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Obsessive child, anyone?

(21 Posts)
Dottoressa Fri 11-Jul-08 22:46:00

My DS (who recently turned six) has been given to obsessions pretty much since he was born. First it was oscillating fans (which he was obsessed with even before he could talk - he used to make a puffing noise whenever he spotted one); then it was churches (why???????); then it was Dysons; then it was textile mills; and now it's cathedrals. And when I say obsessed, I mean obsessed to the exclusion of all else.

Here is a typical conversation between DS and me:

Me: "DS, would you like toast with your beans?"
DS: "Did you know that Alec Clifton Taylor says that Peterborough Cathedral's West Front is ill-thought out?"

[He has just bought Alec CT's book on English Cathedrals, and is taking great delight in disagreeing with ACT on pretty much everything]

All his pictures are of textile mills and cathedrals (and they are very, very detailed - when he's not reading, he's drawing).

Is it a boy thing? Does anyone else's DC have weird, all-consuming obsessions...(Please say yes, someone!) It's a bit tedious, as he really doesn't seem to take in anything unless it relates to spinning jennies or West Front rose windows...

violetsmile Sat 12-Jul-08 08:59:05

What an articulate young lad! It's amazing that he has such an unusual hobby.

You say it's an obsession but how many people would think it was odd if their ds spoke about football or their football team a lot?

I think it depends on how much he talks about them at school and whether he has friends that matters.

If he litterally just does nothing but talk about cathedrals all day to everyone then yes, I'd worry.

If he is engaged in school then I wouln't worry, it's just an unusual interest. I think he'll grow up to be a fascinating architect or designer!

For what it's worth I think a lot of babies/ toddlers are obsessed by fans and thing that spin so I wouldn't link the two together.

I'm sure he's fine.

Dottoressa Sat 12-Jul-08 18:59:22

Violet - thank you for your kind comments!

On his school report, his class teacher said "DS enjoys extended conversations with his teachers about the things that interest him". His music teacher wrote: "I have enjoyed my discussions about cathedrals with DS".

I can just imagine it!!

He is at the top of his class by quite a way, so I don't think there are any problems there. He does complain that his classmates don't share his interests (they are all into Star Wars and football) - but I think he actually rather enjoys being different. He isn't one who seems to need friends - he has always appeared to see other children as an annoyance, and has always preferred adults (unlike my DD (4), who can't get enough of her little friends!!)

But you're right - all his friends go on endlessly about football, and nobody thinks it's odd!!

Desiderata Sat 12-Jul-08 19:02:28

Mine's obsessed with dr Who.

I try not to gloat, though wink

maidamess Sat 12-Jul-08 19:02:44

Yes, ds(7) will appear to be listening to me rambling on and will then ask me something about whether I think the black knights in Playmobil could wipe out the red dragon knights if the so on and so on and so on .....

Obsessions have been, in this order...
Thomas Tank Engine
Dinosuars (still relevant)
Ice Age Mammals (watched, and memorised 2 BBC DVD's on the subject)
and Chess.

cocolepew Sat 12-Jul-08 19:08:31

I have an obsessive DD, I think to a small degree it's a bit Aspergers,

First was Thomas The Tank Engine
Stones (crystal type, not Rolling) wink
Scooby Doo
Harry Poter
Dr Who

She stands out as she likes 'boys' things, IYSWIM. But she has converted the girls in the street from Bratz to Dr Who!

Desiderata Sat 12-Jul-08 19:11:20

Now that's an achievement, coco!

cocolepew Sat 12-Jul-08 19:14:30

Unfortunatly there's arguments who gets to be Rose/Donna. Of course DD is The Doctor grin sonic screwdriver and all.

Desiderata Sat 12-Jul-08 19:18:16

That all sounds very familiar, coco grin

cocolepew Sat 12-Jul-08 19:22:05

smileOff topic, Argos has the Masters Screwdriver at half price, if anyone is Christmas shopping. As you were wink

Desiderata Sat 12-Jul-08 19:23:21

We get through two a year. They break easily, I find .. especially in the hands of a lunatic.

cocolepew Sat 12-Jul-08 19:29:59

My DD2 was wandering around this afternoon with a sonic dcrewdriver wedged up 1 nostril and a Harry Potter wand up the other hmm

Desiderata Sat 12-Jul-08 19:34:52

She's confused, bless her. You need to remind her that Harry Potter isn't real.


