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 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.
A child with OCD sits in my office. I ask if she is ready. She gives me a nervous nod. I place a Clorox wipe in her hand. She begins to breath heavily. Her OCD convinces her she is holding a death wipe. She imagines her hands spreading the contamination throughout her body, the poison flooding her veins.
I am not having a torture session, I am treating a child with OCD.
OCD is like a game of chicken. A game I am determined to help her win. We are calling OCD’s bluff, refusing to blink.
Your child is begging you for reassurance. This is the tenth time in less than fifteen minutes. Do you give it to them again? And again? When does it end? Are you helping them when you get sucked into their OCD compulsions? No one ever tells you how to parent children with OCD!
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.
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?
Many children with anxiety have issues that lead to a toilet phobia. This is not just a toddler issue! Learn the common issues and how to help!
Your child is doing it again. They are walking in a weird pattern. They are paralyzed in front of the sink. They are asking the same question over and over again, and you can’t make them stop. You’ve poured over all the typical parenting books, but this chapter is definitely missing. What are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to help your child get unstuck? It is painful to watch any child with OCD, but when it’s your own, it’s excruciating.
I know you are watching me. I can see your worried face out of the corner of my eye. It is the same face that greets me in the morning as I count my steps to breakfast and it is the same face that kisses me good night as I stand in front of the sink, unable to feel clean. I know parenting a kid with OCD is not easy.
Your child is doing it again. That weird quirk. You cringe every time you see it. You tell her to stop. She tries, but there it is again. You tell yourself, it will pass. They all do. It’s always something different. Today it is some weird eye blinking and maybe next month she’ll blow into her hands. You’ve stopped keeping track of how many “strange habits” she has had or how long they last. But what if they aren’t “strange habits?”
What if they aren’t tics?
In this episode I talk about the 4 things parents often get wrong about childhood OCD. I talk about child OCD myths and misperceptions.
This page is brought to you by nOCD. Download this mobile tool for free! The most misunderstood issue in my therapy practice is childhood OCD. I have lost count of how many parents I have talked to who completely misinterpret their children’s OCD behaviors. These are caring, well intentioned parents. Parents who have been bombarded with media images of stereotypical, one dimensional characters who […]
This page is brought to you by nOCD. Download this mobile tool for free! Take this 4 minute video lesson and learn 5 tips on how to parent a child with OCD. Click here to get started. Follow Anxious Toddlers’s board Childhood anxiety on Pinterest. *** Additional Support A teen support book on anxiety that your kid will actually read: If […]