When a child is struggling with OCD or anxiety, families can often do everything in their power to make life smoother for them. This may involve allowing the child to forgo normal responsibilities, and even avoid academic obligations or social interactions. Sometimes parents and other family members may begin participating in compulsions or providing reassurance. Sadly, over time these strategies typically exacerbate OCD and anxiety, and additionally create resentment among family members. I often help parents with challenges related to providing support and appropriate de-accommodation to a child with OCD or an anxiety disorder. This pattern may also happen with an adult child who still lives at home. I provide parenting support for parents of both minors and adults.
“Common sense” does not work in parenting a child with OCD and anxiety. We have to find the sweet spot between overfunctioning for the child and harshly turning off all accommodation. Parents on their own in this situation can feel like there is no way forward. My role is to educate them on the trajectory of the challenges and guide them through these hurdles in a systematic and functional way. On their own, parents are understandably second-guessing themselves as they see their child suffering, and they might change course, or not follow through with parenting plans. They can benefit from someone with expertise in OCD and anxiety to guide them and see them through.
Long term, I strive for parents to maintain and continue to develop a loving, healthy relationship with their child over the course of their life.
With that long-term goal in mind, we proceed with conscientiousness and kindness, to make it more likely that any family distress is short-lived.
Parenting support may focus on addressing problematic behaviors related to:
- Sleep disturbance
- Activities of daily living
- Academic life
- Sibling discord
- Marital health
If you have questions about how parenting support could help you, feel free to contact me.