Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious mental condition which complicates the lives of an increasing number of adults every day. Because of the serious nature of the disorder, many fear that their children will ultimately suffer from OCD if they (the parents) are suffering from it. Or, some parents, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with OCD, tend to see certain symptoms generally related to OCD in their kids -- and then they begin to fear that their children may be coming down with the condition.
The good news is, many of the seemingly odd grouping, sorting and organizing behaviors that aren’t normal for adults, are perfectly normal for toddlers. Typically, young children learn about the objects around them by organizing or dividing up their possessions in order to better understand them.
So, a toddler neatly setting aside groups of toys in particular patterns isn’t the equivalent of an adult doing the same thing. This of course isn’t because the activities are inherently different, but because the motivation behind them is different. Whereas incessant categorizing and organization in adults is a troubling indicator that perhaps they are resorting to particular rituals to cope with their OCD, in toddlers, this behavior is rather positive. It indicates that they are developing mentally and are learning to differentiate between various objects.
The key thing to remember is that OCD is extremely rare in toddlers. This, of course, is particularly good news for parents because of the many OCD-like symptoms that young children tend to exhibit as they learn, grow and mature through their early years.
Nevertheless, mental physicians are there for a reason. If you have any doubts regarding the mental health or stability of your child, a simple check-up never hurts.