Your child is paralyzed. She stares at the bathroom door unable to go through. She grabs the door handle with her shirt, fumbling to get it open. You’ve watched her wash her hands until they are raw. It seems like most questions that come out of her mouth are about germs. What is going on with her? This new fear of germs is taking over her life. How can you help?
Your child is doing another “quirky” behavior. It seems like it is always something. You remember the time she had to twirl as she entered a room. And then there was the time that she had to blow on her fingers. You stare as your daughter is tapping the kitchen table four times with each finger. What do these behaviors mean? Once a well-intentioned friend suggested it was child OCD. You had scoffed at the idea. She obviously didn’t know your daughter. Her room looks like a bomb hit it and don’t even get you started on her hygiene. But if it isn’t child OCD, what is it?
So many parents dismiss the possibility of childhood OCD because they don’t understand it. OCD isn’t just about germs. OCD isn’t about being neat and orderly. Sure, those are two components in some OCD themes, but what about the thousands of other themes?
Your child is refusing to get out of the car. “What’s wrong!” You ask, growing more impatient. “I don’t want to go.” Your child pouts. “But why?” You beg, glancing at the time and wondering what excuse you’ll tell your boss this time. “I just don’t want to!” She screams at you. You’ve done this dance many times before. You wonder, how are you supposed to help a child with anxiety when they won’t even talk about it?
Your child is imploding. You stand there in disbelief. What happened? You run through the last ten minutes in your head looking for the trigger, the spark that lit this fiery storm. Like a needle in a haystack, your mental search is futile. You come up empty handed – again. Meltdowns and poor behavior are becoming par for the course in your home.
You want to throw the parenting rule book at him. You want to strip him of every privilege and shut this nasty party down. But this isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve been here many times before and you know how it goes. This isn’t your ordinary, run of the mill poor behavior. These aren’t your typical meltdowns. These meltdowns are born from a build up of anxiety. A build up a stress. A build up of such strong emotion there should have been an emergency alert before it hit your home.
“Oh no,” her mom says. “There is no way she’s an introvert. She isn’t afraid to talk to people.” I think to myself, another person who doesn’t get introverts. Sometimes I feel like introverts are the most misunderstood people on this planet. Reserved kids aren’t necessarily shy kids. I know that those two words may seem synonymous, but they aren’t. Introverted or reserved kids aren’t always shy. They aren’t always afraid to interact with people. Some kids just prefer one-on-one interactions. Some kids just prefer less environmental chaos.
I get introverts. I get reserved kids. They are my people. Let me help you get them as well.
You tell your child to pick up their clothes and they crumble to the ground. “Why are you shouting at me!” They exclaim. Seriously? You just asked them to pick up their clothes. It seems like you can’t even redirect your anxious kid without them imploding. So what are you supposed to do? Not discipline? Walk on eggshells? Is that helpful or hurtful to them long-term?
It’s another school day. Which means another stomach ache. Another battle of wills. Lots of tears. Lots of threats. Eat Dinner. Go to bed. Repeat. Why is your child constantly clutching their stomach? Why are they paralyzed with fear and…heartburn. Unfortunately stomach pain and anxiety like to hang out together and I mean – often. They are best friends and they like to team up against your child.
This page is brought to you by nOCD. Download this mobile tool for free! Beyond Picky Eating: When Kids have a Fear of Food Your kid is hungry. They haven’t eaten all day. But when you put food in front of them, they just stare at it. They worry about the taste. They worry about the brand. Is this the same brand as last […]
This page is brought to you by nOCD. Download this mobile tool for free! If you are about to start child counseling -let’s talk! You thought the decision to start child counseling was hard enough, but how are you supposed to know what makes a good child therapist? You are about to partner with a stranger to help you parent. Gulp. That’s a […]
Kids are picky eaters, but some kids take picky eating to a new level. Has your child moved beyond picky and into the realm of a Selective Eating Disorder? Kids with anxiety, OCD or sensitivities will often have major issues with food. Learn the most common causes for extreme picky eating and what approaches you can take to help your child.
Nobody gives parents a handbook when they pop out a kid. Even if they did, it probably wouldn’t have a chapter on anxiety in children. That’s why so many of us with anxious kids feel like we are sailing in a very lonely boat. A boat that no one really taught us how to sail.
She’s refusing to go to school again – is it cruel to make her go? Who the heck knows!
He needs me to be with him until he falls asleep – should I do it? Someone give me a clue!
She’s so shy, I order her food for her – am I helping or hurting her anxiety?
Let’s decode this mystery together. Grab a seat and let’s have a chat…
Separation anxiety doesn’t just impact young children, many anxious children of all ages have separation anxiety. Learn how to parent children with separation anxiety and what approaches work best.
Your child is tapping, washing, counting over and over again. As a parent, you want to make it stop and make it stop right away. Watching your child be mentally tortured by OCD can be excruciating. You fast forward five years, ten years from now. What will life be like for your child? Can OCD be cured? What is the long-term prognosis for OCD in children?