24

They Can Smell Fear

July 15, 2019 by Tim

I’m finding a large part of parenting involves supressing or overcoming my own fears and anxieties in the hopes of not passing them on to my kids.

In my quest to have them grow up to be better people than I am, I feel like I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone more in the past five years than I probably did in all of the previous ten. In a weird, “fake it ’till you make it” way, I feel like I’m actually becoming the better-rounded person I want to be for them.


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Stefan
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Stefan

glad we don’t have any poisonous spiders here…I taught my kids they could tickle them (only once per spider..) They would love to have a tarantula in house…(so they can hold it..)

copasetical
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copasetical

I found out recently that in States like Oklahoma there are places where there are lots of tarantulas and very very few if any are poisonous

Spider
Guest
Spider

ALL spiders are venomous. (poison is something you get exposed to, venom is brought to you by nasty critters) Some spider venom is too weak (or targeted at pathways that humans don’t have) to affect us much and some spiders have fangs that a too small or weak to puncture human skin. Tarantulas are all venomous. There are species where the venom has little effect on most people and there are species that are very docile and don’t mind being handled by humans… but all of them can, and will at times, bite you. And that’s never fun, even with… Read more »

BBkat
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BBkat

Uh, all tarantulas are venomous (in fact all spiders are as well save for one family of orb weavers). It’s just that most tarantulas their venom, and bite, aren’t much worse than like a bee sting. So unless you’re allergic you should be fine should you get bit.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Actually, the REALLY best case scenario is the boy getting bitten by the spider and becoming a super hero !

Tsybal
Guest
Tsybal

Sure, give them a nice big traumatic experience (that they’ll remember you for) just before they get super powers! that’s how super villains are made!

Morkid
Guest
Morkid

Are you calling being the parent of a superhero a “best case scenario”? For real? Almost all of them are dead!

copasetical
Guest
copasetical

The parent of a Superhero by default is always a superhero 🙂

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

Worst case of that scenario you list is that the boy remembers you throwing him at the spider and swears revenge on you. He then becomes a Super Villain.

Tumbleweed
Guest
Tumbleweed

One does not go unarmed into the den of the spider. You “mag dump” the whole can of bugspray on the f***** and quickly tumble away like a “ninja”.

The Schaef
Guest
The Schaef

Or that Dark Souls guy

foducool
Guest
foducool

spiders are actually fascinating to me
on one side I can’t stand the sight of them close to me, crawling around, they’ll get the chancla any chance I get (and sometimes making an horrific crunching sound)
and on the other side, they’re population control for almost every bug so really important to keep around

WedgeR7
Guest
WedgeR7

Don’t kill spiders, they eat mosquitoes, the real bastards!

FITCamaro
Guest
FITCamaro

They do that outside my home. Not inside. Inside they die. And pretty sure I got bit by a black widow or brown recluse recently. Had a nasty bite near my hip that was swollen and black and blue for days.

MacLeod
Guest
MacLeod

This is why the big ol Unabridged Websters Dictionary is still vary valuable.

Robert Loughrey
Guest
Robert Loughrey

Ok this is pedantic but I cant resist. The Websters Dictionary could help you spell the right kind of “very.”

The Schaef
Guest
The Schaef

I think it’s accurate. The value of the dictionary goes up and down based on the situation. 🙂

Joel
Guest
Joel

But wouldn’t that still be variably valuable according to Strunk & White?

NiteZ
Guest
NiteZ

As a person with arachnophobia (varying levels of discomfort depending on how much I care that day, and variables such as size, height the spider is at, and how late it is at night – it ranges from needing a 5ft pole mop to kill it, to a 10ft staredown to make sure it doesn’t crawl into some place weird… they always do), I totally relate to this train of thought, and somehow feel as if if I did have a child this would be my exact train of thought.

