1. Parenting
Carol Bainbridge

Obsessions and Gifted Children

By September 6, 2006

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It is not at all unusual for gifted children to become obsessed with objects or ideas. Sometimes the obsession seems to be fairly normal, like the obsession some little boys have with dinosaurs. Other obsessions are rather unusual, like the obsession a little girl might have for spark plugs. These children sometimes seem to be interested in little else. The little boy with a dinosaur obsession may have dinosaur books and toys, coloring books and stickers, and may also want to talk about nothing but dinosaurs.

Parents of children with these obsessions often worry that their child might have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) or some form of Autism. However, obsessions in OCD are unwanted, anxiety producing thoughts.

The following articles can help you understand the difference between giftedness and OCD or Autism:
Just how common are obsessions in gifted children? Take the poll and let us know if your child has an obsession. Then leave a comment and tell us what your child's obsession is!

Poll: Does (or did) your child have any obsessions?
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More polls from your guide
Comments
July 28, 2008 at 9:53 pm
(1) LITA says:

MY SON IS OBSESSED WITH HIS FOOD TOUCHING. HE VERY OFTEN WANTS HIS FOODS ON SEPARATE PLATES!

August 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(2) ebru says:

MY SON IS OBSESSED WITH KEYS…WHEN HE MEETS SOMEONE FIRST THING HE ASK IS WHERE HIS/HER KEYS…ANY IDEAS?

August 23, 2008 at 11:22 am
(3) Leslie says:

My daughter is obessed with dumping soap out and filling it with water. We can’t keep anything in the bathroom at her level that she can dump. She has also dumped bleach cleaner in her fish tank before. She said it was to see what would happen. I don’t get why she is obessed with it. Any ideas??

October 15, 2008 at 4:33 pm
(4) Jennifer says:

My son is obsessed wiht keys too…and doors and locks. He will open, lock, and close any door he can find. You can imagine how “fun” it is to go anywhere with him (doors are EVERYWHERE – you can’t avoid them!) and how many times we have been locked in someplace! He used to ask for everyone’s keys too. I told him he couldn’t have anyone’s keys and I informed well-intentioned friends and family not to give them to him. So, he eventually stopped asking. Good luck!

January 18, 2009 at 2:20 am
(5) Zorenitiy says:

My child is 13 and ever since she was 4 years old has had an obsession with the meaning of life and languages.

April 16, 2009 at 9:51 am
(6) Dottie says:

My daughter is obsessed with her little friend at school. If my daughter does not see her friend in the morning before she goes in school she will cry and tell me to take her home. She also worries if her friend will go home early. It is all about her friend. She won’t play soccer if her friend is not there. Her friend is the sweetest little girl I like her alot but why is my daughter so obsessed with her.

August 8, 2009 at 5:11 am
(7) Anne says:

I am currently fifteen and ever since I was young I have been deeply concerned with world problems, the meaning of life, and repeating words. It hasn’t been bad for about a year and a half.

Zorenitiy: many gifted children are more prone to existential depression. I know because I am gifted. Existential depression is when trying to figure out the meaning of life becomes obsessive and upsetting. I’ve always had a little bit of anxiety about it, but then I got really depressed because I thought I was meaningless and having friends and family tell me that I was important didn’t help. The important thing to do is to let them know you understand what they’re going through and give them a hug. Psychologists say that human touch is really good for making a person feel more stable. It worked for me.

I remember feeling very upset that as a child, no one would take my feelings on these things seriously. So, even though you don’t have the answers to this unanswerable question, talk to her about it. Also, I’ve come to a semi-conclusion that the meaning of life is whatever I make of it. Although, she’s probably already thought of that and is unsatisfied with the answer. I know I certainly was.

September 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm
(8) ENN says:

My boy is obsessed with Ceiling Fans. It’s been his fascination forever. Whe tought it was cute when he was 2 or 3. But now that he is 6, I am really concerned. We have bought the fan he liked for his bedroon. And has a collection of all kinf of fans. But Today, on his b-day, he is not interested like other kidsa on football, wii, soccer, coloring, movies,he just wants a ceiling fan with remote control as a present. I am getting really upset. He seems to be very smart, no problems socialising, he is the best reader in the class, some issues following his new rules at school, but he just started kinder a month ago, but he likes it. He is kind of dissapointed , because he thouhgt he was going to be at kinder learning engeneering clases, because he want to become an electric eng. So I may sound funny, but I am reallt concerned. What type of specialist should I go to check on his obsessions.

September 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm
(9) Bo says:

My five year old son has had an obsession with dinosaurs for the past two years

January 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm
(10) Milly says:

My five year old is obsessed with me being pregnant which im not. she has tell every one that im pregnant and that shes having a lil sister. I already have 4 children and not planning to have anymore kids. she rubs my belly and says she hears a baby inside…also she does not want to play with any other kids because she says shes waiting for her lil sister to come out of my belly and that is the only person she wants to play with. her father and i have always repeat to her that i am not pregnant and reacently she threaten to kill herself because according to her we are lying that im not pregnant.Please help me.
P.S. this been happening for a year now.

January 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm
(11) Star says:

I think all the children that express obsessions are actually very anxious.
Maybe they are not allowed to be children all the time and instead of their parents being there for them, they have to be their for their parents. Talking from experience.
Too much pressure on children to be good and perfect leads to obsessive behaviours cause they can’t express themselves in any other way.

January 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm
(12) becky says:

i have a little boy who is 4 in march and he has this obsession with electrical equiptment plugs and sockets mainly for his xmas he asked for a extention cable……he has took mine on many occasion and filled every socket with a plug!! he also is obsessed with fans and lights and rarely intersted in anything else. im concerned as his speech is undeveloped and isnt learning to the level he should be at nursery they have put him on a special needs programme. he was early at birth but dont think that could be an indicator as to why he is like this!! any ideas….??

February 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
(13) Amy says:

My 4-year-old son has been OBSESSED with football since he discovered it in August! He has tons of footballs cards and organizes them into different catagories (team, type of card, etc.- they are always spread out around his room), collects memorabelia, memorizes names and numbers, and has recently begun quizzing us on players heights and weights (per his cards). Any number he sees reminds him of someones jersey number, and any color relates back to a team. He sleeps with football memorabelia in his bed, and plays full football games by himself- with all his own rules and players. Any art project he does is football related (draws football players with team colors and numbers, makes football stadiums and players out of PlayDoh- even the weekend painting project produced football players!) If allowed, he would watch an entire game on TV, and is annoyed when there is a break in the action for commercials (I know this because we did let him watch the Vikings vs Saints game)! I mean, seriously! Should I be worried? Help!

