“Don’t Feed the Reassurance Monster”

…Or No Doubt II: Some Doubt.

I’m quoting from the following article, which is officially extremely awesome: http://www.steveseay.com/child-ocd-kids-parenting-strategies-tips/

It discusses dealing with OCD in children, and ways parents and other caregivers can help. Your time will be best spent reading the article in its entirety, but I will give a few of my favorite points:

“OCD is based on intolerance of doubt and uncertainty.”

“One example of an exposure-based strategy might be eating dinner while intentionally making statements related to contamination.  These might include, ‘Pass me the germy mashed potatoes’ or ‘I hope the roast beef has extra e.coli tonight.’  Although many people (with or without OCD) might be uncomfortable thinking about germs while eating, this strategy allows us to directly challenge OCD-related cognitions.”

“All primary caregivers (and all household members, if possible), should adopt consistent policies for responding to OCD.”

“Understand why kids do rituals.”

“Recognize the many forms that OCD takes.”

and of course:

“Don’t feed the ‘reassurance monster.’ In most cases, regardless of the form it takes, OCD is about wanting certainty in situations that are fundamentally uncertain. [. . .] When we, as parents, repeatedly provide OCD-related reassurance, we make it more difficult for our children to learn to be content in an uncertain world. Examples of ‘Feeding the Reassurance Monster’ include:

  • ‘You won’t get sick–you’ve gotten all the germs off.’
  • ‘Don’t worry.  We live in a safe neighborhood, so no one is going to break into the house.’

When you avoid these types of statements, you help your child learn to better coexist with uncertainty.”

This article is by the same guy (Steven Seay) I linked to in my No Doubt post, and covers some of the same points — but I thought it was worth posting for the extra info about kids specifically.

2 thoughts on ““Don’t Feed the Reassurance Monster”

  1. I agree that Dr. Seay give great advice and tips for dealing with children who suffer from OCD. Thanks for sharing!

    • willitbeok says:

      Thanks; I’m glad you like my posts. I worry sometimes that they’re getting a bit redundant, but then, OCD is a redundant disorder so perhaps that would be fitting… 😉

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