View Full Version : When do fears begin?

08-30-2008, 11:19 AM
When do fears begin? At what age do people learn their fears? Are some fears born with people and are they stronger fears to target?

I am proposing these questions as I have a three (3) week old daughter. I have been doing haunts for well over a decade and I, like many, am only "kind of" into the clown fear. My 3 week old daughter has a swinging basket we sit her in when we clean the living room. It plays 8 songs. When the happy carnival music comes on she screams bloody murder until the music is off. Even if my wife or I pick her up. She is stressed out and anticipating danger, at three weeks of age, when she hears carnival music.

Anyone else have other such experience? Fears people seem to exhibit WAY before you would think they would even know to have a fear. Does this indicate that for her clowns and carnival music will be an illogical crazy fear throughout her life? My wife's sister has an insane fear of clowns.... but could it actually be a inherited base fear of something else... and what?

Sorry for the heavy thought right at the top of build season craziness.


08-30-2008, 03:00 PM
I want to make it clear that I'm not an expert and that I'm just taking a "stab" at this. I have no kids so I can't tell you exactly at what age children begin to experience fear, although based on things I've been told, it can happen very, very young, most likely already at your daughter's age.

As for fears being inherited, I would think that they would not be inherited through genes or DNA but are more likely passed on because children are very aware of what their parents' feelings are about things and they internalize what you are *showing* them, regardless of what you are *telling* them. What I mean is that you cannot tell your daughter yet, but when she's old enough, you can tell her that clowns are not scary. However, if you act afraid of clowns when she is with you, then she will likely be afraid of clowns because her parents are her biggest role models, regardless of whether you want to be.

As for the music scaring her now, I'm no expert, but perhaps something scared her while that music was playing and she now associates it with that. I don't know if she's old enough to make associations like that, but if not, then perhaps that particular song just hurts her ears for whatever reason, like maybe it's louder than the other songs or hits higher notes.

I just think there is no way that she knows that it's carnival music or that she has a built-in fear of clowns because her aunt does.

I'm just guessing, but that's what I think, and I also think you should ask her doctor these questions and whether that music may be hurting her ears.

Jim Warfield
08-30-2008, 05:40 PM
Some people have extra sensitive hearing.
Hearing things that 90%of the rest of us can not hear can be very irritating, yet nobody else, the 90%, realses this.
Humming sounds from a store surveilence system and sounds thought to only be within the realm of a dog's hearing range can also be in some human's range.

08-30-2008, 07:47 PM
Children can hear a lot of things that adults cannot. They make cell phones now that ring at frequencies that kids can hear but their teachers and parents cannot hear.

This may very well be as simple as something that you can't hear but your daughter can in that particular song that is annoying the heck out of her hearing.

Killer Katie
08-30-2008, 09:38 PM
I agree with the hearing posts. At 3 wks old, according to all the books and my own little "sweet pea", babies have no fears. My daughter is coming up on 1 yr old and withing the last few months has started to realize the things around her, and is developing some "fears."
I'm a beliiever in the thought that most fears are learned.
Very thought provoking!