Does my child have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) - more information

@kiran1978 (4138)
Australia
July 21, 2008 6:50pm CST
I feel from the last discussion that I started on this topic that some of you may have the wrong impression of me, or thinking that my child is a brat and that I am this mum that is being controlled by my 3 year old. SO I wanted to clarify a few things. I have 3 children 12 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old baby. So my three year old has not been an only child for 3 years. I am also a primary school teacher, so I have experience with children. I have tried many strategies and methods with my three year old, here are some of the strategies I have tried: - time out in room - praise - positive reinforcement - tick chart for good behaviour - taking things away from her - for misbehaviour However nothing has worked. I understand that of course she is too young to be diagnosed with OCD. However a couple of people who responded here who now have OCD as an adult did say that they were like this as a child. So I don't want to simply just think this is normal 3 year old behaviour or she is just a "brat", I would not like it if she did have something and for it to be missed. I guess I just needed to let some of you here have more information as I feel you think that I am spoiling my child, which is not the case at all. I am concerned with her perfectionist behaviour and I mainly wanted to know if anyone had similar experienes and advice. Thank you to everyone who responded and gave me wonderful advice.
7 responses
@dpk262006 (55919)
• Delhi, India
22 Jul 08
Kiran, I do am not aware and rather did not notice who termed your 3 years old daughter as 'brat' or said something like it. I told you earlier, it is a normal behaviour of a child, may be slightly odd, she might be desparate to seek your attention towards her, that is why she might be behaving in an odd manner sometimes. I hope advice given by others will solve your problem and if you still feel that her odd behaviour is persisting despite your best efforts, there is no harm consulting a child specialist. Please be cool and calm. It is not an issue, which cannot be resolved.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
Hi Dpk, there were a couple of people that termed my three year old as a "brat" which I did not really appreciate. They also seemed to think that I just spoil my child and that is why she is the way she is, so I wanted them to have further information to know that I have tried several behaviour management strategies. Don't worry my friend I am still cool and calm, just got a bit annoyed by some of the responses. I am sure this can be resolved too. Thanks again for your response, have a great day.
@dpk262006 (55919)
• Delhi, India
22 Jul 08
I can understand what you have said. The problem is some people do not view a problem with an objective point of view. They should view a problem, assuming that they are in other's shoes.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
23 Jul 08
Yes i agree with you.
1 person likes this
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
22 Jul 08
My middle one has similar tendencies. She will throw screaming fits, if her socks aren't aligned right and her sandals aren't strapped on just the right way. Same for her seatbelt. She used to do this with other things, including food choices and clothes. And it started early. For some kids it's just a way to control their environment. They need a certain order of things to feel safe. Although this does have markings of OCD as in obsessing about something until it is exactly right and not feeling happy/safe otherwise, it is a stage many kids go through. Some more than others. Your problem is a combination of her obsessing about things a lot and you not really putting your foot down. One thing is consistency. Although you may have punished her for fits, you eventually relented, let her change six times a day, endlessly choose her clothes, and make another meal if she rejects the first. I guess it's frustration that led to this, but that's also why people think you spoiled her. Have you ever just ignored her fits? Just let it run its course until she is too exhausted to cry and scream about not getting her way? There is no other outfit for the day, no other meal prepared until the next mealtime comes around. Yes, it's hard, and it needs to be done repeatedly. Just simply don't give in. It takes a lot of strength. But while you ignore her fits, if she doesn't throw one, make sure she feels safe in her environment, reassured, unconditionally loved. Make special time for her. The baby may very well be what brought this on. The timing is indicates that. What would have been normal three year old obsession is now turned up to full blast. Yes, she does have an older sister, but she was the little one, the one who got spoiled by everybody. I know, my siblings are a decade older than me. They were in school most of the day, had homework to do, and being so much older and mature, they gave in more easily during playtime, rather handing the toy to me than risking a fit, lol. I'm sure your little one loves the baby, but also needs to deal with the adjustment of not being the center of attention anymore. And some kids have stronger reactions to such a change than others. Although you may not realize it, a newborn's care does take a lot of time away that you previously probably spent with her. Maybe part of your problem is even that you want to make up the missed time unconsciously and therefore weren't strict enough with her when these 'fits' started. If she changes clothes, she gets your attention. If she rejects food and you make a new meal for her, she gets your attention. It's negative attention, because you are frustrated, but it's nevertheless attention. Time you spend with her. Other kids act up and get destructive, whiny, or something else. Sharing mommy's attention needs to be learned. And that mommy loves all her kids the same. Your little one is not a 'brat', it's just a normal reaction that needs to be curbed and needs to be curbed now. She may eventually take it out on the baby. You got lucky that you didn't get such an extreme reaction out of your oldest when your now 3 year old was born. But if you think long and hard there may have been some long faces and/or extreme clingyness and that child's part. It's normal, part of sibling rivalry and finding your place in the family unit. Also knowing that one is still loved. I recommend you put your foot down, let fits run their course, and just don't give in anymore, just one set of clothes a day, one meal per mealtime, put the socks on properly, but quickly or we'll be gone...etc. Take it or leave it. It's hard, I understand, especially with a newborn. You are already emotional due to the hormonal change, and even worse tired and exhausted. Now, if after all of this you still feel she may show some signs of OCD, by all means please take her to be evaluated. Personally, I don't think she has OCD from what you described, but you know your child best and know best what else she does. It's better to be on the safe side and have a professional evaluate her. If indeed she has OCD, then it's important that the treatment starts now. The earlier, the better, the less severe hopefully her OCD will be. You don't want to have a "MONK" on your hand, if it indeed turns out that OCD is her problem.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
Hi, yes you are right I have given in to her screaming fits as times, especially when the baby is asleep. This is probably why she does it even more. You are also probably spot on with her being used to getting the centre of attention when she was the youngest. Suprisingly she is very loving towards the baby and very helpful, but I notice she is more jealous of my eldest daughter. I think like you said it is about consistency. Not sure what you meant exactly about you don't want to have a "Monk" on your hand.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I take it you don't know the TV series "Monk" with the detective who has OCD? It's ruling his life.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
23 Jul 08
Oh, nah have not seen that tv show.
