I was walking home with Phoebie just now and I saw two cockroaches on the ground.
“Phoebie, look. There are two cockroaches on the ground,” I said. She stood there and looked at them. I was waiting for her to react and she said, “The cockroach is walking. The cockroach is looking for his best friend and walk together.”
While I thought that was a very cute statement, I realized she had no fear of the pests. I thought about it and knew it was because I didn’t scream or go “eeewww…”.
This also made me think about Phoebie’s response to other insects. Whenever she sees ants, her first reaction is, “Where you going, ant?”. Sometimes she will also try to catch the ant.
Her reaction to these insects make me reflect on how parents really affect the cognitive development of children.
While it is necessary to teach children about danger, some fears are actually the parents’ personal fears and children probably don’t know those fears until they see how parents respond.
It also made me think, while I fear cats, do I want Phoebie to be scared of cats too? How should I respond in front of Phoebie when I see a cat? Does a two and a half year old need to be scared of cats before she experiences cats herself?
Her reaction today makes me determined not to react based on my own fears and cause her to miss out on certain experiences.
As for the cockroaches we saw just now, of course, while I didn’t scream (I am not afraid of cockroaches unless they fly), I did tell Phoebie that cockroaches are dirty, just so she knows not to touch them like she would with ants.