February 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm
(14) SidecarDaddy says:

My son is obsessed with vehicles and gear-head things. By age three he could identify a Boxer Twin from a V-Twin motorcycle engine (BMW v. Harley Davidson), he knows all major components of a vehicle from headers, air filters, radiators, differentials, drive shafts. He knows all types of trucks and the type of freight they haul based upon the axels they have and where they are placed. I took him to Monster Jam and he proceeded to articulate to one of the drivers, during autograph session, how the supercharger on his vehicle worked. At night, I talk to him about dreams and we used to do math problems. Now, instead of numbers, we do the race car numbers of NASCAR drivers e.g., give me a number between Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt – Answer Jimmy Johnson. Its kind of freaky. We do the alphabet game “give me something that starts with the letter A and etc.” A-Z he can name a vehicle.

SidecarDaddy

March 7, 2010 at 12:00 am
(15) Trisha Jones says:

My son is obsessed with the number 3.

We thought it was a greed thing at first (that he wanted 3 of everything), but when offered more, he would decline and have a fit about wanting 3. He points out the number 3 wherever we go and at Disneyland he can sometimes get upset if he does not get to go in row 3.

He’s turning 4 this week and he’s made it very clear that his favorite number will stay 3… it’s part of over 50% of our conversations and the cause of 75% of his breakdowns. I feel bad because I don’t understand it and he can’t explain it.

March 22, 2010 at 8:50 am
(16) JennyR says:

Becky (12) I was amazed to read your comments, as it was like reading about my own child. He is now 6 and is as obsessed as ever with all things electrical, plugs, sockets, scart leads, wires, fans – the list is endless. As it’s such a dangerous obsession – how do you cope withi it?

April 25, 2010 at 9:34 am
(17) Artemis21 says:

I’m 13 and gifted, and this obsessions thing is definitely true for me. However, I’m a little upset at their saying that little boys are the ones obsessed with dinosaurs, because I am. a girl and was completely obsessed with dinosaurs from the time I was 3 or 4 to the time I was 8 ( when I started to get more into horses instead). I was teased some by other girls I guess, because they said dinosaurs were only for boys, but still! I learned the Latin names and characteristics of over 50 dinosaurs by the time I was 5 or 6, I knew how to spell paleontology(that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up, a paleontologist), and all I wanted to talk about was dinosaurs. I had dinosaur books, dinosaur pc games(mainly educational), dinosaur movies, dinosaur plastic models, dinosaur everything! Whenever my family visited Washington DC(we had friends who lived there) all I would want to do is head straight to the Smithsonian museum of natural history and stay in the dinosaur exhibit for hours. So you see, dinosaur obsessions are not just for boys; it may not be as common in girls, but girls can be just as obsessed.

April 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm
(18) HollyA says:

Trisha jones(15), your son sounds a little like Nikola Tesla, an inventor of the 20th century. You should look him up, he’s very interesting. Anyway, he had an obsession with 3s too, and. numbers divisible by 3. He would have eighteen napkins with every meal and would only stay in hotel rooms with a number divisible by three. He was a great genius who invented many of the electrical things we use today, including wireless technology. Maybe being obsessed with 3 or any other particular number is a sign of great intelligence that most people can’t understand. Who knows?

May 10, 2010 at 9:34 am
(19) person says:

Millie: That is EXTREMELY worrying, although i doubt she would carry out the suicide thing, she probably feels isolated from her siblings if she is the youngest, or maybe its a baby thing? PLEASE find help and reply back.

May 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(20) Holli says:

My 10 year old daughter is obsessed with stuffed animals. She names all of them and although she knows they are not real, she constantly makes them talk and behave as if they are. She also has a blanket she has named Mr. Softy and takes it very seriously if you do not recognize it by name and handle it very carefully. She acts as if these items have real feelings. She has always been this way and I am a bit concerned that she may not grow out of it.

May 28, 2010 at 2:27 am
(21) joyce says:

i wonder about my grandson, at age four he became completely obcessed with the beatles, for three years he was a beatle- knew all the songs and which album they were from, played guitar and drums singing their songs, costumes and all. suddenly , just recently he has become very interested in native americans and their history, he’s reading “cheif Joseph” right now, he pulls up the dances on the computer and practices , he is very interested in the plight of the NA and what the white man has done.
he’s just turned seven. as his dad says he dosen’t act like a normal kid,

June 1, 2010 at 12:59 am
(22) Michelle says:

My daughter just turned four, and she is obsessed with cages, leashes, and said she likes to watch Peter Pan II because he gets tied up! God forbid she should watch Indiana Jones because he carries a whip! She likes to pretend she is a puppy, hence the leash fascination, but I don’t know why she is so into this stuff. She made her father replay a scene in a cartoon where there was a rabbit in a cage, and that was all she cared about in the movie. Anyone else’s kid have this type of obsession?

July 4, 2010 at 12:14 am
(23) P.J.D. says:

My son’s teacher suggested that he take the gifted test and although the rate is 98-100%, he scored around 94% which was still considered high but not enough to classify him as gifted. He loves math and has shown exceptional talent at baseball. He has always tended to fixate on certain things through his short 10 years thus far. A few months ago, we had the flu go through our home and he was sick to his stomach which he did not like. Lately when he is put to bed by his mother, I can hear him pounding down the stairs to tell me he feels like he is going to puke and wants me to feel his forehead. Tonight we found out he was hiding a package of Gravol and were horrified to say the least. I am taking him to the doctor’s to see if he is physically reacting to any foods but we are beside ourselves with frustration.

August 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm
(24) CM says:

My 10 YO DD is obsessed w/Pokemon. It’s all she ever wants to talk about, watch and play. When she creates art work, it’s always centered around Pokemon. She doesn’t understand why someone wouldn’t be interested in Pokemon. When she was 8, I told her not everyone likes Pokemon. Her response? “If I tell them about it, maybe they will.” Even now, when she talks to people, she doesn’t ask whether or not they like Pokemon, but which one they like best and which element would they like to control.

August 23, 2010 at 10:45 am
(25) amy says:

Ok I am new to this. I have a 13 year old son. He is obsessed with my under garments and takes his sisters also. But the weird thing is he pisses on them and hides them. He has also been caught with my femanime products as well. I have been through therapy for this but he tells him I don’t know. After years of therapy and doing no good he stopped going. Please help.

September 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm
(26) D.V. says:

Granddaughter is 8 can talk about dinosaurs like nobodies business,and knew all their names( scientifically)for 3 to 4 years now, obsessive at times,gets,sad when asked to please talk about something else,tested at a 5th yr reading level in first grade,6th gr.comprehension,would you call that gifted or adhd?

September 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm
(27) Lisa says:

My 3 year old son is obsessed with the number “3″, the color “green”, and the letter “I”. We keep trying to find ways to help him be more flexible in his choices, but it is frustrating to have to tackle this extreme preference so many time each day!

