Girl scared

Most common phobias parents pass onto children revealed

Laura Bond
Authored by Laura Bond
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 14:23

The UK’s largest online platform for childcare providers, parents, schools and tutors has revealed the most common phobias passed on from parents to children.

The survey of more than 4,000 parents and guardians by discovered that Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, and Social Phobia, a fear of social situations, are the most common phobias parents share with their children.

Findings from the survey show that nine in ten (89%) parents worry about their children developing the same fears as them, with nearly half of parents (46%) stating that their child has already adopted the same phobia. 

The top ten phobias parents share with their children are:

1.        Arachnophobia (A fear of spiders)

2.        Social Phobia (A fear of social situations)

3.        Acrophobia (A fear of heights)       

4.        Cynophobia (A fear of Dogs)

5.        Aerophobia (A fear of flying)

6.        Dentophobia (A fear of Dentists)

7.        Enochlophobia (A fear of large crowds)

8.        Ophidiophobia (A fear of snakes)

9.        Atychiphobia (A fear of failure)

10.    Aquaphobia (A fear of water)

The full survey results can be found here:

Delving into the research, asked how they think their child developed these fears,the majority (84%) said it was picked up from them or other family members, a fifth (20%) stated it’s a result of what they see in the media, such as TV and the internet and a following one in ten (11%) specified it's due to a past incident. 

In addition, a third (34%) of parents worry that their child’s current phobias will negatively affect them in the future. 

Research shows that a phobia can be learned due to the transmission of anxiety from a person in an individual’s childhood and early life, whether that’s a parent, guardian or sibling. Although it’s not been proven that phobias can be passed on genetically, there is evidence that shows children can be born with a tendency to be more anxious than others.* is a platform which allows parents to search for and connect with babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries, private tutors and schools and also allows childcare providers to advertise their services. The site has more than 2 million users nationwide and is the largest online community for parents in the UK having launched in 2009.

Richard Conway, founder of, said,

“As humans we are all scared of something, and as a parent whether you try to hide it or not, your children will likely be aware of your fears. When raising a child you are essentially teaching them the ropes of life, but what do we unintentionally pass on to them? We wanted to find out just that, and discover how common it is for parents to share the same phobia with their children, essentially passing it on.

“It was no surprise to see just how many parents worry about the impact their own anxieties have on their kids, however it was shocking to discover just how many parents believe they have passed on a fear. Whether it’s being a little scared or having a fully developed phobia, the fears most commonly passed on are ones most of us can relate to in some form. We hope the findings show parents that they are not alone in their worries.”

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