Doobydoo Sat 12-Jul-08 19:37:27

hen ds 1 was 2 it was clocks for about 2 years!
At his check with HV,she asked him to draw a smiley face and he drew a clock with Roman numerals.He could tell the time when he was about 3 and it drove us mad.We used to sit in church yards so he could watch the clock and he collected clocks and watches.Now he is nearly 9 and loves numbers still and correcting peoples grammar[eek]However golf has taken over!
Haven't read all thread so not sure if a boy yhing or not!
Your ds sounds challenging and v.sweetsmile

Ohireallyshouldnt Sat 12-Jul-08 19:48:24

I agree its a bit strange, but i like having a strange son. ( i agree with Coco its a bit Aspergers...)
DS1 has been obsessed with Dinosuars to the extent that he knows all the names facts and figures, Top Trumps stylee. But now its Power Rangers - every series, every episode. He knows exactly which morpher belongs to which Ranger, which Zords combine to make which Megazord, which Baddies are enemies of whom. He LOVED Mystic Force for its incredibly detailed, complicated and grown up storyline of Udona's lost baby in the woods being Nick (red ranger). He should go on Junior Mastermind i think. (apols to mothers of girls who won't have a clue what i'm on about) wink
He also HATES football!

asteamedpoater Sat 12-Jul-08 20:06:14

Mine (age 4) has obsessions and an obsessional personality... eg obsessions have been reading a book on Crete again and again ad nauseam; doing sums; and singing all 50 nursery rhymes from his CD. Obsessional personality traits include: if he's reading to me and doesn't think I'm listening, he'll want to start again right at the beginning of the chapter, rather than from the point he thinks I stopped listening/we got interrupted. If he's singing all 50 songs from his nursery rhymes CD and he gets interrupted, he'll tell me his CD player is old and a bit broken and he will now have to start that right back at the beginning again, rather than back at the point where it got interrupted... It can be really quite irritating! Sometimes he'll make an effort to be a bit more flexible - the "CD player" (ie DS1) will occasionally manage to pause these days and then start again where it left off, and not burst into tears if it's asked to stop for supper.

His fantastic memory and obsessional behaviour have taught him to read at a very young age, though (ie learning books off by heart and then recognising the words from the learnt books in other books previously unseen) - and he does read with beautiful expression (different voices for different characters, lovely tone of voice etc).

Ohireallyshouldnt Sat 12-Jul-08 20:44:50

Oh Asteamed, you could be describing my son there! Snap - we have the same thing with a nursery rhyme video which has to be restarted if interupted / similarly any book we might be reading.
He's just finished Reception clas at school and is already doing Year 1 work, due to his amazing photgraphic memory. (I was the same, did 10 GCSEs and 3 ALevels with absolutely no study). He also memorises song lyrics after one hearing and is completely obsessed with certain songs. Currently its "Her name was Lola, She was a Showgirl" by Barry Manilow blush. But you made me laugh with the different voices / expressions - DS1 does the same and is really earnest. Its terribly sweet.
My other (toddler) son DS2 completely opposite. Already likes climbing / football / mess. DS1 would rather die than get muddy or wet clothes!

squilly Sat 12-Jul-08 21:31:25

My dd is 7 and has had various obsessions. Her main one is that she has to have a full set of things. It started early at around 2-2.5. We'd read a book and she'd look on the back and say is this part of a set? Can we get the others?

This went on to wanting all the Dr Who cards, all the Go Go Crazybones in all the colours, etc. She's not overly greedy, but she's always liked to collect things.

It's funny, because a friend of our has a 7 year old with ADHD who's deaf and had some behavioural issues (allegedly...according to the mainstream school he attended). The ms school didn't work for him, poor lad, because the school didn't make enough effort imo, but when he left they said he showed signs of being autistic too. This was because of his obsessions with things. Er yeah, right. And that criteria applies to my daughter too...and probably half the kids in class. IMO it's a sign of intelligence. And in the case of our friend, it was proven wrong by his next formal assessment.

DD is obsessive, bright and great to know. I'd say it's a positive thing! Celebrate it!

Dottoressa Sat 12-Jul-08 22:12:06

How reassuring! Thank you, all.

Doobydoo - the clocks did make me laugh!

Asteamed and Ohireally... yes, we do the photographic memory thing, too (though that's inherited from me - poor DS inherited my photographic memory, and DH's male interest in dreary facts). I am sure it's all a bit Aspberger-y, but I read some research that basically said that all males are Asperger-y to some degree.

Asteamed - the Crete book has to be on a par with Jon Cannon's English Churches and Cathedrals ( DS spent all his £30 b'day money on it; it's nearly 800 pages, so feels very heavy on show and tell day - DS is allowed to take it only if he is prepared to carry it himself).

We also had a very boring phase when DS wanted (needed?) to know which number track we were on on whatever CD, and how many minute and seconds each track lasted. Zzzzzzz. Now he is getting into "writing music", which has opened up a whole new avenue of obsession!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anotherdayyetanothernickname Sat 12-Jul-08 22:40:05

With ds (just turned 3) it's bins, wheelie bins , recycling bins, bin lorries. Putting stuff in bins etc.
He is currently sleeping with two bin men in his bed (fear not they are Playmobil figures from his bin man lorry)....

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