October 2, 2010 at 11:04 pm
(28) Sharon says:

I am 26, but was a gifted child. I had many obsessions, from dinosaurs to horses to existential questioning and religious practices. I still have obsessions, though I admit now I believe them to be more spiritually-related. I just wanted to give some advice to everyone raising gifted children: foster their education. If they are obsessed with sockets and electrical workings, get some books on how electricity works. Dinosaurs? Get books. Anything else? get books! Let them learn, support them, but guide them to have other interests as well. They will grow out of it. And, please, if they are as serious as I was… take them seriously! I had a lot of questions about life and emotions and empathy, I wasn’t taken seriously because I was a “child”. My parents made fun of me and mocked me for reacting so “seriously”. They also didn’t care about my education, which is why I am now 26 and going to college. All we ask for is love, guidance, and an open mind. If you can provide that to them, you are doing everything you can.

October 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm
(29) alice says:

My 9yr old son is obsessive since he was three years old with ligthbulb, electricity and alarm wants to collect and buy anything that has electricity. I just don’t know what to do with him is hard to understand him or get him to play with toys or fun things.

November 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm
(30) lisa Cohn says:

I have three gifted children, and they obsess and also worry about meaning of life issues. My question is this: Do you think you should try to get the child who obsesses to broaden his horizon a little or should you let him focus on whatever his passion is until he’s sick of it? Right now, my toddler’s passion is puzzles, and he could play with them for hours at a time. I try to encourage him to go outside, go to the gym and do other things. However, I do encourage him and help him with his puzzles. I’m curious about how others handle this issue.

December 7, 2010 at 1:37 am
(31) Lorie says:

I loved reading everyone’s comments; it helped relieve some of my worries for my son’s obsessions. My son is five and he is currently obsessed with roads. He wants to know all the street names when we are driving, he makes roads in the carpets (gets mad if we walk on one), does this at school which doesn’t impress his teacher! has me draw them and he cuts them out. I have a bag full of paper roads which he remembers the names by the color and shape. Before the roads, he had a three year obsession with the planets, stars, and glaxies. He had a short obsession with hills and viruses/bacterias and had me draw those too! My concern is he doesn’t share the same interests with his peers and has difficulty socializing. He is extremely active and I am working on helping him to listen and do things with other kids even if he is not interested not working yet! Any suggestions. I homeschool him 3 days a week because he is so far ahead in language arts, he already understands nouns and verbs.

December 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(32) Cindy says:

My son is 7 and completely obsessed with the Titanic. He talks about it all the time and has memorized every single detail regarding how it was built, who was on it and how it sank. He’ll talk anyone’s ear off who will listen to him about it. He extensively Googles for more information and his obsession has spread to the Brittanic and Lusitania and he knows every detail about the creation and sinking of those ships as well. He recites dates, times and details of all of them. I wouldn’t find an obsession with ships odd but I do find his obsession with sinking ships a bit abnormal. When he’s not searching out more information about them, he spends a good amount of his spare time building extravagant replicas of the ships out of Legos and then sinking them in the bathtub. This year he even rendered Santa speechless when he went to visit him by asking for a model of the Titanic that would break in half and sink.

He discusses death and dying frequently in these conversations as well. He’s extremely gifted for his age and reads with comprehension at a 7th grade level. He says when he grows up he wants to design a ship that really is unsinkable like the Titanic was supposed to be. I do my best to encourage his curiosity but I have to admit there are times I find it a bit morbid.

January 14, 2011 at 2:15 pm
(33) Dana says:

Im looking for Amy who wrote the #13 Comment. My 3yr old is the SAME!! It was like you were writing about my son. How is he know? I really hope you still read these posts. Im so lost!!

January 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm
(34) Dana says:

I mean now. Not know. Sorry. :-) Just really excited to know my son isn’t alone.

February 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm
(35) Alexandra says:

My 4 yr. old is absolutely “obsessed” with a particular song. It’s been about 3 months of nothing but analizing the words, the music, the story line. We had to illustrated EVERY DAY at least a few times. We have made videos about it. Our conversations are 95% about this song. (It’s a great song from the BNL Snack Time CD.) I love the song. My song lives the song! French was one of my sons “obsessions”. It lasted a year. God, I learned a lot of French during that year. Little sleep though. I still don’t know if my child is gifted or not. I’m looking for child psychologist who has extensive experience with gifted children. So far, I only know of one, but the earliest app. is not for a year. I live in NJ. I need my my child to be evaluated/tested. Can anyone help?

February 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm
(36) kate says:

Like becky and trish,my 3 yr old boy is obsessed with plugs and gets distressed if he sees a plugsocket without a plug! His previous obsessions have also been not exactly health and safety conscious – when he was 2 yrs it was bins and plastic bags. He has to flush the toilet twice on using it and has other wee things that make him special. He still is not speaking, he says only a few words though the pediatrician does not think that he is autistic. He often lines things up and will lie on the floor rolling his car up and down or spinning its wheels.

March 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm
(37) bitfader says:

A lot of these posts I read don’t seem to be obsessions but things normal children enjoy. dumping, rummaging, food preferences… My daughter exhibits color fixation, no matter what activity or location or situation. She only will allow red and blue colors to be present. If it’s a game, puzzle or art object she will discard all colors except red and blue. Once she has these colors segregated she will arrange them in what looks to be a very patterned placement but I can’t figure it out. If I take one away or rearrange the order she gets angry and agitated and must have the piece back and puts it back “where it belongs”. She is only 2 years 3 months old and has been doing this more and more each day for the past month. The same goes for clothing and now food items… My wife and I can’t agree whether this is normal-gifted activity or an autistic behavior pattern.

May 2, 2011 at 6:35 am
(38) anonymous says:

I’m 15 and gifted. I have always been obsessed with particular things. The first obsession I remember having was with The Beatles and space when I was 4. When I’m obsessed with something I feel compelled to find out everything about it. As I got older I could control my obsessions more. My current one is with economics. It’s not a negative thing, it’s a positive thing.

May 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm
(39) Sherry says:

My grandson (3yrs) cansee a super hero movie once and know everyline and physical action that the super hero takes. Such as flexing muscles, flying,hand movements you name it. He willevenact out the movie while sitting by himself.

May 29, 2011 at 9:11 am
(40) MAR says:

My comment is for Cindy #32 – My son is 5 1/2 and has been obsessed about sinking ships for 9 months now. I too find it morbid at times ans have no clue where it came from. He watches them on you-tube and quizzes us on why ships sink.

