Why Kids Are Afraid of Mascots?

Every child has a fantasy of meeting his favorite TV character and every parent would do their best to make their child’s dream a reality. We tend to take our kids to shows and toys stores where their favorite character is performing or even get the mascot to his birthday party. But unfortunately when our child meets the mascot, the experience is upsetting. Our kids are terrified and scared from even getting near the mascot. What happened? Why our kids are afraid from mascots?

This situation is called masklophobia, where kids are afraid from any person who wears a mask or a costume. Kids watch their favorite character on TV. They are still in a stage where they cannot differentiate reality from fiction. So, when they meet these human size mascots with funny features and big legs, they feel scared, insecure and develop signs of panic. They show anxiety symptoms every time they are present near a mascot. However this scary feeling is normal for kids. It says that it prepares them to handle fear in challenging situations of life when they grow up. Kids also can be shy and intimidated by mascots.

Usually people who wear mascots should be trained on how to act in front of kids. The mascot should slow his movements in presence of kids, be attentive on how to touch a child, never run after a child and insist on giving a hug or taking a child from his mother. Also, parents should be attentive to their kids’ reactions. Usually parents are so excited to take a photo of the mascot with their child that they completely forget to look on how their child’s reaction is. They should never leave the child with someone else, they should explain that the mascot is just a costume made from plastic and synthetic fur wore by a normal person. If possible, make their child see the zipper or inside the costume. In some cases, let the mascot remove the mask so the child can see his face. If your child develops fear from mascots you can help him by different ways as:
-  Make him wear costumes at home.
-  Read books that talk about mascots, show him videos about the characters and how do they appear in reality and media.
-  Stay next to him when a mascot appears. Watch his reaction and do not force him to get near the mascot.
-   If your child accepts, hold him and gradually get near the mascot to shake his hand.
-   Do not give up. This fear will disappear with time and your child would accept the presence of the mascot eventually.