@bea_29 (321)
• Philippines
22 Jul 08
hi there!! i believe its not an OCD. toddlerhood is the years of tantrums and negativitism. they always say no.. it is also the age wherein they are trying to practice their independence. just continue with your positive reinforcement with her behavior. another reason is that she is seeking attention she was used to. remember you have a new baby in the house.jealousy is a big factor for this behavior. before the arrival of the new baby you should explain it well to your toddler. always show to your child that she is important as well as her siblings. if she made demands give her a choice for her to practice her freedom..
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
23 Jul 08
Hi bea, thanks for your advice. You could be right about it being a jealousy thing. I do try and give her lots of attention too. I will continue with positive reinforcement, hopefully in time this stage will pass.
@bea_29 (321)
• Philippines
23 Jul 08
of course this stage will pass. as she go to preschool age her attention will be diverted to the classmates and not mainly on you..
@gemini_rose (16194)
22 Jul 08
Sometimes kiran I think that people totally get hold of the wrong end of the stick, I notice that in discussions about childs behaviour or children in general it becomes more so. I think that sometimes it can be rocky ground doing a discussion involving our children. People just totally misinterpret things we say or they read it and totally get it wrong. I do not know you very well yet, but I have to say that from what I have seen I believe you to be a good Mum who adores her family and is just concerned over one of her babies. I am sure that she is not spoilt, and hopefully it is just a stage she is going through, maybe it could be down to the new arrival as I know my second child totally turned against me after I had my third child and would have nothing to do with me at all for a long time. He also misbehaved terribly for a while.
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
23 Jul 08
Hello, yes I agree with you. I think i will be more careful in future discussions when writing about my children as people can be very judgemental and totally misinterpret what I am saying. I do adore my family and they mean the world to me, there is nothing I would not do for them. You are right, I was just worried about my child and wanted to know what other people thought. But instead I got peoples opinions on what they think I am doing wrong. Thanks for your support and saying that you think I am a good mum, you are very sweet.
@littleowl (7157)
22 Jul 08
Hi Kiran I for one have never thought that your 3yr old is spoilt child..you are a good mother and have done all you can for all your children...this must be such a hard time for you all I can say is hopefully it isn't OCD..have you taken her to the dr about it or asked him? hugs littleowl
@kiran1978 (4138)
• Australia
22 Jul 08
Hi littleowl, I know you never thought that you are always very kind. I was just a bit offended with some people responses, judging me when all I wanted was their opinion on whether they thought she may have tendencies of OCD. I am in the Gold Coast with my best friend at the moment, so I have not taken her to the doctor as yet. But I will when I get back. I will let you know when I do. Hugs, Kiran.
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
23 Jul 08
It seems that i remember your discussion,i mean reading it,but i do not remember if i responded to it or not...To ease your mind though, i will say that i never think bad or judgemental about any discussion..I understand that we just vent some times and sometimes we just want to try and find out if others have faced what we are facing at the time...I have raised 5 children and as a mother i have faced all kinds of behavior with my children,and children are some times difficult to understand,as they do not come with instructions attached..Lol..I am sure that your child is not a brat,but just going though a few growing up difficulties..Surely no one here judged your child,they were just trying to give you suggestions..In a couple of years your childs behavior could take a complete turn a round...Good luck to you...
@checapricorn (16072)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Hello kiran, I have no kids and no experienced in dealing with that type of behavior..I remember before, when I was something and my MOm can't provide it, I will not talked to her and I will just stay in my room..She didn't hit or spank me...LOL! She will just talk to me softly everyday! When I was in High School, I was changed,,I do know, I just realized one day that I pity my Mom and that I was very brat to her... For your child, it might be better is you will apply valuing each day even if she has no offense in that day...Make your own stories to impart to them that revolves about those values, like a child who acts so brat to the mom or whatsoever and give them the values after and let them also participate in coming up with the lesson of your own stories!