WolfGod
Guest
WolfGod

You are lucky mine isn’t afraid of spiders he makes it a big spectacle gather around everyone and let us observe this strange creature on the wall that I’ve seen at least 20 times, he is only 2 and wants to play with it and it takes a lot of talking trying to make him understand why he shouldn’t do that only because we fear he will pick it up and put it on us

Bori
Guest
Bori

I think it’s also quite okay to tell your kids you’re not too happy about the spider either, but you’re gonna do what needs to be done anyway. Otherwise they might get the false idea that one needs to be a fearless hero to do brave things, and/or that they’re not able to do such things if they are afraid. Whereas it’s more like “I’m also scared, but I won’t let that stop me.” Also, kudos for facing your fears for your kids! Let them know that you don’t need to start as a superhero, you can level up, and… Read more »

dragon2knight
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dragon2knight

“Nuke the entire site from orbit–it’s the only way to be sure”

dragon2knight
Guest
dragon2knight

Spiders are our friends……or not….

Brent
Guest
Brent

Only if they’re radioactive or genetically modified. If that’s the case, bite away and thank you for the superpowers

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

All the spiders in my house are organic, non-GMO. Despite this, they do still add a line of defense between me and the countless hordes of mosquitoes and ants (literally) outweighing my own presence on this property.

Vadim
Guest
Vadim

I had hold sooo much bug and spiders on my fingers since my daughter started noticing them….

wiki
Guest
wiki

hey bud, not sure if by design or by accident but when you click to go to the previous strip it is jumping to one previously in that collection of strips vs the in chronological order as you posted them.

Deaks
Guest
Deaks

Indeed. It will take you to the previous strip listed under the “Ctrl Alt Del” category. In order to access Friday’s strip, you will need to go into the archives to search “All”, as the previous strips fall into another category.

Silthe
Guest
Silthe

Well that was weird, for a moment it was the previous button was taking me to the “Devoured” comic. Works as intended now, but I was REALLY confused there for a moment.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Seriously, just get one of those portable bug zappers that looks like a mini tennis racket.

Foxhood
Guest
Foxhood

I always go through a few of them per year. But they are very effective.

I only use it for Flies/mosquitoes though. Getting Payback with a Flyback.

marcus
Guest
marcus

HA… you have no idea tim… you should see the spiders we get here in australia. our spiders are the size of dinner plates.

Padraic
Guest
Padraic

The only spider I’m afraid of is that spider you have down there that is insanely poisonous and has jaws strong enough to bite through boot leather and through your big toenail! The moment I read about that spider, I decided I didn’t want to visit the colony of my ancestors! That is one arachnid that I cannot deal with!

Bwauder
Guest
Bwauder

My favourites are my “pet” huntsmans (about the size of a mid range tarantula but effectively harmless to humans).
They’re great for pest control as said in another post, and for entertainment on some nights you get to watch a spider and gecko fight – surprisingly noisy, at least on the part of the gecko.

FITCamaro
Guest
FITCamaro

Hence why I will not visit your land. It terrifies me.

Carl
Guest
Carl

That’s actually right in line with, “I don’t have to out-run the bear, I just have to out-run YOU” and “I don’t carry the dive knife to fight the shark, I carry it to stab my dive buddy and then swim away while the shark is busy”.

Brent
Guest
Brent

….unless the spider jumps or has ceiling-based backup. In either of those cases, you were dead the second you entered the room

Scott
Guest
Scott

My son found a spider in his pre-school class (he’s 3) and exclaimed “LOOK DADDY, A NEW FRIEND! Can you help me move him outside so he doesn’t get hurt?” I parented the shit out of that one.

Shiva
Guest
Shiva

Well, your son was and is right. Moving the spider out is a good idea. Except if they are of the very dangerous to human sort.

