If you have a child who is struggling with OCD, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help. OCD can be a very difficult disorder to manage, especially without the support of professionals. However, there are many things that you can do at home to help your child manage their OCD symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss 11 steps that you can take to provide support and assistance to your child as they work to overcome their OCD.
- 1 What Are The Signs Of A Child With OCD At Home?
- 2 What Triggers OCD In Child At Home?
- 3 How To Help A Child With OCD At Home?
- 3.1 Encourage your child to talk openly
- 3.2 Avoid daily comparisons
- 3.3 Create a calm environment at home
- 3.4 Recognize and appreciate their “Small” Efforts
- 3.5 Encourage positive thinking
- 3.6 Challenging negative thoughts
- 3.7 Set limits but be sensitive too
- 3.8 Expand their interests
- 3.9 Keep your daily routine normal
- 3.10 Seek professional help
- 3.11 Encourage to take medications as prescribed
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 A Word From Mantra Care
What Are The Signs Of A Child With OCD At Home?
An OCD child at home may have certain compulsions or behaviors that they feel they MUST do in order to avoid a bad outcome. For example, a child with contamination OCD may refuse to leave the house for fear of germs. Or a child with symmetry OCD may need everything in their room to be lined up perfectly.
Other signs of an OCD child at home include:
- Excessive hand washing or showering
- Constantly checking things (e.g., locks, appliances)
- Arranging and rearranging objects
- Needing things to be done in a certain way or in order
- Intrusive thoughts or worries
Moreover, this disorder is not simply a case of being “neat” or “particular.” The compulsions and behaviors of OCD can take up a lot of time (e.g., several hours per day). And can interfere with school, social activities, and quality time with family. It is important to understand the condition and get proper treatment.
Otherwise, it is possible for OCD to get worse over time. If you think your child might have OCD, it is important to talk to a mental health professional. He or she can conduct a thorough assessment and give you an accurate diagnosis. The best you can do is to support and help a child with OCD at home.
What Triggers OCD In Child At Home?
The triggers are usually known as “obsessions.” A child with OCD might be afraid of germs and become obsessed with hand-washing or cleaning. Or a child might be worried about making mistakes and become obsessed with needing everything to be “just right.” There are certain things that can trigger a child’s OCD. These may include:
Certain words, numbers, or colors
Children with OCD might avoid words, numbers, or colors that they associate with their fears. For example, a child who is afraid of the number 13 might avoid anything that has that number in it. Moreover, there are words and colors too that can trigger a child’s OCD. It is often hard for children to explain why these words or colors are so triggering.
Change in routine
It is often hard for children with OCD to deal with change. A change in routine, such as a new baby in the family or a move to a new house, can trigger symptoms of OCD. Moreover, it is important to know that even small changes, such as a change in the school schedule or after-school activities, can trigger OCD symptoms.
These events usually talk about a time when the child felt unsafe or helpless. For example, a child who witnessed a violent crime might develop OCD symptoms. Traumatic events can also include things like natural disasters or car accidents. A sudden event can trigger OCD in a child who was already predisposed to the disorder. This can be due to a family history of OCD or other mental health disorders.
These are some of the triggers that can cause OCD in children. If you think that your child might have OCD, it is important to talk to a mental health professional. They can help you and your child understand the disorder and develop a treatment plan. Treatment for OCD often includes cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication. With proper treatment, most children with OCD can lead happy and productive lives.
How To Help A Child With OCD At Home?
When you are aware of your child’s OCD and the compulsions they perform, it can be difficult to watch and not intervene. However, it is important to remember that compulsions are how your child copes with their anxiety. If you try to stop them from performing their compulsions, they will likely feel more anxious. So, what can you do to help a child There are many ways that you can help your child deal with their OCD at home.
Here are 11 tips to help a child with OCD at home:
Encourage your child to talk openly
It is very important to teach your child that it is okay to talk about their OCD. This will help them feel more comfortable discussing their thoughts and fears with you. You can be their first listeners and open up the door for further conversation.
Also, it is important to provide reassurance that you will not be upset or disgusted by what they have to say. This might sound like a lot, but it can be as simple as saying, “I’m here for you and I love you no matter what.”
Avoid daily comparisons
You might be aware of how your child is struggling with OCD and be tempted to compare their progress (or lack thereof) to other children. It can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly comparing your child to others, but this will only make them feel worse. Instead, focus on your child’s individual progress and celebrate even the small victories. In fact, you might want to keep a “victory journal” to track your child’s progress over time.
