Mose revealed these insights during part 2 of her 3-part interview series on Successfully Parenting Teens with OCD appearing on Small Business Trendsetters Magazine.
“It’s important to keep in mind, as parents, we’re all going to make mistakes but by recognizing them, especially when handling a child with OCD, we can act quickly to mitigate harm.”, Mose noted.
Mistake #1: “Why can’t you just stop?”. It’s an easy mistake to make. OCD is frustrating for everyone and remembering that it’s not rational is sometimes difficult. The teen suffering from OCD knows its not logical but it doesn’t matter because stopping the compulsion is too painful. Comments like this imply the teen is weak or lazy which is far from the truth. Teens with OCD are working far harder just to get through a day than anyone else can imagine. This mistake damages the child and the parent/child relationship.
Mistake #2: Doing too much for the teen. When parents try too hard to protect a teen from suffering, their efforts actually prevent the child with OCD from getting better. Another way parents do too much is when they work harder at the OCD therapy than the teen. This is the flip side of accommodating and leads to parents nit-picking every little compulsion which can impede the teen’s progress.
Mistake #3: Expressing their own frustration about the OCD in inappropriate ways. Its never just the teen with OCD who is affected by the disorder. The entire family is taken along for the ride. OCD rarely improves in a straight line progression and can cause frustration all around. One thing parents sometimes do when reaching the limits of their patience is to use the teen’s fears against them. Parents may threaten to mess up a room or bring a contaminant into an area hoping the fear will motivate their teen to try harder. This rarely, if ever, works and usually causes damage to the child as well as the relationship.
Mose recommends parents, “remember to support the child but, fight the OCD, not the other way around.” She continues “It’s all about repair. There is a lot of learning that can happen when we make mistakes and that learning is invaluable.”
Mose went on to say, “From them, children learn that all people make mistakes and when you do, you apologize and try not to make the same mistake again.”
To read the full article, visit: www.smallbusinesstrendsetters.com/ocd-mistakes
To learn more about Melissa Mose, LMFT, please visit: www.MelissaMoseMFT.com
Release ID: 136766