 things kids should either like, or at the very least feel neutral about, that can actually fill them with terror. 

  1. The Ice Cream Man -- Is it the grating music that irritates them? The fact that he comes unexpectedly -- at least in my neighborhood -- and could pop up on the block anytime between 6 and 10 p.m.? Or is it simply that he doesn't follow the rules of logic, as set by the main man in my daughter's life -- daddy -- who thinks ice cream is the devil's manna? Whatever it is, my toddler is deathly afraid of the Ice Cream Man, but will happily accept free ice cream from any other stranger on the street. 
  2. Clowns -- Holy crap, do I not blame any child afraid of these psychotic symbols of mania. Their exaggerated features and wild expressions usually make them the least liked characters in the circus -- yet Barnum & Bailey insist on keeping them around.
  3. The toilet and shower drain -- Many toddlers, mine included, go through a period where they refuse to sit in the bath. Totally annoying because you have to think about how you're going to wash their hair while keeping them from slipping and landing on their heads. But if you put yourself in their shoes and understand they think they're about to be swallowed alive by a drain the size of their fist, it makes a tad bit more sense. Ditto for the toilet bowl -- which they really could (mine has) fall through. Try not to laugh when this happens.
  4. Newspapers -- Some parents have told me their young children make it impossible for them to keep newspapers in the house. They can't tolerate the crinkly sound and smell. You didn't really need to know what was going on in the world, did you? 
  5. Dolls -- At some point in my childhood, I remember one of my grandmother's antique dolls, one with curly red hair and a vicious Clara Bow mouth, sent chills up my spine. Turns out there's actually something called Pediophobia, which is when kids can't separate their dolls from humans and associate them with scary things. 
  6. Balloons -- They're colorful and fun until they pop. Then they transform into awful little novelty items that are so unpredictable, they could turn on you without warning.
  7. Every single character from Alice in Wonderland -- Depending on the version of Alice in Wonderland your child reads or watches, he or she is witnessing a sweet, innocent girl deal with a druggie caterpillar, creepy Cheshire Cat who messes with her head by disappearing and leaving his teeth behind, and the needlessly nasty Queens of Hearts. I love the book, but think I'll wait a few years before letting my daughter explore Lewis Carroll's world.
  8. Many characters/scenes from their "innocent" children's books -- My daughter has become interested in princesses so we read Snow White together for the first time the other night. Everything was going great until she became fixated on the page where Snow White is lying in a freaking coffin. Yep, worst mom ever. 
  9. People wearing glasses -- I get that children don't like masks or anything that appears to be covering our true faces, but haven't eyeglasses become so ubiquitous that they no longer count as different? Why can't kids get on board with this already? 
  10. Men with beards -- Again, a common sight that shouldn't even get a rise out of a toddler or young child. The funny thing about this fear is that it can evolve. At first full beards may be the problem, then just goatees, and then back to full beards with the addition of the mustache. Thanks for making trips on the elevator easy, kid.

What are the oddest fears your child has ever had?  


Image via cytoon/Flickr

children's books, confessions, learning, potty training, toddler development

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Katha... Katharine205

My daughter is afraid of chuck e cheese (the adult in the costume one), she's now 5 and has been terrified of him her whole life.  She's afraid of him enough that when we go there and he comes out to do his dance thing she hides under the table.  Still wants to go there all the time though.  It's not just chuck e cheese either, it's all mascots and apparently there's one that visits her school every now and again...poor kid.

Bruic... Bruickson

Windshield wipers. The first time it rained after we had turned her car seat to face forward she freaked! My little baby who would play in a dark room all by herself was terrified of the windshield wipers. She just turned 4 and luckily she has grown out of it. The only thing that creeps her out now is a toy phone that rings randomly on its own and a baby doll that laughs manically. I don't blame her though, they freak me out too!

Rooobeee Rooobeee

When my oldest daughter was 2, her grandmother bought her a baby doll. She loved it until she laid the doll down on the bed. The doll had eyes that closed and that freaked my daughter out. She wouldn't have anything to do with it after that. The doll had to sit upright from them on. I don't remember what happened to it, but it was an expensive doll and I felt bad for my MIL for spending that much money. My daughter is now 15, and to this day, she sticks to stuffed animals with eyes that don't close.

Crystal Estelle Listerman

I'm still afraid of men with beards. It's called Pogonophobia. My life's been miserable since my hubby grew a beard a few years ago.

Katriena Young

# 6 was the thing that got me going as a kid. It wasn't just the balloon popping that had me freaked out it was when the string would break or if I would accdently let it go on hellum balloons. I was so freaked out by them that one time I ran screaming from a nice car sales man who wanted to give me one when my parents went to look for a new car. I had no problems with ones not blown up.
To this day I still don't like balloons. I have no problem with the cheap ones like you get for a party but the huge ones that are in different shapes and characters I want nothing to do with.

Todd Vrancic

Oldest daughter afraid of clowns, could watch "Hellraiser" at age 4 without problems.  (We were both sick, my wife put cartoons on for her and we lay down for a nap, went to check on her half an hour later, she's laughing at the character with all the pins on his face.  Apparently, we left the remote within her reach.  Oops.)  Middle daughter afraid of doctors and hospitals, but covers very well, she has severe asthma and that's an understandable fear.  Youngest son afraid of bugs, grew out of that but you wouldn't think a boy would be afraid of bugs.

nonmember avatar Me

My kids had none of these. They all have been deathly afraid of Santa though. And dogs. And I dont mean bigger than they are huge st bernards, any little yapping thing would sent them running. And chickens lmao. We went to a petting zoo where they had free chickens. That was fun. They were screamin everytime one came within 20 feet of them

nonmember avatar SelenasMom

My 3 yr old daughter is afraid of Band-Aids. Seriously?!? When I was her age I wanted them just to wear. No boo boo nessesary

Green... Greenmomma1018

My daughter is terrified of the dark, and here is why-The trees outside of her window are going to come in and get her. The lions are going to climb through her window and get her. She also does not like rain for the simple fact of ,according to her, it makes her "fart". My daughter is almost three and she cracks me up!

nonmember avatar deb

I am still not okay with balloons. I won't attend a birthday party with them. They are like that terrifying jack in the box toy that would spring out at you. I've always had problems with loud noises. I used to cry at fireworks. When I was in 6th grade, our teacher did an experiment involving popping a balloon and I cried so hard I had to leave the room. I couldn't (still can't) stand the dark, Alice in Wonderland, clowns, the sleeping beauty queen, or the bathtub drain. I once babysat a 2-year-old and took her to the aquarium where she had a panic attack at the sight of a diver feeding the fish. He even played peek-a-boo with her. I didn't and don't like the inside of fish tank filters because of Finding Nemo. This poses a slight problem because I now have 2 large fish tanks in my room with 2 filters each.

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