Create a calm environment at home
This is very important for all children, especially those with OCD. A calm environment will help your child feel more relaxed and less anxious. Because OCD can be exacerbated by stress, it is important to do what you can to reduce stress in the home. This might include things like having a set routine, establishing clear rules and providing plenty of structure.
Recognize and appreciate their “Small” Efforts
When a child with OCD is trying to overcome their fears, it is important to recognize and appreciate even the small efforts they make. This will help them feel supported and encourage them to keep going. Remember, every step forward is a victory. And, over time, those small steps will add up to big progress.
This will help them feel proud of their achievements and motivated to keep going. Be specific in your praise and avoid comparisons to other children. For example, you might say, “I’m so proud of you for working so hard to overcome your fears.”
Encourage positive thinking
Teach your child how to challenge negative thoughts by coming up with more realistic or positive alternatives. For example, if they are afraid of getting sick, help them come up with more positive thoughts, such as “I am healthy and I will take care of myself.” This will help them to start thinking more realistically and reduce their anxiety. Moreover, it will help them to see that their thoughts are not always accurate.
Challenging negative thoughts
One of the most important aspects of treatment for OCD is challenging negative thoughts. Because it is difficult for children with OCD to do this on their own, it is important for parents to help them. You can challenge your child’s negative thoughts by asking questions like, “Is there another way to look at this?” or “What are the chances that this will actually happen?”
This will help your child to start thinking more realistically and reduce their anxiety. Moreover, it will help them to see that their thoughts are not always accurate.
Set limits but be sensitive too
In OCD recovery, it is also a way to help a child with OCD at home. As a parent, you need to set limits on your child’s behaviors. However, it is important to do this in a way that is sensitive to their needs. For example, if they are afraid of germs, you might limit the number of times they can wash their hands in a day. Or, if they are afraid of getting sick, you might limit their exposure to places where they might come in contact with germs.
The key is to find a balance between being understanding and setting limits. This will help your child feel supported while also helping them to learn how to cope with their OCD. In fact, it is often said that the best way to help a child with OCD is to “treat them like a normal kid.”
Expand their interests
Encourage your child to try new things and explore new interests. This can help them to focus on something other than their OCD. Moreover, it is a way to help them build self-confidence and learn new skills. For example, if they are afraid of animals, you might encourage them to take a trip to the zoo. Or, if they are afraid of germs, you might encourage them to start a garden. However, it is more about expanding and encouraging their interests. And, over time, this can help them to build self-confidence and reduce their anxiety.
Keep your daily routine normal
If a child at your home has OCD, it is important to keep your daily routine as normal as possible. This will help them to feel comfortable and secure. In addition, it will help to reduce their anxiety. So, try to stick to a regular schedule and avoid making changes that are not necessary.
This will help your child feel supported while also helping them maintain a sense of normalcy. In addition, it is important to avoid making any sudden changes in your child’s routine. This can be very confusing and stressful for a child with OCD.
Seek professional help
If you feel like your child is not making progress, or if their OCD is severe, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist who specializes in OCD can provide more intensive treatment and support. The most preferred therapy type is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention). This type of therapy has been shown to be very effective in treating OCD. It works by gradually exposing the child to their fears and helping them to learn how to cope with their anxiety.
Encourage to take medications as prescribed
It is also important to encourage your child to take their medications as prescribed. Medications can be an important part of treatment for OCD. They can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and make it easier for a child to participate in therapy. So, it is important to make sure that your child takes their medications as prescribed.
Medications are often prescribed along with therapy to help children with OCD. The most common type of medication is SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). These medications can help to reduce the symptoms of OCD. However, it is important to note that they do not cure the disorder.
Finally, it is also important to monitor your child’s progress. This will help you to see how they are doing and whether or not their treatment is working. It is also a good way to identify any potential problems that might arise.
These tips can help a child with OCD at home. You should also keep in mind that each child is different. So, it is important to tailor the treatment to your child’s specific needs. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with a professional. They can help you to create a plan that is right for your child.
To conclude, you can help a child with OCD at home by doing some research and supporting them. This can be difficult and frustrating, but with some understanding and patience, it is possible to make progress. Remember to seek professional help if the problem persists or gets worse.
Moreover, be sure to keep communication open with your child so they feel comfortable talking about their OCD and any struggles they may be having. It is often difficult, however, for children to openly discuss their thoughts and feelings. If this is the case, consider seeking out therapy or counseling to help them communicate more effectively.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.