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3 Bumps

Odd Little Obsessions

My daughter will be five next month. Sometimes I wonder about some odd little quirks she develops. Like the kitchen drain, it has to be in the sink the right way. She has to fix it if she sees it in sideways or not in the hole at all, and it's every time. Or if she sees a lawn ornament in a neighbor's yard that has fallen down, she has to go stick it back in the ground. She calls this helping a neighbor, and I've always encouraged her to do it. Once a dog barked at us and a woman came out of her house and told us to go away. I'm not worried about her, but do all kids get these little rituals they have to follow?


Asked by Ballad at 12:50 PM on Feb. 4, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (16)
  • My oldest son was a lot like that. He had his own little rituals every morning too, and getting him out of the house for preschool was a major challenge. It was all a part of him learning to self-manage, and as he become more self sufficient, he decided what to keep and what to discard in his own morning ritual. I think a lot of it has to do with them discovering they can control their world...

    Answer by Nimue930 at 4:36 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Hmmmm. Idk, but here is a bump.

    Answer by PandaGwen at 1:27 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • I think they do. As parents we help ease them into more moderate behaviours.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:36 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • My middle son had all kinds of little quirks when he was little. He used to neatly line up his socks next to his shoes, had certain little phrases he liked to say to me every night at bedtime & my responses to those phrases had to be the same each night. He eventually outgrew it. Now he's a big slob- see what you have to look forward to?! lol :p
    As for the having things orderly, my 10 y/o still does that, even at the store. She should have a job stocking shelves. I think they just like things to be orderly & neat. And they all like to be helpful, except when it comes to their own stuff! :p

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 2:05 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Kids notice, and care about, all sorts of things. As messy/free as they are, they can really be into order too, liking things in their place, or positioned "right." They can get it in their heads that something "should" be this way, consistently making adjustments accordingly whenever they notice a deviation.

    I think that's pretty normal.

    It's also common to get "particular" in a fairly rigid way & insist on certain practices or conditions. While this kind of intensity certainly is common, I think a lot of this dynamic has more to do with feelings (trying to maintain equilibrium when there is a lot "stored" or "stuffed" inside) than with actual rigidity or need, or even preference. As in, when the conditions are right & they can get some of that baggage unloaded, they embody much more flexibility & adaptability. I think that flexibility is more "natural" to kids than the rigid insistence is, even though the latter is common.

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:16 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • Ballad, I think there's a difference between doing that stuff because they notice things & it pleases them to "set it right," which can be totally flexible, and doing it in an intense, driven way that tends to "take over" in the sense of them becoming increasingly insistent about more & more things, and increasingly rigid. With people around them "walking on eggshells" or going to sometimes elaborate lengths to keep from "upsetting the apple cart."

    I think in the second type of situation, the behaviors tend to be more about "managing" emotions (keeping them tamped down.) It's an effort to dictate more & more of external reality, and "needing" it to go that way. That's a situation in which a lot of life energy becomes directed toward increasingly compulsive behaviors, and that kind of rigidity tends to be about managing feelings (as in, avoiding them.)

    But I don't think that automatically applies to these behaviors, at all.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:49 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • maybe

    Answer by Crafty26 at 5:09 PM on Feb. 4, 2013

  • I think your LO is ok,. I used to be like that, then I got therapy and was put on heavy duty meds....just joking! Your dd is fine, unless she starts getting frantic about it, and gets really overboard upset when something is moved. But then again, she may be getting used to things having a place cause of the fact you are blind. I am assuming you have your house a certain way right? Very seldom do things get moved? My mom bff was blind and she always had a place for everything so she could move through her house without crashing into things. Matter of fact that saved her life when a man broke into her house. He had to move this little end table to get the stuff he wanted to steal. He knew she was blind, and he took advantage of it. But anyway, your dd maybe just picking that stuff up now . She is 3 right? She is starting to realize stuff has a place now.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:59 AM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • I think this is actually good, she seems to be detailed. But I know what you mean, my daughter has er own things too. Like the way her book look in the bookshelf, they way she positions her pillow, she sleeps with it vertically instead of horizontally. I think every child does something like this.

    Answer by ymilr0718 at 2:28 AM on Feb. 5, 2013

  • Not a dang thing can be out of place for my girl!

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:40 AM on Feb. 5, 2013