WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CHILD HOARDS/OCD

Cheryl - posted on 11/29/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My 11 yr old is Very OCD.... She has bags and all kinds of stuff stuffed away in her room hiding under the bed mattress and anything else .... When we go somewhere she has to take a reuseable bag full of stuff everywhere we go. when i buy food and its something she likes she hoards it in her room and baGS. so how do i get her to stop taken so much on a regular basis... TALKING AND TELLING doesnt work????

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Nikki - posted on 11/29/2009

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Quoting Sherri:

To me this sounds like you are being manipulated and have yet to learn how to be a mom. It means saying NO and meaning NO!


I appreciate the success you had with your own child, but this comment is a bit harsh. "yet learn how to be a mom?" Different parents have different parenting styles. What works for you may not for others. And being negative is not what this group is about.



 



Back to the main letter.



I am a professional nanny. In my 15 years of experience I have seen the gambit of hoarding vs collecting. Based on what you have told us, I would agree with others you discuss it with a professional such as a pediatrician/child phsycologist to get to the root of her collecting. Also, try to help her organize and limit her collecting. I have set up a "storage system for the kids I care for. They have large notebooks with those sheet protector pockets in which they can put papers, art work etc, bins for certain types of items (Buttons, napkins from restaurants, hair (I had one who collected hair. Nasty but what can you do? ;-) )  When each notebook/bin was full they had to remove and discard or recycle whatever they needed to to make room for the new things.



 



Also set limits and enforce them. If you are still finding food, especially, be sure to do a shakedown on a regular basis. Tell her you will allow her the full benefits of privacy and trust after you have established when she is truly following the rules. Explain in depth the consequences of her taking food into her room. (Not just bugs) If she says she needs to snack, tell her she can come to eat anytime she needs it, but it will be in the kitchen (or wherever) And be sure to only have healthy choices around. Baked chips crackers, fruit. If it isn't in the house, she can't hide it or eat it. :)  Does someone else you know collect?  I would not label as OCD without a professionals aide. Girls especially form emotional attachments to items. I have one nanny charge who found a sentimental attachment to so much stuff. We got her into scrapbooking. We scan in or take digital pictures of beloved items and made a digital scrapbook she could look at on the computer or DVD player any time she wished.



I wish you the best of luck!!!



Sincerely



Nikki R



 



 

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9 Comments

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you should probably bring her to a doctor who would recommend a meeting with a psychiatrist to determine if she really has ocd. they would then be able to tell you how to proceed with handling her compulsions

Jennifer - posted on 09/17/2012

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my son who is 7 was diagnosised with OCD and he is starting to Hoard. his fav thing to hoard is anything red. I talked to him about this and all he can say is he like red. My daughter is 10 and she hoards bags and other stuff and she stuffs them full. with her she has the diagnosis of Anxity so you can hoard and not have OCD. talk to a doctor and have them see if your Child may have a mental disorder that causes the hoarding if not then you just need to stand firm and let her know who the parent is

Sherri - posted on 11/29/2009

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My daughter is 21 and I was not the mom who tried to talk and reason. I now have a very responsible daughter because I used the word NO! NO, you may not take a bag of stuff with you everywhere! NO, you may not have food in your room! If it were me I would give her one weekend to clean it all out and then I would do it. I only had to do this once to my daughter and she learned to through out the trash.

To me this sounds like you are being manipulated and have yet to learn how to be a mom. It means saying NO and meaning NO!

Lisa - posted on 11/29/2009

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Hello Cheryl l have a 19 yr. old who still does that the one way that l seem to help it is l give him only sooo many items he can bring anywhere l lay them out and HE chooses he still has 2 rooms that are his but over the years it has decreased steadily now he is down to 2 items he carries it does not stop quickly but can be managed.Just 1 more thing l do shake downs occasionally and l make sure he knows when and he does get prepared.

LeAnn - posted on 11/29/2009

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I have to agree. Just cause she hoards doesn't mean she is OCD. She needs some counseling so she can figure out why she hoards and how she can make healthier choices. Good luck!

Lee - posted on 11/29/2009

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Has she been diagnosed with OCD? If not there could be many reasons why she is doing this.It sounds like she has been developing some behaviours that is a concern, and could become a serious issue as she gets older . Get it checked out . See your family doctor this is serious.

Monica - posted on 11/29/2009

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I also have 11yr old daughter and i noticed latley that she has been doing something along the same lines but i finds food in my daughter's room every were from under the pillow;s to hid in the closet and i read the bottom comment and i cant think of anything that would want to make her hold or keep things.. but i will also say that she has put on weight and that is cuase she has food hidden all through out the room and i'm not finding it all.. and we have chatted and I've said no more food in the room cause it can cause bugs .. but still finding food :( not shre if she just going through a phase or what

Laura - posted on 11/29/2009

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Does she really have OCD or is that just what you are calling it? If she has been diagnosed I would suggest having a behavioral Specialist come assess the situation and let a professional help you. If you are just calling it OCD you need to figure out why she is hoarding. Has something very special been taken from her in the past and she now feels the need to hold onto everything? has something happened in the family that has led her to find security in things rather than people? I worked with a child who hoarded but she had been in a bad situation prior to moving in with her grandmother-I helped her clean her room every saturday and we would go through what the items were, why she felt the need to keep them and how she could find meaning in other ways (listening to a favorite song, reading a favorite story or spending time with her family members). If she was able to get rid of the clutter she could chose a reward (an hour to play games with grandma or her brother). Good luck-this is not an easy situation to figure out

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