You asked the questions, child psychologist Dr Aaron Frost gives you the answers. Email your questions to email@example.com.
My daughter, 8, hates it when she is in the bath or shower for too long and her hands get wrinkly. She also works herself up for swimming lessons because she knows her hands will do the same thing there too. But she loves swimming. She also has to have her hair completely dried – not left wet – before getting dressed. She hates the water dripping on her back and/or clothes. These seem like odd and insignificant things but they are BIG in her life. Are these OCD-type tendencies? I have no idea what to do.
This is a really good example of one of those things that is probably nothing, but is worth getting checked out anyway. It is most likely that this is just one of those odd little quirks that you will tell stories about at her 18th birthday to try and embarrass her. But it is also possible that this may be an OCD-type thing as you have said, or even an Autism Spectrum type of disorder. If you are worried about it, there is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from talking to a child specialist, getting a thorough assessment, and being told you are worried about nothing.
After six months of my kids being too scared to sleep thanks to the clown craze, we’ve now moved on to ‘Charlie, Charlie’ – kiddie seances learned at after-school care. Any tips on how to explain concepts like this to terrified eight year olds?
The amazing thing about anxiety is that it can always find a new way to terrorise your child. But the best weapon against ANY anxiety is fact. If you are afraid of what’s under the bed, you can hide under the covers in fear for hours or you can look under the bed and find out there is nothing to be afraid of. The best advice I can give is to give your kids facts. They don’t need to know about demons and séances, but they can learn about urban legends and how they work. Snopes.com is a great website that debunks urban legends, but also gives information about how they form and spread. ight might be too young to learn about urban legend development, but you might be surprised with how interested your kids will get. Word of warning: Pre-read the Snopes information yourself first because sometimes it can link onto legends that are even scarier than the one you are trying to bust.
THE BIG Q… This month, we ask The Hub experts what’s your fave family holiday destination and why?
A nice resort where the kids can entertain themselves and my wife and I can take turns to catch up on a year of sleep deprivation.
Dr Aaron Frost is a clinical psychologist and director of Benchmark Psychology at Mount Gravatt.