So, how do you stop freaking out every time you see an eight-legged mini-beast?
Well you’re reading this, so that’s a really positive start, because it means you’re more than a little bit interested in wanting to love spiders.
OK, so maybe not love ... one thing at a time.
Let’s start with: not screaming, jumping on the sofa, throwing your favourite polar bear slippers at it, missing, then having to leave the room forever, right in the middle of Dr Who.
How about that?
You’re a clever sort, so you already know the following, either:
a) You live in the UK and there are NO dangerous native spiders.
b) You live outside the UK and already know which of your native spiders, if any, are dangerous.
Here are some steps you can take to conquer your fear of spiders:
Start where you feel comfortable. You’ve done a brilliant thing already to get this far, but take it slooooooooooowly.
1. Do not ever search on the internet for:
“Arachnophobia help” or
“I am scared of spiders”
Trust me. There are things on there that once you’ve seen, you can never un-see.
Stop whenever it gets too much, or if it starts to make you feel nervous. Take your time, spiders have been around for 300 million years – they can wait for you.
2. Find a safe space at home, in a library or wherever you feel positive and happy,
and look at some pictures of cartoon spiders.
Touch the pictures. It’s OK
Read the books, even if you’re waaaay too old for picture books (yes, adults, this means you too!)
Keep doing this for a while until you’re happy looking at the cartoon spiders. You could also download the colouring sheets from my resources page.
Make your coloured-in spiders bright, fancy, daring. Give them shiny crowns or sparkly shoes, superhero capes and decadent webs. Perhaps you could write a story with a spider character or draw a comic with an eight-legged adventurer!
Share your stories using the contact page, on Twitter @emmydee73 or on my Facebook page: emmareadauthor. Look out for my next post on how to get brave enough to look at real spiders. And in the meantime, here’s to all you
by Emma Read, author of Milton the Mighty and Milton the Megastar