Posted by: mother | 2008/10/03

Strange behaviour in kids or normal


1. My husband is a clean fanatic and it has rubbed off on my six year old daughter. She is very particluar about catching germs. She would never touch any food until she washes her hands even when we' re out. She even wash her hands b4 eating even she touches a library book, her socks thats she wearing etc. She would never have food that lies on the kitchen counter etc. She basically is afraid of germs. Is normal for a 6 yr old to be so particluar about germs??

2. And then my 3 yr old son...he gets very neauous when he sees vomit or certain smells and food. He has become a very fussy eater too. Someone told me that it could become worse if he doesnt overcome it all. VCould it be that serious.


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Our expert says:
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Gosh, there seems to be a suddent epidemic of child misbehaviour ! There are two factors that may be at work here. Onsessiveness as a personality trait can be inherited, so she may have a personality similarity to him ; and then kids imitate what they see. What you describe isn't abnormal or unhealthy ( she's probably exaggerating the risks, but is less likely to get food poisoning than most kids ! Its worth taking this respectfully, but tryign to keep it in proportion, perhaps talking with her about where the major risks lie, and which behaviours are of low or insigificant risk, emphasizing that by being more realistic she will be even safer. All obsessives are fearful of some awful consequence if they don't do what their urges suggest, often fearing contamination and germs. But just calmly watch if this behaviour spreads to other areas of her life and other fears ( does she check locks and lightswitches, etc, more than usual ) and when the precautions become excessive and intrude into her happiness. In such a situation, seeing a child psych might become a good idea.
Maybe the 3-year old is also being a bit obsessive, but being a picky and fussy eater is common at several ages. Try discussing this also on the parenting forum to see how other parents handle this

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