Padraic
Guest
Padraic

Having a fear of spiders is absolutely normal. You’re doing well teaching your child about how not to fear things. Look, most spiders you see in your house are harmless to you. They are extremely beneficial to your household. They eat ants, termites, other bugs that could make you sick. If you carefully cover them with a cup or a small container, don’t over react, they will usually crawl in peacefully. Those videos you see of the spiders jumping are usually because they’ve already agitated the spider to the point where its own “fight or flight” instincts have kicked in.… Read more »

Christian
Guest
Christian

This could have unexpected side effects. I happen to know a woman who did the same. She did not want to pass on her fear of spiders to her daugthers. So she always comforted them like “look a nice spider”, “isn’t it nice”, and so on. That worked really well, actually too well because when they became teenagers they bought a bird spider as a pet… She wasn’t too happy about that.

Robin Gouverneur
Guest
Robin Gouverneur

The only time I usually kill a spider is if I see it in the shower when I’m taking a shower. Although I still don’t like walking out my door and right into a spiderweb….

Dan
Guest
Dan

I’ve got a two year old little boy that will shriek whenever he sees a bug or spider. But it’s not the cry of “Oh, I’m scared by the creepy-crawly!” It’s more like “Tallyho!! The enemy has been spotted! Commence bombardment procedures!!” At least I figure that’s what he’s saying as he’ll start trying to swat, stomp, or otherwise rid the premises of the intruder. If he can’t reach it, he’ll throw stuff at it. When we took him to the natural history museum he tried to swat the ants in the ant farm.

Leon
Guest
Leon

You’re kidding. Look up Sydney funnel-web spider, or Brazilian wandering spider, or camel spider, then tell me that we in the states aren’t wussies.

The Schaef
Guest
The Schaef

“Fake it till you make it” is the dictionary definition of parenthood. There’s literally nothing in the world that can train or educate you for the job, and you can consult ten different sources on how to approach a problem and get seven different solutions.

So yeah, parenthood is about 80% winging it, and figuring out which of the solutions works for your particular kid. The child teaches the parent how to raise him as much as anything else. But that’s also what makes you know your kid better than anyone else could.

LuckyFalkor
Member
LuckyFalkor

that nervous grin expression is priceless.
just have the head part of the last frame as an image and i think there could be some good meme potential.

Joel
Guest
Joel

If you live in Australia, be afraid of spiders. In the US, there are only 2-3 really bad ones and they are really really unlikely to mess with you or be in your house. Get a paper and a cup and transport the little guy outside.

If he decides to eat your face, take comfort in the fact that it’ll be over fast.

Shiva
Guest
Shiva

Thumbs up to you!

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

If the objective is not to pass on phobias, wouldn’t “protecting” the boy from spiders be counterproductive? It seems to me like there’s a more ideal “positive experience” path somewhere between traumatic forced exposure and removing all barriers. I also fear spiders to varying degrees depending on their shape, size, and position relative to me (and especially my face). When I was a kid, I struggled with the thought that a spider could have fallen into the milk in my cereal and I could spoon a live one concealed in the milk directly into my mouth. I would switch spoons… Read more »

HonoredMule
Guest
HonoredMule

Disclaimer: I am not a parent nor do I claim any expertise in parenting.

Tim
Guest
Tim

They remain in their domain and I in mine, no problems. When they no longer lurk in the shadows, ceasing to be content in eating the other household pests, seeking what I must assume to be larger, more challenging prey – perhaps children or pets – then I am forced to declare that the terms of the agreement have been breached and the offender shall be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Foxhood
Guest
Foxhood

In my area there are 4 types of spiders: long-legged cellar, Fast small Wolf, Orb-weavers and Jumping. The orb-weavers i tend to be kind too (i even made a small cavity in my window for one causing there to always be at least one resident at my window that uses the cavity as shelter), the long-legged tend to unnerve me and the insanely fast wolf spiders are KILL ON SIGHT. The jumping ones however are just the most adorable little fellas i know. Their jumping nature gave them gigantic beady eyes and they show response to a lot visual stimuli.… Read more »

