Parenting is tough. Parenting a kid with OCD? Even tougher. Parents often do whatever they can to alleviate their child’s distress related to their OCD. Sometimes, though, what they do ends up reinforcing their child’s OCD, which can make their OCD stronger. Many families accommodate their child’s OCD. How could you not? It is difficult to watch your child struggle. Some family accommodations are appropriate as well. How do you know what is reinforcing their OCD vs. what is helping? At Rice Psychology in Tampa, we recognize how difficult it can be to make this distinction. Here are some examples of some family accommodations:
- Letting their child avoid social situations.
- Letting their child stay home from school.
- Constantly giving their child reassurance that nothing bad will happen.
- Touching a door handle for their child so they can avoid potential contamination.
- Keeping your location on 24/7 so your child can check for your safety.
One question you can ask yourself to determine if you are accommodating or helping: am I doing this to help my child avoid feeling anxious? With OCD, children often feel intense anxiety when they cannot complete one of their compulsions or are unable to avoid it. If your actions are helping your child avoid that feeling of being anxious, it is likely an accommodation. The process of removing family accommodations is extremely important in the treatment of OCD to receive the best outcomes. We are here to help. Our team of psychologists and therapists can help guide you on the best ways to help your child struggling with OCD.