Two months ago my 2 1/2 year old daughter began peeling off labels, stickers, price tags, etc. around the house. I asked her to stop, told her she was damaging things, and then gave her something else to do with her hands. It continues. She has peeled off all the decals on her dollhouse and toy cars, her wallpaper border in her bedroom, and front and back covers of her books. She rushes to help me put away groceries so she can try to peel off the pricetags and labels.
I've been trying to stop her from continuing this, but I do not punish her since she does not seem to be doing it to deliberately damage things. I have wondered if I should just ignore it. Then his morning I caught her peeling off the wallpaper in one of our bathrooms! She attends preschool 12 hours a week and her teacher has not noticed any peeling in the classroom.
We also have a 1 1/2 year old daughter. They are not bored & get plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Do I need to worry about OCD or is this normal 2 1/2 year old behavior?? What should I do??
You're probably witnessing one of those two-year-old's fascinations. What does she say about it? How has she responded to any limit setting around this behavior?
Some of the peeling is harmless, and I would try to set up a few simple guidelines which will permit some of the behavior while preventing some (e.g., peeling wallpaper). You can set aside or otherwise designate the things your daughter is welcome to peel, and set limits around other things.
This is probably not representative of the onset of OCD.Is there any family history of OCD?
Thank you for your response. To answer your question,there has not been a diagnosed case of OCD in our families. When I catch her peeling something and ask her to stop, she slaps herself on the cheeks with both hands, but does not verbally acknowledge the act...justs hides under her hands. Actually, she does this whenever we correct her. Your advice has led to my decision to put several "peelable" items into a laundry basket for her. Everything else will be off limits and she will be punished if she peels them. Last night, during bathtime, I gave her an empty milk carton. She spent so much energy & concentration on peeling off the label that she didn't even realize I had bathed & shampooed her!
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