Erik B
Guest
Erik B

Oh dang, I had to google orbweavers because I could not picture them. They are those great big ones (relatively speaking) that scare the crap out of me. They look super intimidating to me! I’m amazed you allowed one, nay, went so far as to ENCOURAGE him to stay inside your house. I prefer those ones outside, and out of sight. I assume your long-legged cellars are just daddy long legs? I don’t worry about them, they are comical to me. EDIT: Googled these guys too. Nope nope, I am back on your side of being unnerved. Wolf spiders deserve… Read more »

MeRp
Guest
MeRp

I had to actively discourage my kid from *trying* to get bit by spiders (we have black widows around here). I don’t have a phobia of them either, though, so I guess the struggle to not pass on my fears and anxieties didn’t apply in that case.

RemoteScholar
Guest
RemoteScholar

I try to ignore spiders when I see them (I don’t have a phobia of them, but I do for wasps).
I get enough other bugs in the summer that the spiders help keep the volume of other stuff down. Like, I’ll allow a spiderweb in the corner of one room and actively herd flies/gnats into them. The spiders earn their keep.

TariOronar
Guest
TariOronar

I wish my daughter would squeal and call me to kill them… I’d take pretending not to be afraid of them over what has turned out to be real life. She catches them, puts them in boxes, shoves them in my face so I can see the “cool new spider” and then plays with them for hours before she smashes them bare handed….

Matt
Guest
Matt

as near as I can tell, that’s what all of parenting is… faking it till you make it. No matter how prepared you thought you were, that seems to be a universal truth.

Volguus
Guest
Volguus

It’s not the big ones you gotta worry about. It’s the small ones! If a small one bites you, don’t be silent about it. Also if it has a black guitar shape on its back SMASH THAT SUCKER! Recluses will eat the skin off your arm with their venom.

Paddy
Guest
Paddy

If and when we ever have kids, my struggle will be inculcating good habits visavis tidiness and organisation, which I can be a bit lacking in myself.

My wife may have challenges visavis not passing on phobias, however. Not only of spiders, but also of dogs, heights, cars, snails, etc.

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

Note, we didn’t see how he got rid of the Spider. I bet Tim had his wife do it and lied to his son and said he did. XD

Johny Skovdal
Guest
Johny Skovdal

Ha ha, nice timing with lunar bamboon comic: https://www.webtoons.com/en/slice-of-life/lunarbaboon/ep-553-spiders/viewer?title_no=523&episode_no=554

I wish I could be as cool about it, but yeah freaking out internally is often most the starting point for me too.

FITCamaro
Guest
FITCamaro

I remember in college there was a spider on me in class. I shrieked (like a man of course >.> ), and it went onto the floor. Then two girls screamed in terror. Then after I crushed it, they were like “awww….don’t kill it”. Two seconds ago they were terrified, then they wanted me to be Steve Irwin apparently. -.-

Urazz
Guest
Urazz

Lol, we all know a manly scream of terror sounds more womanly than a woman’s scream of terror. 😛

Alex
Guest
Alex

I hate spiders.

TimeViewer
Guest
TimeViewer

About 10 years in the future when your kid reads all his dad’s old comics and comes to you and asks “so dad, about this “tossing me to the spider” bit…”

(btw on a personal note I never kill spiders, they eat the bugs that either eat my food or eat me (skeeters), also their webs use to be used to help heal wounds (the original gauze))

Garry
Guest
Garry

You’re so right. It’s weird the way you can put on the “I’m the dad” disguise and power through things that would have been impossible before.

Mael
Guest
Mael

As described very nicely here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFYPtcldJBs , spiders *do not want* to bite us… they don’t even want to go near us. Most so called “spider bites” are actually not from spiders. As stated in the video, only about 4% of the assumed “spider bites” are indeed real spider bites.

Here is another video about the *incorrect* “fact”, that people eat spiders while sleeping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs15IRYLsYE