June 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm
(41) julia says:

It was good to read other parents have the same concerns and have to deal with the same everyday stresses! My youngest son is nearly 5. He was very late with his speach and even now he finds it hard to ‘tell a story of events’ at times . He has always been obsessed with lights and fans of any variety,and he is also obsessed with toilets and doors. He started school last year and has locked the whole class outside a number of occasions and has to close any door left open that he can see! He likes to visit every toilet anywhere and then talk in detail about what it was like. At school he drew me a picture of our day at the seaside. The main part of the picture had what I thought were sand castles, but turned out to be the toilet blocks situated along the sea front! Surely this is not normal behaviour! No-one seems very interested in these problems except my husband and I . We have been told this behaviour is Anxiety related but thats all.

June 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm
(42) Gifted Teen says:

I am 13 and identified as exceptionally gifted, I’ve been in the gifted program for 5 and a half years, and I am continuing the program through highschool. I’ve noticed I had a lot of obsessions which usually changed frequently. There were however a handful which did not change at all, I have and always have had an obsession with the military I’ve even taken it upon myself to enlist once I’ve gone through university, I also have an obsession with Darwin’s theory on evolution and when I was around five to ten I constantly asked my parents every little thing about why evolution happened, what caused it and a whole list of other questions on the evolution theory.

@Cindy (comment 32) As a gifted child who is in a class of only gifted children I have noticed that quite a few of them are very morbid a lot of them are also obsessed with arsony, poisin, the military, dictators, war machines, ways to kill people… and a long list of other very morbid things, I recommend that you encourage this up to a certain point.

For me the two biggest things that helped with obsessions was writing stories (which usually were tragedies and to be honest I can’t even remember how certain stories twisted into tragedies) and doing ISP’s (Independant Study Projects) I would work on these whenever I had free time and by the end would know pratically everything there was to know about the topic, I usually ended up moving on to a different obsession.

June 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm
(43) elaine says:

In response to post #32 from cindy, I thought i was reading about my own son when i read your post. My son is six and everything you said applys to him too. He is obsessed with the Titanic, it started after my mom let him watch part of the movie at her house one night. he knows everything about it and gets on youtube and watches videos about it. he builds models of it out of legos, and draws/writes about it at school all the time. here lately, that is all he wants to do is sit on the computer and looks at stuff about it. it is really starting to bother me…..

August 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(44) Jodie says:

My very bright 3 year old is obsessed with the number 5!! When I pour her a drink I have to count to 5, she hates it when there is more or less than “5 milk” in her cup. She often stops on the 5th step and will sit there awhile. Constantly asks me when she will be 5, or when others will be 5 or when I was 5. She holds on to the 5th chain when swinging. Her dimmer switch in her bedroom must be “on 5″ at night. She has to have 5 of certain foods on her plate. She counts to 5 as she turns the water in the sink on….and so on. Sometimes it is the number 10 or 3 (because she is 3), but not as often as 5. Thought this was a short phase, but going on a month or so. She also has thing where everything always has to be the same and match. Certain colors go together (to her red and blue, green and yellow and purple and orange go together) She has been able to match objects since she was 7 months old.

October 26, 2011 at 7:42 am
(45) Jennifer R says:

My son has been obsessed with transformers since he was 2 years old. Yes the movie. He is now 7 and his addiction is even worse. Any time he gets free, he will play transformers, stare at the dvd cover and sing to it, or even wet a paper towel and mold it into a transformer. He doesnt draw anything but transformers. He has been a transformer for every halloween since 2. He is not intererested in sports. We go to my moms house and he hops on the computer on youtube to watch transformers. I dont know how to handle this? Should I be ok with it or punish him? Im so fustrated and its driving me crazy. Please email me if u can help! Jsrzekonski at gee mail thank you

November 12, 2011 at 9:45 am
(46) Dan says:

@ Cindy 32 and the rest with the 3 boats sinking problem. The Titanic, Lusitania, Britannic. My 7 yr old grandson (a twin) never stops. 2yrs straight. Over and over. He watches youtube videos of the sinking of all three ships. He watches the sinking scene only. Little Big Planet has a level with the titanic sinking. Over and over!! We have to pretend we are shocked and horrified by the video clips. Like we didn’t see it 10,000 time’s already! I think he likes the Titanic sinking over the others because its so detailed. Now any PERSON that kills fascinates him. He asks a thousand questions about Jason Vorheze and Michael Myers. He doesn’t have access to this information. He is “Scream” every year for Halloween! What the heck is going on? He is a loving, loves to laugh kid. Help!

November 16, 2011 at 9:01 pm
(47) Shauna Morris says:

Hi everyone,
I found this site quite awhile ago, and have been very thankful!! Our son is obsessed with vacuum cleaners. Yes, vacuums. He’s 4, and likes to watch youtube videos of vacuum cleaner reviews. The first question he asks people is how many vacuums do they own, what models and colors, etc..This has been going on for a few months, previous to this he was obsessed with plugs/sockets/cords.
It’s difficult, isn’t it? My husband does not understand at all..but I really advocate for our son and provide him with the love and support he needs. Mind you, my husband does as well but he just doesn’t understand our son as well as me.

November 26, 2011 at 8:43 am
(48) Joanne says:

My nephew is 3 and a half year old now. He is obsessed with looking at doors. Whenever we bring him out to supermarket, shopping malls… All he wanted is to look for doors and look at them. He has problem socializing with his classmates in play group… His speech is a little delayed as compared to children his age. He is very gifted when it comes to alphabets and numbers and colors. He recognized A-Z when he was 1.5 year old and able to read from 1-100 and backward by 2.5yr old.

December 5, 2011 at 10:41 pm
(49) Karen says:

My son is 7 and is obsessed with ceiling fans and lights. It seems that everywhere we go, my son’s mission is to look for fans. It’s funny how he knows every type of fan out there. As a matter of fact, when we visit someone’s house, he will check and see if they have a Hunter fan versus a Casablanca fan.
My son is a very smart boy and does well academically. However, he is having in-attentive issues in school because the teacher says he looks at the lights sometimes and does not pay attention.
When he is home, he is able to concentrate and complete his homework on time without the fan or light distraction.

December 14, 2011 at 10:37 am
(50) Tanya says:

My son is almost 5, he has been obsessed with Clocks and Watches since he was 2; he also loves timers, anyting to do with time really. At first we thought it was cute, now it drives me crazy. WH=hen he meets someone he asks them if he can see their watch. I keep thinking he will grow out of it, but no, it hasn’t. He is very smart and his teacher actually said he was the brightest in her class, the work is actually to easy for him; he can’t be tested till he’s older. One thing we have noticed is that if he gets an idea in his head, there is nothing we can do to change it. He does make friends easily, but I do worry about his behavior. I am not sure how any of you deal with these obsessions, do you encourage or discourage it. We have noticed that he does use his watch as a security blanket, we always have to make sure one is with him; he does have some anxieties, he doesn’t deal with change very well, he has to be told a head of time what is coming to reduce these anxieties.

