Tips For Parents Of OCD Children
When they wrote the manual on how to raise children, they left out the chapter on children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Watching your child struggle with the irrational nature of their rituals and fears can quickly leave a parent feeling just as powerless as their child.
It is difficult to know where your responsibility lies as a parent. Should you punish their behavior, or should you ignore it? There are so many questions that arise for parents of OCD children, and here are a few answers. Take these few hints to heart the next time your child gets stuck in a loop.
Educate yourself and your child on the issue
Knowledge is power, and OCD is no exception to this rule. The more you and your child know about how the disorder works, the better off you will be handling the manifestations of it. Become your child’s partner in learning all there is to know about this big scary diagnosis.
Depending on the age of your child, there are educational children’s books and other helpful materials available to use as tools for learning with your child. Spend time digging to find all the information you can concerning the disorder, and don’t stop until all of your questions are answered.
Stay vigilant for new rituals or behaviors
It is best that you take your child to regular therapy sessions to help them learn and grow. Getting regular treatment is best for management of the disorder. Many untreated, unmanaged children with OCD become adults with substance abuse issues, among other things.
Also, stay vigilant for new rituals or behaviors, so you can better assist your child in identifying their expressions of OCD. Awareness is one of you and your child’s most powerful protectors against the continuation of rituals and obsessive behaviors.
Assign a name to the child’s OCD
Assign a name to your kid’s OCD, so there is always a differentiation when frustration arises. When you get angry or frustrated with the rituals and unwarranted fears (and you will), your child will see that you are mad at “Mr. OCD” and not them. In fact, you can get mad at him together!
You can also use naming the problem as a way to help your child talk more openly about their struggles. It gives your kid the ability to place blame on something other than themselves.
Try not to get too involved
Don’t pick at every little thing you see your child do that may (or may not) be related to their OCD diagnosis. That’s overkill. It is your child’s battle to fight, and you cannot control everything having to do with the disorder.
If possible, do not enable their rituals or obsessions, and absolutely do not allow yourself to become a part of them. You will only further harm your child.