5 Yr Old Being Anal Retensive and Driving Us All Nutty!!!

Updated on October 26, 2006
N.S. asks from Round Rock, TX
11 answers

i have a five yar old who is just so anal retensive i actually have to leave the room sometimes. i ask her to come along to go to the store with us and she counts her cars (150) while putting up one by one and then i have to drag her out and then she cries the whole time. or she cries about the potty door open. or the towel on the floor. then she demands that we do for her with out please or thank yous. we use polite words...but she has begun to be so anal lately if its not perfect she bosses us around and throws a fit and i am to the end of my rope that i cant deal with it. we can listen to the 3 yr olds songs or my music(which I volunteer for a radio station and need to know the music) and she wants to talk like im not there and im like enjoy life. if the top button isnt buttoned....oh she gets so mad at us. she counts everything...her steps. the leaves on the ground and this is the way to the car. and if its not right she does it again. im beginning to pull my hair out. then she sits on the three year old and gets mad if the three year old is doing her own thing. what do i do?

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So What Happened?

i dont want to put her on medicine because of the fact that everything seems that medicine is the only way to go. i know shes just five. i can be that way too. ocd at times. i think im going with the natural route with out medicine and just schedule a day where i get to spend with just her and have her dad do the same. i know she sees me always cleaning and making sure that the house is neat before bed time. so maybe i can lay off on my chores and slack a little here and there. i have put up most toys so there arent so much for her to deal with today. but the medicine thing is way overrated. i see poor kids who are just kids and they are on one or five or ten medicines for being the age they are. if i think about it......geeeze our schools have the kids at a desk for 8 hours a day and no wonder they are antsy. i would be too!!!

More Answers



answers from Longview on

She needs to be evaluated by a psychologist. They can do testing specific to her age. This could be anything from OCD to Asbergers, to very slight Autism. The sooner you find out, the better. Getting help for her now will make all of your lives much easier. Please don't put it off !



answers from Baton Rouge on

It sounds like your daughter might have OCD (Obsesive Compulsive Disorder). Honestly, I would talk to her doctor about it, and see what they think. I'm sure there is some kind of therapy you could try (if you're interested in trying the medication route Zoloft works wonders with OCD).



answers from Little Rock on

It almost sounds a lil like OCD, obssesive compulsive disorder. My son used to line his hot wheels cars up and if it wasnt perfect he would throw them across the room.I rearranged my silverware drawer one weekend when he was at his dads and when he came home and saw it he pulled the whole drawer out and just screamed and cried until i put it back the way it was.May be worth checking into. There are ways to deal with it other than meds, A LOT OF STRUCTURE, and very little change. Places like Centers for Youth and Families have something that is called play therapy. IT's pretty good.



answers from Shreveport on

I'm not sure if anal retentive is what's going on, but I certainly would bring the concern to her Dr. If it is disrupting life for her and everyone else around her, it is enough to question what the problem is. I have a son with Asperger's Syndrome and the need to line up things perfectly and follow a self-induced rigid schedule and not change anything is part of his problem. Or you might consider OCD (obsessive compulsive). I would definitely talk to the doctor to rule out anything medical first. It could be just that she feels out of control with one little part of her life, who knows? Best advice I can think of though, is to seek a medical opinion.



answers from Austin on

I agree with the person who said you should deal with this now and go through a psychiatrist or therapist. I am recently diagnosed as OCD and that disorder has caused a lot of other problems that followed me all the way into adulthood: high anxiety, extremely low self esteem and an eating disorder. When I told my mom about the diagnosis she said that all the signs had been there and she was just sick that she hadn't taken me in as a child.It probably would have helped me to avoid my 20's being so difficult and so many other problems popping up.



answers from Austin on

Hi N.,
Your discription of your daughter leads me to question a few possibilities . . .

1. Why does your daughter feel like she needs to control everything in her environment? Does she have choices? Is she feeling listened to? Does she regularly get uninterupted play time with you and or your husband? How does she see her world?

2. Is she experiencing anxiety? Is it a medical problem? Is it situational?

3. Is your daughter exibiting early signs of obsesive compulsive disorder? [That is a disorder caused by an imbalance having to do with Serotonin (a Neurotransmitter)in the brain]

I think you should discuss these possibilities with someone that you trust and take your daughter to be evaluated by a professional if you think there is any possibility of a chemical imbalance.

If you choose to see a professional, there are both mainstream choices and alternative medicine choices for you to consider.

Good luck, I wish you and your family well.
Take care,



answers from Shreveport on

My 3 year old son is almost the same way. he doesn't sound like he is quite as bad, but he will throw a fit if things aren't done just so. Or if we do something he wanted to do, he will undo whatever it is, so he can do it. We don't always have time for this. And he will scream if he doesn't get it his way. About two weeks ago he threw a fit, because there was dirt on the BOTTOM of his shoes. He refused to put them on until we cleaned off the dirt. the only thing I do is try not to always give in to his demands. Basically I just wanted to say I feel your pain.



answers from Lubbock on

Sounds like you have an OCD child. Many small kids exhibit OCD symptoms, but not to that extent. I had worked for a neurologist for years and he was able to diagnose OCD patients and help a great many of them. It's not hopeless. The first step is to get to a Dr. to insure that is actually what is going on. Good luck.



answers from Austin on

Hi N.,

I had the same problem when I was a child. I think I mainly had control issues because of a nasty divorce and being the youngest child and I was constantly in a stressful enviroment. I eventually grew out of it, and it got better once I was married. It still creeps up every now and then though. Just when I'm nervous or scared though. Does she seem like she might feel out of control, or stressed out about anything? I would consider that before jumping to the extreme of an OCD diagnosis. If it is that this could still be a mild enough case to avoid any kind of medication. If there is any way to eleviate stress or make her feel more in control then I would try that before seeking counseling. I never went to counseling until I was a teenager, and it didn't really help until I was out of the stressful situation. The best of luck to you and your family!



answers from El Paso on

Hi N.,

I am so sorry to hear that you are having these problems with your little one, but I can see why there is such a big concern. I think that this issue has gone beyond your control and that you may need to seek professional help before this matter gets more out of hand. She sounds to be obsessive compulsive the way that you mentioned her to count everything and hate if something is out of place or not in order.

Maybe if you seek professional help now it will prevent a future full of related problems. I am not an expert or anything but have delt with something similar. I happen to be very anal when things are not done in a certain order or if things are not in place. This has posed one too many problems in my current relationship and also has affected other family members as well. I have been advised to seek help and possibly take medication if my disorder persists or worsens.

Take advantage of your daughter's young age and the fact that she is still in her early years of molding and upbringing, this just could take a better turn.

I hope that you are able to acquire the information you need in order to tend to your daughter's retensive habits. I wish you the best of luck with everything!



answers from Houston on

This site might help you figure out if your daughter has OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder. http://www.ocdhope.com/KidsOCD.htm

I'm sorry I don't have much advice. Kids are very changeable, and patience is key. Once we figure one thing out, they're on to another to drive us crazy. :)

Good luck and God bless.
M. B

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