December 16, 2011 at 5:23 am
(51) Elisa says:

My 5 year-old is obsessed with time. How many minutes… until we get to school? to bedtime? will this light be red? until the movie starts? It’s annoying but he’s great with math. Not sure if it’s a phase or something deeper.

December 16, 2011 at 8:29 am
(52) Fatrex says:

Wow! This thread is fascinating! I have become interested in this topic recently since my son (who just turned 3) has been obsessed with fans for about a year now. At first, he liked anything that spins – helicoptors, airplane propellers, tops, etc. He even used to spin things on the floor – frisbees, pan lids, etc. However, recently he has become fixated on fans. He has even asked Santa to bring him one for Christmas, and named the specific color, make, and model! I personally do not find anything wrong with this behavior. ALL kids get “obsessed” with things, whether it be a particular toy or game or dolls or whatever. It does not appear to be interfering with his development or socialization in any way.

In fact, reading this thread, I realized as a child I was obsessed with things as well. It was like a blast from the past when I read the response from Amy (13). I, too, was obsessed with football when I was young. I created my own league with teams and players I had invented. I would sit in my room for hours and play out the entire season. Looking back, it seems strange. But it doesn’t appear to have hindered me at all. I am a college graduate, married with two children. I teach high school government, and I even coach high school football! I guess all that time in my bedroom paid off!

December 29, 2011 at 12:00 am
(53) Rhidovernon says:

for with confident online

January 4, 2012 at 1:32 pm
(54) Erin says:

My son is exactly the same as #47 (Shauna) – My son is also 4 and has been obsessed with vacuums since he before he could walk. That is all he really wants to talk about and all he wants to play with. For Christmas that is all he asked for. When we go to people’s houses that is what he looks for to play with. I was OK with it and thought it was sorta cute and so did everyone else but now today we had his pre-kindergarten screening and he now has to have additional evaluation and I can tell you it was NOT to see if he was gifted. She said his speech was all about vacuums and that every time she asked him a question he would bring it around to vacuums and so she wants to talk to his preschool teachers and get their perspectives. She also said that he didn’t want to play with any other toys or any of the kids and that he really preferred to play by himself. I really haven’t noticed that type of behavior unless there was a vacuum there in the room. I was really tempted to come home and throw away all our vacuums (the kid owns about 25 or 30 – I’m not even kidding) but I don’t want to throw him into a tailspin and into therapy! I really don’t know where else to go for help! I’m not sure if he’s gifted, crazy, or what! I really think he needs some sort of help though…

January 16, 2012 at 10:16 am
(55) Jodie says:

This is to Cindy #32.this is uncanny, you could have been describing my son! It is his ambition to design and build another Titanic. I try and encourage him but I find it difficult to have the same conversations all the time. he even refuses to let me read anything that is not about Titanic. He is definitely clever but isn’t a particularly high achieving student, he finds school boring because they can’t teach him about the Titanic 24/7. I am worried he is obsessing about it so much, that other parts of his education are suffering as he refuses to expand his interests.

January 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm
(56) Brianna says:

I’m 15. I can get pretty obsessive. I get embarassed to admit it. It would be anywhere from book character to health to science. I love to learn. I am always hooked at something and have to find everything about it. Last year I was freaking out because I feel different. All my life I haven’t been taken seriously. People treat me like I’m not smart. I used to be put into classes that were too easy because I spend more time on school work. I also have a sound sensitivity. I would sit in class and be bored because they were going to slow in normal classes. I know more information on history and science than most. I can memorize facts easily. I found out that when I was 2 I would look at books about dinasours and had a ocean atlas. I found that a little unusual. I once had a obsession over the Titanic. I had so many questions that were never answered because I could never find the answer. I have had friends leave me because of this. My parents haven’t told me to stop obsessing, but I’m scared they will. They encourage learning about different things.

January 29, 2012 at 6:29 am
(57) Neri says:

Cindy 32 When I read your story it sounded like you were talking about my 7yr old. He is also obsessed about Titanic and it’s sinking. I am sure he must mention it 500+ times a day. Has to tell everyone he meets about it. He also wants one to sink in bath. It’s like he doesn’t see sad side to the story. I am so surprised with all he knows about it.

February 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm
(58) Been There says:

To Gifted Teen:

Please don’t enlist in the military until you check it out carefully. Talk to lots of people, not just the recruiters.

I was highly gifted and earned one of the highest scores on the enlistment tests, so I was allowed to choose my training. I chose to be a translator/interpreter. The language training was okay. But I soon found out that the military is full of stupid people and policies aimed at the lowest common denominator.

Unfortunately, in the military, unlike in civilian life, you have to do what the stupid people tell you to do. It isn’t fun. And unlike civilian life, where you can quit a bad job, you can’t quit the military until your enlistment period is up.

If you want a challenge, try something that’s really hard, like getting a Ph.D. in pure mathematics or one of the hard sciences. If you can meet that challenge, you will be able to work with colleagues who are rational and who appreciate creativity and innovation.

(My apologies to people who are in the military. I did meet a few smart people there. The smartest and kindest was a colonel in the Marine Corps. He advised me (privately) to get out as soon as possible.)

March 10, 2012 at 11:09 am
(59) keith kyles sr. says:

both my 5 yr. old and 15 yr. old sons are obsessed with yellow anything. we found a yellow building block in the pant pocketts of my 15 yr. old and under his pillow. any suggestions.

March 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm
(60) Proud Mommy says:

My son is 6 and has always had an obsession with his cuts. He picks at them even after they have healed. His father passed around the same time of Micheal Jackson’s death but he was more concerned with Micheal. He is more independent then both of his older sisters, he’s very shy, a very very picky eater. He is very curious and loves to learn. His memory is impecable but yet was diagnosed as developmentally delayed as a baby. He’s currently In special ed but may get switched to a regular class setting in the future. He is Constantly on the honor roll and is a star in my eyes. He has come a long way

April 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(61) Julie McDonald says:

My 3 year old boy has always been interested in hoovers, telephones and washing machines. But more recently he has become obsessed with wires, extension leads, music players, computers and all he wants to do is play with old broken electrical products and pretend to plug them in etc. It has gone really far now and he does not enjoy doing anything else. If any new wires are mentioned he gets really excited – the way you would expect a child might react to the idea of chocolate or an ice-cream treat.

It makes playing with him very difficult indeed and also you can’t leave him unattended in case he tries to plug things in.

Does this sound normal and what can we do to encourage him to play with normal toys?

