What’s normal with what your kid does and obsesses about? A favorite toy or food, that’s one thing. But what about the kid who just has to wear a sweatshirt all the time (especially in summer)? What then? Do you play into it or try to break them of the habit?
My youngest is in the sweatshirt phase now. Their teacher told me that there has been refusal of removing it, to the point that there was sweat involved. What do I do when it gets warm out? I suppose its not a terrible thing, but honestly, do I buy ones with short sleeves or do I start denying them access to it now so its not 90 degrees and a struggle then?
A friend of mine has a child who has gone through several obsessive phases, mostly involving cartoon characters. Harmless? Perhaps. But when the child is spending more time in our bathroom with our potty that has the character of her obsession on it rather than out playing with the other kids, it could be deemed a little much. And now she has switched to a new obsession that she refuses to wear anything other than stuff from the movie Frozen. And when someone tried to break up her puzzle with Ana and Elsa on it, she totally flipped out to the point that she had to leave the party we were at. Okay, is that healthy?
My eldest never really went through a true obsessive phase. A little over-zealous, yes. Singing Christmas carols into March, requesting certain things now and again until the answer was yes, definitely. But is that obsessive? And unhealthy? No. I feel like an obsession that’s truly unhealthy is one that alienates the child from proper social behavior. I mean they all go through phases. OCD, certain foods, wanting certain things for bedtime. What age is inappropriate to do things like this, I wonder. I mean, I still have things I do that might be thought of as minor obsessions. Little things, but I do them because they make me feel comforted. I just keep them to myself.
When you are out with your own kids and you see another kid freaking out about one thing or another thing that they really want but can’t have, is it perfectly okay to silently laugh and clap internally that your own kids aren’t doing that? Or is your payback on the way? I feel like the people I know who have kids with obsessions, such as the ones above, and I get the sigh-and-say-“oh well” from them. Like, “that’s my kid, what are you gonna do?” How about NOT feeding into the obsession? My youngest, with the sweatshirt obsession? I make sure the hood is off and when the sweatshirt is taken off as an act of frustration (happened today, actually), I reinforce that fact that I think its good they took it off. I suppose we all think to ourselves, “its just a phase, they will get over it” and try to look past it for the moment. Things could be worse, right?
I don’t think my kids have truly obsessive behaviors. Harmless reminders of things and desires, but not much else, and they always move on. The girl who is obsessed with Frozen? She wouldn’t give up the fact that I wouldn’t go hunting for the dress up shoes to go with the dress up clothes when they were over for a playdate. To the point where she continuously asked until they left, 3 hours later, and probably still prodded her mom about it in the car how I wouldn’t go get them. My kids? They forgot about it almost immediately and moved onto another game to play. I didn’t hear about it from them at all. So yeah, I am not worried about their obsessing about things. I head it off at the pass, so I can avoid the repeated requests and then freak outs later.