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advice needed 2.4yr dd becoming obsessed with cleanliness

(30 Posts)
northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 11:58:29

I would really appreciate some advice on how to deal with dd and her need to clean everything. She is using wipes from the drawer all the time, and had 4 episodes yesterday when she had to take all her clothes off and change because they had a mark or a drop of water on them.
I tried to reason with her but she just gets hysterical.
She spent a full half hour in the car tax office just cleaning the seats and wouldn't sit down on them.
We are quite laid back at home, and have a healthy attitude to "clean" dirt iyswim?
Tia

mamazon Mon 03-Sep-07 11:59:16

send her to my house

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:03:32

Can you wash and dry pj's plus 5 sets of clothes per child per day?grin

mamazon Mon 03-Sep-07 12:07:58

lol sorry that was a very flippant answer.

my DD is almsot 3 and is quite similar though not as extreme. she whinges if she gets a mark on her clothes or a drop of juice and yet at other times she is happy to look like she has been dragged through a hedge backwards.

i think i would encourage it so much that she hated the idea of cleaning.
when she starts washing things say "ooh your very good at that, can you wash this cupboard as well"

hopefully it is just a phase that she will grow out of soon enough. if it persists i would consult your HV

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:08:26

When ds2 was 4 he wouldn't do finger painting because it was 'too messy'. His teacher asked if we were 'particularly houseproud' grin as this wasn't the first time he'd refused to indulge in messy play.

He's now 12 and a grubby, smelly, rugby-playing oik! grin

I think it's a phase that a lot of children go through - wanting to control and order their lives. I really wouldn't worry - you will make things worse by turning it into such an issue that she becomes 'hysterical'.

You can always mention it to your HV at her 3 year check if it persists.

terramum Mon 03-Sep-07 12:10:12

DS (37 months) was like this for ages...then it just gradually stopped & now he will quite happily wipe his hands on his t-shirt, trousers, the sofa... hmm

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:10:13

Mamazon she has also developed a very bad stammer this week, I am so worried about hersad

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:11:40

She's 2.4 and her brain works faster than her mouth - don't worry - stammering isn't unusual at this age, either smile

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:12:27

I am actually sitting here crying. Sorry.

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:13:00

She's worried about you...

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:14:14

Noooo, she's in play school she won't be thinking about me for another half hour I hope.

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:14:49

Go out to the park?

Just have fun. Pond dipping maybe?

Don't wind her up - if you're out then she can't change her clothes, can she?

Your 'worried' vibes will be bad news for her if you're not careful.

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:16:08

XP - sorry... You need to change the way you're reacting to this. My ds1 is a worrier because I was such a paranoid mother - ds2 is far more laid back smile

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:17:36

Thanks, I do that it's just so quiet here this morning that all my thoughts and worries are buzzing around in my head.grin I'm going to buy some sylvanian family stuff and let her organise them instead. Maybe that will help?

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:20:01

I have a ds 5 who is totally laid back and very easy going, dd is so completely different I am thrown. She is making me doubt everything I thought I knew.

mamazon Mon 03-Sep-07 12:20:28

you are clearly really concerned abuot all this so you should talk it over with your HV, even if it is justto put your mind at ease.

i am sure its nothing to worry about buit sometimes its these little things that cause us the most concern.

have a chat with your HV and see if she thinks there is anything to worry about. she may be able to reffer you to a SALT about the stammer, but as Forty says- i dont think its unusual at this age.

fortyplus Mon 03-Sep-07 12:22:12

Yes - will make you feel better to have a chat about it if you're feeling so concerned smile

TheMuppetMuggle Mon 03-Sep-07 12:22:17

My DD is the same, she hates being dirty, the slightest thing she goes crazy, she has Kandoo wipes her own special ones so if she feels the needs to clean her hands face etc she can do so!

We just say she has OCD for cleanliness grin

TheMuppetMuggle Mon 03-Sep-07 12:23:44

Although Partly i think my DD gets it from me as i have a very tidy house, and DD knows to clear up after herself!

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:25:27

dd went crazy yesterday because there was a tiny piece of black thread on her sleeve, and literally pulled her top off backwards. 15 minutes later she's there again because a drop of water dribbled onto her collar from a drink of water. Is it a girl thing?

TheMuppetMuggle Mon 03-Sep-07 12:28:12

NS - must be a girl thing, DD is the same, detests her clothes being dirty,shoes,hands,face. You can always here her go Wet Wipe plz, thats why i brought her her own special Kandoo box (refillable)
And they do come in handy now we are potty training!
Again i think is partly to do with me as like a clean & tidy house, am very funny when it comes to that! I get it from my mum, and she gets it from her mum (Family thing i think)

TheMuppetMuggle Mon 03-Sep-07 12:28:53

And DD is a very tidy and clean eater, never makes a mess compared to other children her age and TBH has been like it from Day 1 of weaning

northstar Mon 03-Sep-07 12:35:53

Dd trained herself before she was 2 by announcing "no more nappies they yucky I'll use toilet now" and refused point blank to wear a nappy or pull up. Part of the same problem I think but very helpful at the same time.
If she did have a little accident she got hysterical though.

TheMuppetMuggle Mon 03-Sep-07 12:40:01

DD started like that about 2 weeks ago, and crys everytime has an accident bless her.

In Some ways is nice to have a toddler who is obsessed with being clean, as i don't have to worry to much. And she cleans with me in our daily routine. (is prob where she gets it from)

And always clears up after herself, which i am proud of her for doing.

Countingthegreyhairs Mon 03-Sep-07 12:49:17

Try not to worry Northstar (easier said than done I know).

My 4 yr old dd went through this when she was 2.5 and has on and off periods even now.

My sister teaches child development and I seem to remember her saying something about all children going through a stage like this to a greater or lesser degree (perhaps someone on here will have more info about this.)

It's associated with "linear play" - if I am remembering correctly (I may not be!) where they line up cars and teddies in regimented rows. All toddlers & infants have OCD to some extent. I think it is also meant to be about gaining a degree of control or predictability in their lives which is reassuring (saying "goodnight" three times or having the same bath ritual for example). Again, there are probably others with more expertise who can comment but I gather that these behaviours are not seen as unusual until the age of about 7 or 8.

I'd have taken my dd to see someone if it had persisted for over a year - but it hasn't - and I found distraction to work well ... most of the time anyway ...

Good luck!

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