Button Dislike/ Phobia

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    This may sound like a weird one but my ds has always disliked buttons (i know it sounds strange) on his clothes but lately ithink its turned into a phobia of buttons!!

    He wont wear shirts or anything with buttons, even if a top may have just one or two buttons (they may even be fake buttons). We have loads of clothes here with their tags stillon them because he wont even try them on. I use to think it was cute & he was just showing us his independence. He will only wear t-shirt type tops or tops with zips.

    Lately he has started telling me that he dislike my clothes or dd clothes if they have buttons. He will look at our clothes with disgust.

    I asked why he doesnt like them & he said its beacuse they are cold, i tried to convince him that they are not cold & suggested he touched one but then he got upset so i dropped the topic.

    He is only three, so maybe its just a phase.

    Im sure super nanny might say its his way of controlling something in his life but then that worries me, why does he feel the need to control something? Then im wondering did he have a bad experience with buttons but how is that possible?

    Has anyone ever had a similar thing with your kids?


    kids develop phobias, for some reason or another, perhaps he finds theya re too small and can be complicated…you could re-introduce him to buttons in a different format, like larger buttons that they can thread like in pre school, play button count and even get different colured buttons…

    it’s a strange one but some kids are fickle about some things, i remember my ds1 had a fear of the plug hole mainly coz he thought he would go in it and down the drain, hated goign for a bath now can’t get him out of it….

    slowly reassure him they are fine, adn perhaps leave him in control of a getting dressed, or playing with the buttons, even simple button sorting in ice cube tray etc you can cut off old shirts or buy in the likes of the euro shop or boyds etc….the more he gets used to touching feeling and experimenting may make him get used to the buttons…

    if he says they are cold, find other itmes that are first cold to touch but then warm up when held, like coins, paper clips, batteries etc…as he then realises that if those items warm up like buttons warm up against skin he may feel more likely to touch cold buttons realising that they will wamr up (perhaps he doesn’t like the feel of the cold on his skin)

    best of luck and let us know how things go


    MaryE would you believe me but my mum has a phobia against buttons, she HATES them!!
    It started years ago at halloween when she was a child and in them days they put all sorts of things into apple tarts and she got a button in her piece and it has freaked her out ever since. She cannot iron anything with buttons or wear anything!!


    scole, thanks for your post, im going to try that sorting buttons game to see if it helps.

    Trixie, thanks for reply but was really hoping that it was just a phase. God, i hope it doesnt last his whole life. We are going to have some trouble when he starts school & has to wear the shirt of the unifrom.

    Its funny what strange things people have phobias about, isnt it.



    There is a doll you can get in Smyths (it is yellow, red and blue and not at all girly) and on it are zips, buttons, velcro and other things that children need to learn to use that are on clothes. Maybe you could get him to try playing with that? Our son used to play with it when he was smaller to learn how to zip and button etc. and he liked it

    It is very friendly looking and the buttons are bright so it might not be scary for him?

    Our 3 year old is going through a phase at the moment of only wearing tights. She point blank refuses to wear trousers, jeans, tracksuits etc and will only wear skirts and dresses with tights.

    Its got to the stage where she wears tights under her pajamas for bed and we have to go in and take the bottoms off her when shes asleep, so she does not get too hot.

    Its weird and we have talked with her about it several times, at length and some of those discussions have not ended well – she gets so upset about it that we are leaving it for a bit and hoping she will snap out of it soon.

    Funny the way they get at times…. funny and frustrating!!


    I had this phobia when I was small..I can still remember how I felt when faced with a button ..I used to think they were evil especially the small clear coloured ones with an eye shape in the middle….even the feel of them yuk yuk yuk…

    Don’t make it in to a big deal just get clothes without buttons as my mam did.

    I grew out of it…still not keen on Coraline though..or the Pearly King and Queen 😆 😆 😆


    This thread reminded me of this and how times (thankfully) change…

    When my mum was young, 60+ yrs ago, a neighbour decided she would ensure she was not afraid of water and would be able to learn to swim.

    So she used to force her head into a clear glass bowl with buttons at the bottom and make my mum tell herthe colour of the buttons, thus proving she had her eyes open (I know, I know, barbaric).

    She is now well able to cope with buttons, and indeed zips, fasteners, velcro etc! But is PETRIFIED of water, and only since her brain tumour left her with reduced mobility, has been able to tolerate a shower, ie water on her face. Still can’t swim…

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