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Children Learning OCD Behavior

  • anonymous Asks ...

    My ex wife has custody of our children. She had OCD when she was younger but it was pretty under control when we were together but it seems to be quite severe again now. Our children are 4 and 6. How worried should I be that they will pick up on her obsessive and compulsive behaviors and start imitating them as their own behaviors? I have already seen worrying signs that they are very overly concerned with germs and getting dirty, which is not something a 4 year old should be very concerned about in my opinion.

  • Dr. Lani Chin Says ...
    Dr. Lani Chin

    It sounds like you're worried about your children who may be picking up habits from your ex- wife.  While they may  be imitating what your ex-wife is doing in order to cope, you can also teach them other ways to deal with their emotions.  Just as they are learning from your ex-wife you can also talk to them about what's going on and how they can deal with their emotions.  It could also be helpful to find a family therapist to talk about the transitions your family is going through.  If that isn't an option, individual therapy for them could also be appropriate.  Good luck.

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