Toddler has an irrational fear of bugs
My 3 year old recently developed an extremely strong fear of bugs. We aren’t sure what caused it, and are at a loss for how to comfort him. I first noticed it a couple weeks ago when he kind of grabbed and hid behind my leg when he saw a butterfly in the yard. I explained butterflies are nice bugs and we watched it for a bit and he seemed fine. But then this past weekend we were at a friends house. She had a number of flowery bushes next to the sidewalk and he heard buzzing, but didn’t really react until he saw bugs flying all around him. I do not think he got stung (no marks) but I think so many flying around him at once really scared him - he screamed and lunges at me to pick him up. Yesterday we had a fly in the house and he was crying inconsolably while my husband tried to swat it. After that he wouldn’t leave either of our sides and kept saying ‘no bug’. This morning he saw some dust floating in the sunlight and started crying ‘bugs!’ And wouldn’t let me put him down. We are at a loss. We’ve explained about ‘nice bugs’ and ‘good bugs’. Bugs won’t hurt you. Bugs live outside. We watch the butterflies out the window. But he could be playing fine and as soon as he thinks he sees a bug near him, it’s over. I hate seeing him so scared and not knowing how to help. Any tips?