Every child wishes to meet his or her favorite character, and every parent would do extreme things to make that wish come true. We frequently take our children to events and toy stores where their favorite figure appears, or we even request the mascot to appear in their birthday celebration. Sadly, the interaction between our child and the mascot can be sometime distressing. Our children can be petrified of even approaching the mascot. What went wrong? Why our children are terrified of mascots?
Masklophobia is a fear of someone wearing a mask or costume. Typically, children watch their favorite characters on television and are unable to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction around this age. As a result, they feel worried, nervous, and scared when they come across these human-sized mascots with funny features and long legs. Mascots can make children feel insecure and fearful. Despite the fact that this terrifying feeling is common in children, others argue that these experiences might help children cope with anxiety in challenging life situations as they grow older.
People who disguise in mascots are usually taught how to act in front of children. They should slow down their movements, be aware of how to touch a child, never run after a child or insist on hugging or taking a child from their mother. Also, parents should pay attention to their children's emotions. Usually, parents are so excited to take a photograph of their child with the mascot that they fail to see the child's reaction. They should never leave the child alone with the mascot, and they should explain that it’s just a costume made out of fabric and synthetic fur that is worn by a regular person. Let the child see the zipper or the inside part of the outfit if ever possible. Ask the mascot to remove his mask in some instances so the child can see the face.
If your child is afraid of mascots, you can help him in a variety of ways such as:
Have your child wear costumes at home
Read books about mascots, and try to showcase videos of different characters in real life and on TV.
Stay close to your child whenever a mascot approaches. Keep an eye on your child's reaction and don't force the child to approach the mascot.
If your child agrees to approach the mascot, carry your child and approach slowly but with confidence since your child can sense your anxiety
Do not quit. This anxiety will fade with time, and your child will finally accept the mascot's presence.