Terrified Tyrants | Eli Lebowitz

July 6, 2014 5:02 PM

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Terrified Tyrants | Eli Lebowitz

Teachers, neighbors, and psychologists like me are usually surprised when parents describe an anxious child in these terms. But very often, parents do. Take Jemma, for example. Her 11-year-old daughter Grace developed a fear of insects that was strong enough to be called a phobia by her doctor. Grace avoided everything to do with bugs. From going on picnics to seeing movies like Antz or A Bug's Life.

But pretty soon it wasn't only Grace who was checking for bugs -- it was the whole family. Jemma would check Grace's bed and pillow for insects before she got into bed. Grace's father Dan would shake out her shoes each morning and spend at least 10 minutes "checking" the car before Grace would get i...

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