These are the top phobias we pass on to our children

Whether you have a major phobia or not, it’s inherently human to be scared of something.

Whether you have a major phobia or not, it’s inherently human to be scared of something.

Lots of parents may try to hide any fears they have from their children, but kids are notoriously perceptive and pick up on the most discreet cues and behaviours.

When speaking to more than 4,000 British parents, discovered that the majority - 89 per cent - worry about their children developing the same fears as them, with nearly half - 46 per cent - answering that their child already has the same phobia as them.

Parents were also asked how they thought their child developed these fears.The majority - 84 per cent - said it was picked up from them or other family members, a fifth - 20 per cent - stated it’s a result of what they see in the media, such as TV and the internet and a following one in 10 specified it’s due to a past incident.

Delving into the research further, it was found that a third - 34 per cent - of parents worry their child’s current phobias will negatively impact 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.

If you or your child is struggling with a phobia you can find out more about treating the issue on the NHS website.

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 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.”

The top phobias we pass on to our children.

1 Arachnophobia – fear of spiders

2 Social Phobia – fear of social situations

3 Acrophobia – fear of heights

4 Cynophobia – fear of dogs

5 Aerophobia – fear of flying

6 Dentophobia – fear of dentists

7 Enochlophobia – fear of large crowds

8 Ophidiophobia – fear of snakes

9 Atychiphobia – fear of failure

10 Aquaphobia – fear of water

11 Nosocomephobia – fear of hospitals

12 Claustrophobia – fear of small spaces

13 Glossophobia – fear of public speaking

14 Coulrophobia – fear of clowns