April 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(62) Rebekah says:

My 4 year old son is obsessed with warning/caution/hazard labels and all street signs. He reads the same signs everyday as im walking him in to daycare, then he reads every sign in the classroom everyday. He reads labels at pre-school and tells the teacher that certain toys are a chocking hazard…not for children under three years. He is also obsessed with legos, he builds a little duck and takes it Everywhere. I’m very supportive, but I’m afraid that other children might find his behavior to be a bit odd.

April 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm
(63) Sharon says:

My 23-month-old is increasingly obsessed with books. He’s always enjoyed books–we’ve made plenty available to him and read to him regularly as all parenting books advised, but never took it to any extreme. We’ve just let him lead in this area since he was six mos. He enjoys other toddler activities and some of them as much as his books, but nothing preoccupies him like books. We’ve collected 150+ books for him from gifts, hand-me-downs, used book sales, etc. and he seems to know the content of all of them (at least half are for older readers). He doesn’t read them but he’s starting to memorize the details of every page (some have 50-60 pages) and talk to himself in a constant stream of chatter as he pages through (“I drive Giant front end loader!” “This one’s German Stuka!” “I go inside book with Flip!”). He talks about books from the moment he wakes up, spends times with them before breakfast, goes through piles at various points in the day, wants to be read to constantly, and battles at bed time are usually about cutting off the books for the day! Sometimes he snuggles with a fave book instead of his teddy bear as he drifts off to sleep. I know that he’s bright, happy, well-loved, well-adjusted, but here’s what I’m wondering…is there a point where it’s just too much (the past couple weeks seem like it’s gone to a new level and it’s getting kind of obsessive)? Is he missing out on other things because of the sheer quantity of time he spends on books? Books are not TV, but they are still a “mediated” version of reality–not the same as hands-on experience. He gets so much joy out of books and he’s learning a ton of words and concepts, but should we steer his natural curiosity towards more real-life experiences for some balance and the different sort of brain wiring that offers? Perhaps this is rhetorical–our son will be fine no matter what we do/don’t do in this particular matter–but I’d be interested in all opinions/knowledge on the subject. Thank you!

April 20, 2012 at 3:10 am
(64) Penny says:

Cindy#34 about your son and the titanic..maybe hes recalling a past life memory..maybe he was on the titanic in his past life.
To all the other moms…think outside the box. Maybe some of the obsessions are from another life. For example..light sockets..maybe he was an electrician in anothe rlife. anyhow, let them be themselves,get books on what they like, etc..dont worry they are all individuals discovering life in their own way. *With one exception..mom with son taking underwear. peeing on them,etc..He should see a therapist to be on the safe side.

June 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm
(65) Brenda says:

I’ve been very concerned about my son possibly having autism. He is 24 months and ever since he was 14 months old he began his obsession with the alphabet. Now at 24 months he has an obsession with alphabet and numbers. From the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he goes to sleep he is constantly reciting the alphabet and counting Everything. Counts stairs, lines in the street, spells everything. He mastered the English alphabet and then moved on to the Spanish alphabet, and then American sign language. He started reading at about 20 months. He learned to read on his own through his obsession of the alphabet. Most people think it’s a trick because he started reading at one, but it really isn’t. He knows all the sounds of the alphabet, including ch and sh. He sounds out the words in front of him and reads them. I try to keep him away from the alphabet and try to encourage him to play with his “regular” toys, but he won’t give it up. He goes around his round naming the first letter of every toy and animal in his room. His obsession is soo intense it scares me and makes me think that there is something wrong with him. I’m thinking of getting him evaluated.

June 12, 2012 at 6:01 am
(66) Dan says:

Boats sinking update from @Dan 46. My grandson is still sinking boats. Still watching the same you tube videos. He seems otherwise a mentally healthy young man. He is very aware that it’s not normal. He tries to pretend that its just a mild part of his life now. However he still spends hours staring and sinking his boats in the pool. Its been years now. His grades are fine. He is loving and caring. He laughs hard at movies. Have our eyes on it. Interested to see how long he hangs on to it. It’s been years now. Not sure if this is part of it but, he HAS to have his blanket to sleep. Peace

June 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm
(67) JS says:

My 10 year old daughter is obsessed with Pokemon. She creates her own Pokemon characters and knows every detail about them and the game to the point where it is like a ‘language’. She also does digital art but I worry because she has almost no friends and if they don’t share her Pokemon interest, she doesn’t really want to engage with them. It is hard for me to understand this inflexibility and fixation on one thing.

June 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm
(68) Momma3 says:

I am starting to feel better after I have read these, esp after the posts from the gifted teens and adult. My son is 5 and is obsessed with Angry Birds for almost a year. We stopped the game playing early, but he has all the stuffed animals and every night we build with giant blocks and place various stuffed animals (it has slowly evolved from just pigs) and he throws the birds and knocks them down. We must take a picure first and video the whole thing and then he watches it and giggles. Every night. He has spent hours on you tube watching angry bird videos which we have also cut out. He only talked about angry birds during his Kinder Readiness Assessment (even though we talked with him about it before) and they made us take him to the pedMD, who said he is fine. He obsesses over his baby sibling’s stuffed animals so that he may add them to the evening building sessions, which is where our problem is now because he continues to ask how many minutes, days, etc it will be until his baby brother will give him his stuffed monkey, and it gets very upsetting and frustrating and ends in tears. Are there any answers out there on how to deal with this? Should we just let him grow out of it? I am worried he will have trouble in school…

July 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm
(69) anne says:

To the parent of the thirteen year old son who urinates on your garments, I believe he has some other issues which are not related to him being gifted. (This obsession is far from the INTELLECTUALLY obsessive trait observed in many gifted children.) Playing with feminine undergarments is quite normal for average children around the age of three to seven years of age, but for a thirteen year old! NO, something is definitely wrong! As a mother, you should keep your clothing in a closet or a seperate area. And, why are you on this blog which discusses unusual (academic, mechanic, artistic, or creative) interests of gifted children? Please see a pyschologist or go to another blog!

July 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm
(70) anne says:

I really have a hard time believing some of these kids are gifted. I mean, GATE programs don’t really identify the top 2%, they identify the top 20%. Truly gifted children aren’t playing angry birds or obsessed with video games. Most of them are sitting at home reading books and painting or playing the piano or sometimes doing normal activities like other children. At school, they are bored to DEATH by stupid exercises. I have never heard of a super smart kid obsessed with video games or something of the like. These kids may be NORMAL bright, but certainly NOT gifted.

July 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm
(71) too strange? says:

These are great comments my question is, is this an obsession to help guide them into thier future or are we looking at a window into thier past?

