I had some pretty substantial (and ridiculous) fears growing up. Fears that crippled me more than I think I let on. I remember literally being scared for my life at times. Thankfully, as I've gotten older, I have gotten more of a handle on those fears. Learning to give them to God and keep perspective. One thing I never wanted to do was pass on my fears to my children. I wanted them to live carefree, fearless lives. 

The problem is, we live in a broken world. And unfortunately Connor has developed fears of his own. Some healthy (scared of being hit by cars), some sad and crippling. Connor has become so afraid of dogs barking that it controls our lives. He goes into hysterics if dogs barks. He wants away from it. He slams all the doors in the house and will stand in the dining room crying. Sad. Heart breaking. And I never realized how often dogs bark in our neighborhood until this happened...actually, that is a bit of a lie. I can remember laying in bed at 2am unable to sleep due to the neighbor's dog barking. All our neighbors have dogs and one in particular just leaves the dog outside 24/7 to fend for itself and that dog is a major barker. But back to Connor...

One day we were in his room playing and he starts talking about the neighbor's dogs. He said the dog came in his room and bit him and ate him. It was right then and there that I realized just how real this fear is to Connor. He has asked me to put up baby gates in our house to protect him from the dogs and even climbed a ladder to get away from them. Mind you, all this happened without any dogs in our house. It was just from the dogs barking outside. 

The weird thing is, Connor likes dogs. He isn't afraid of them at all. He will play with them and loves it when they lick him. But he hates their barking. Most days, when we are home, I have found that this fear controls our lives. Besides talking and praying about it, I have been looking for realistic ways to help. In a desperate state the other day, I grabbed a pair of headphones and plugged them into the tv to calm Connor down. Normally I am not a fan of the tv, but it certainly helped. 

This fear of Connor's breaks my heart and often times cripples our home. I pray that it is a phase he is not in long. And if anyone has any suggestions, I am definitely open to try things to help him overcome this. 


  1. Oh man...this would be so hard! I'm curious what the solution is if you come across anything useful.

  2. I was going to suggest to have him watch other children play with dogs, but you say he is not afraid to play with dogs... Maybe you can introduce him to your neighbor's dogs so he can meet them? Not sure if they are vicious or not...

  3. Oh no! Poor Connor! I'm so sorry to hear this... How long has he been afraid of dogs barking? I have heard of people overcoming these types of fears but I know it's always one of those slow, one-step-at-a-time processes that are the worst things to have to be patient with. What about if you tried to make the dog barking into a nice thing? Like, when the dog barked, you did a silly wiggle or you both stuck out your tongues or pretended you could translate what the dogs said? I'm just trying to think of ways for it to be a positive association. Or maybe you could show him what you do when you're scared (though you've probably already done that)... When we were afraid of monsters under the bed, my mom told us that she paid them to be there (it made us realize we were being silly). Not that that is as applicable in this case though... Let us know what ends up working and I'll keep Connor in my prayers!

  4. I don't have the slightest idea to suggest, but friend that is so hard! Praying this phase of fear passes quickly. Not just the fear of the barking, but the stage of fear in general!!

  5. Poor Connor! My heart feels heavy for his fears. I was a worrywart of a kid - like you, I often let fear cripple my life. For many years, I relied on my parents to help me control my fears, even wanting them to sleep in the same room as me as old as 10 years old. When I became a Christian at age 12, many of my fears were decreased, but part of being a worrywart is just maturity. I pray Connor will grow out of his fears, as I did.


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