OCD in children and teens is caused by a high level of anxiety that is due to genetics, internal, and external stressors. Frequently children and teens with OCD have one or more family members in past or present generations who also suffer from anxiety. When stressors such as worries about friendships, school, self-esteem, and relationships with peers, parents, and teachers can mount, it may tip off the OCD tendency. Talking about these worries with a trusted adult can reduce anxiety.
11 Ways to Reduce Anxiety and OCD Symptoms
1. Prepare your child for external stressors such as changes in family relationships, parental unemployment and residence changes during divorce.
2. Following traumatic losses, illness, and other expected and unexpected changes, listen carefully to your child’s questions and respond honestly and briefly to the point. Don’t overwhelm your child with your concerns. Listen for hers.
3. It is important for parents to provide stability during these changes to minimize them. Stability is given by offering your child and teen time to talk about the changes when they want to.
4. Read books and websites about OCD. Here is a useful discussion.
5. Be available to listen to your child’s worries.