July 18, 2012 at 9:47 am
(72) Gifted mom says:

My two daughters, ages 9 and 12 are both gifted although they are very different. My 9 year old is very social and funny and reminds me of myself as a child.
My 12 year old tends to be obsessive about new subjects. For a while, as a child, it was the true story of Balto the sled dog. Later on it was Pokemon. She has always been obsessed with horses. She’s read countless books and even had an imaginary one when she was about 4. It was cute for a while but became a problem. One day I made her tie him to the bumper of the car because he couldn’t go in the restaurant with us. She sobbed for 15 minutes. I was frustrated then, but she and I laugh about it now.
She is entering 7th grade this year and still tends to be obsessive about subjects. Last year it was Dr. Who, tv show. We watched them as a family and found them interesting and fun, but she watched them again and again. Knows every character, names of episodes. Kinda creepy. Now it’s marvel comic heros. We rented a few movies, Captain America, Iron Man, etc. before going to see The Avengers Movie. Now she is obsessing on them a bit.
She rides horses, is a very good artist, and took up an instrument last year. She is fairly well rounded, but I worry that other kids will find her weird because of her obsessions. One GT teacher stated it very well to me. She pointed out that she is not interested in small talk. She won’t chat about cute shoes and the latest Justin Bieber video just to fit in with the other girls. Not necessarily a bad thing to not compromise yourself to be liked. I still worry and have to remind her that her grandparents don’t want to talk about Dr. Who, but her obsessions seem to be more short lived now and she seems to be able to be interested inane things at once. Her latest, the BBC Orchestra. They record the Dr. Who soundtrack. She plays the bassoon, has gotten copies of their music, and plans to play for them someday. We are hoping for a music scholarship. ; )

July 31, 2012 at 10:22 am
(73) lori says:

My 4 year old grandson is obsessed with watches, clocks and time. as soon as he sees you he asks to wear your watch, checks time from room to room, and has watches and clocks of his own.

August 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm
(74) Tricia says:

My sonwho is 6 has been obsessed with trees, he loves to get limbs from trees, try to plant them, plays with the limbs, likes to watch the leaves blow, this has gone on for a year or more, before that it was football helmets, had to buy almost all of the NFL helmets, before that was laundry soap and laundry soap containers and washing clothes, before that was keys and at age 2 was fans.

August 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm
(75) Dana says:

Wow do I feel better after reading this thread and reading the articles that was provided. Like #52 My son is 5 years old and has been obsessed with fans for approximately 3 years now… It is to the point where if he can’t find a fan to fixate on he will make things spin i.e. forks, spoons, propellors on airplanes or hellicopters… My life revolves around fans! Every trip to the store we have to go down the fan isle and check out what new fans they have in stock… Even fans that are in the box, just the picture itself intrigues him.. We recently got a new Super Wal-Mart in our town and when he realized that the lawn and garden department had two HUGE GIGANTIC fans on the ceiling he constantly begged to go see the “BIG FANS”… I would even drive a different route home after work so we wouldn’t drive past the walmart.

My son is very hyperactive and agressive but he is also extremely bright and has a memory like you wouldn’t believe.. He remembers directions to peoples houses, stores that we bought specific items from and how to get to those stores and details about situations that the normal person would blow off as not important. I believe without a doubt that there is something very special about him and even though at one point we thought the fans were hurting him and didn’t let him talk about them, we actually use his obsession as a reward for good behavior… If he is good during daycare (which for a while has not been very often) he gets 5 minutes of “fan time” sporatically throughout the day. If he is not good or does not play well with his friends then his fan time is taken away… I believe in using whatever works and right now encouraging good behavior with a reward of something that he loves is working, rather than using candy or prizes…

For now I suppose until I am told otherwise by a doctor, we will embrace Hayden’s obsessions and use it to help him and hopefully not hurt him (emotionally)…

August 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm
(76) JDW says:

@Anne – you couldn’t be more wrong. I have a child who was speaking in full sentences and cracking jokes at 18 months. He was tested and is solidly in the gifted category and my biggest frustration is his OBSESSION with video games. He doesn’t want to read, hates school, he doesn’t want to do art/music/play an instrument. He feels that anything that takes away from video games should be strictly avoided.

There are many versions of gifted and you seem to think that only a classical presentation of giftedness is “real.” That is sad and short-sighted.

August 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm
(77) Julie says:

This is the first bit of research I have done regarding my son’s obsession with fans. I didn’t realise there were so many children with the same interst. My son is 5 and half and has had this obsession since he was about 18 months and it is just getting worse to the point I’m concerned. From the moment he wakes to going bed all his life is, is fans. He is and always has been so well behaved, he’s shy but has no social issue, language and everything else is where he should be, not below and not over so in my eyes he is ‘average’ not gifted. Is that what the general thought is, kids with obsessions are gifted?? His behaviour has changed dramatically over last month as weather been hot, we have the fans out, he sobbs his heart out, has, a teerible temper if we say no to the fan coming out. When we shop all he wants to look for is fans, he wants magazines, catalogues anything with fans on so he can cut out glue to paper and stick on wall. Ay one point he must have had 10 sheets of paper of cut out fans. I feel so guilty when i tell him no and he gets so upset, think ive learned now he cant control it, i need to be educated on the disorder. When i tell him yes its a reaction same as if someone won the lottery.
When i ask him what is it you like about the fans, he tells me the plug, so its been interesting reading everyones comments about plugs, they also generally have an obsession too with fans. I need some advice i think on how to manage his obsession, any ideas?
For the parents with children with fan obsessions, how is your child in winter when the fans are put away? Do u get some breathing space for few months? Yes, last christmas he received to children fans off santa which he wanted, however the interest is no where near the same as these do not have plugs on, so fans and plugs obviously go hand in hand…

August 24, 2012 at 12:12 am
(78) Shelley Hall says:

My son has been obsessed with vacuum cleaners since he was crawling. As he became a toddler he would climb out of his crib and watch infamercials in the middle of the night. As he became even older like 3-4 he was pushing them around the house. Turning them off and on, dumping out the canister, etc. It was around 4 when he started taking them apart and putting them back together with a screw driver and all. He would ask people about their vacuum cleaners and would tell them whether their vacuum was expensive or cheap based on brand or whether it had a hepa filter or not. It was very strange and annoying at times. For Christmas and birthdays people would buy him vacuums and dust busters. We had Hoovers, Dyson’s, Sharks, Roomba, Shop Vac, and he wanted a Kirby and an Oreck. He used to throw huge tantraums if we went to the mall at closing time because all of the stores would be vacuuming and he would want to go see what kind of vacuums they had. Anyway, my son had this obsession from 6 months to 6 years. I was so sick of it. That’s all he talked about day in and day out. He taught himself to read at 4 in vacuum catalogs. He is very smart and learned to count by using vacuums as well. He is now 7 and we just found out that he is gifted so what we as parents may think are weird obsessions, may mean something totally different. He showed lots of other signs like being more interested in adult conversation. He never played with toys either. I thought at one point, “I wanted a little boy that plays with dinosaurs, cars, trucks, and planes. But I got one that loves vacuums??? Anyway, he’s very bright and I wouldn’t trade em for anything. If you have a child with an obsession talk to your pediatrician and if they are school aged have them tested. They sell so many toys for gifted children to keep their interest….Good Luck!

September 3, 2012 at 9:32 am
(79) Michelle Moodley says:

My 10yr old son is completely obsessed with anything related to cars….in fact, any form of transport. He can relate specifics of any kind of vehicle and leaves those he speaks to – usually grown men – speechless with his knowledge. Prior to that he had an obsession with dinosaurs and knew everything – at least, I think everything – there is to know about them. He never forgets anything he reads and has an incredible general knowledge for his age. His grade 2 teacher urged us to take him for an IQ test as she believed him to be gifted but I was kinda reluctant to do so as his attention span is very short and my worry was the IQ test would reveal the opposite as he just wouldn’t care to take it seriously. All he wants to talk about is cars, watch anything on tv about cars and read about cars!! Will he grow out of it? What do I do?

September 5, 2012 at 7:18 am
(80) Staceyhuk says:

Hi everybody, my son is 5yrs old next month and since the age of 12 months he has been obsessed with hoovers, we brought him a toy dyson for he’s 1st bday and then on to have toy henry,hetty and even the desktop toy cleaners of henry and hetty. He playes with he’s nans dirt devil and is constantly cleaning.
The obsession has gone on now and shows no sign of growing out of it, we are finding he obsesses more… he will get the hoover our every day and hoover the whole house evey nook and granny and will do a great job…but as much as people might say leave him to it, it causes so may arguments when he’s told no.
He cleans our cars with the hoover too and to be honest he’s never happier than hoovering. He even looks through the argos cataloge and rather looking through the toys he will sit and look at hoovers and pick out one’s he would like asking to have it for he’s bday or Christmas.
He took him out one day to a play center(soft play) he went off playing with he’s little sister after a while i couldn’t find him on the play equipment but i did turn to find him playing with there hoover …i just don’t no what to do, iv never tryed to make it an issue but i know it probably is help anyone???

October 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm
(81) gifted teen's mother says:

my 13 year old daughter always had obsessions. when she was 2 years old she started obsessing over consistencies. once she broke down in a store because she realized that some toys weren’t for kids 3 and under and some weren’t for those under 4. she was really upset because there was a 2 year transition instead of a 1 year transition to be able to do these things. she was obsessed with teletubbies at 1 and all shed do was play with her teletubbies or watch teletubbies. around 8 she was obsessed with pokemon and she would only talk about pokemon until a few months ago. now shes obsessed with the band the cure and murderers, especially tsutomu myasaki or whatever, jasmine richardson and collin ireland. she compares every situation to a murder case and talks about not wanting to meet her paul burnado or something. she also had a breif obsession with origami and has invented her own folds. shes always asking people if they like the cure and will talk you to death if ya let her… should i worry?

October 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm
(82) Glenn Baker says:

Wish I found this sooner. My 5 year old is in his third year obsession of clocks, and watches. He takes them apart and has been putting a number of them back togeather. They worked. he iscreative, I saw him make an imagainary clocks out of a dental chair when I took him to the dentist. I feed this obsession because it is the vehicle by which he learns and relates. He chooses to watch educational programs related to Leapster explorer. Once I had him tracing a letter one day just a few days before he was to be tested for autism. While we was testing him I realized he traced all letters in the air. This meant to me he memorized everything he traced which meant he learned to write. The tester disagreed but when given paper, crayon, and given letters to write he wrote them in upper and lower case. while others feel disturbed I do not, I am the one that had learning difficulties when I was young. While it may seem odd to others he chooses clocks over transformers, my cousin was like this taking tv apart when he was that age. Today he an electrcial engineers and Jr vice president in his division at texas Instrument. Even authored a text book. Lets be glad we got smart kids and not dumb ones.

October 30, 2012 at 11:15 am
(83) julie says:

absolutely obessed with hoovers, help?

November 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm
(84) kara says:

I’m twelve and have some obsessions. I am positive they are obsessions. They are all that go through my mind, and I constantly talk about them. My first and oldest obsession is a bit odd, so bare with me. First is the disney channel childrens movie Lemonade Mouth. The first time I watched the movie on tv, I loved it. I wanted to know more about the movie, so I went online and looked it up. I found out it was based on a book. I had to read the book. I bought it on itunes and read it, favoriting the character Stella Yamada. I constantly tried (and still do) to dress just like her, act just like her, and I am now a vegetarian just because she was a vegetarian. I also made my dad teach me how to play guitar, just because she does. After that, I found a website called ‘Fanfiction’. They had hundreds of stories about Lemonade Mouth, and I could make stories to publish too. I then found a couple pairing I liked: Stella Yamada and Charlie Delgado. I am currently loving this pairing.
#2
My second obsession is an alternative band called Paramore. I absolutely fell in love with this band after I heard one of their songs. Actually… I am currently listening to them. I made my parents buy me their cd brand new eyes (along with lemonade mouths cd) and am hoping for a Paramore ipod case for xmas. I also fell in love with the lead singers hair. She is always dying her hair different shades of red and orange. I now want to dye my hair red, just like hers. I am also entering the talent show, and started taking singing lessons.
Okay! I put this VERY long comment up, because I though it might be interesting for you guys to hear a childs POV.

November 22, 2012 at 6:46 am
(85) sarah rush says:

hiya my son has constant obsessions and i dont know what to do. when he was 2 he has a serious obsession with keys asking even strangers and going into thier pockets to get them. then it moved to mob phones and electrical wires constant talk about it. every word is about phones, plug and wires. excessively talking. he cannot sit still.. in the car i have to keep stopping and putting him into his seat over and over everyday, he does not learn! i tried sitting with him getting him to count to ten it took me 20 min and he counted to 5… 1,2,3,4,9 he says. i am worried about his lack of attention span towards school work (important life skills) and his brilliant attention span towards phones, wires, keys and plugs. help! how do i stop this and turn things around for the better of his future. he is 4 now and due to start school soon., i know he wont be able to concentrate on work… docs says this is normal. am i worrying about nothing? adhd runs in family, is it that? i really dont know

December 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm
(86) Starr says:

my daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs. has memorized their names and has a few favorites that she often imitates. she even told her classmates and teachers at her new school that she was actually part dinosaur, and me and her father were not really her “birth parents” that her mother is actually a t-rex.
she has been drawing them since age 3 and is almost 7 now.
she’s mastered the skill of drawing them, proportionally correct and accurate to that specific dinosaurs’ physical characteristics.
i think it’s neat, and i have tried to not hinder her nor make her feel weird for her obsession. i thought it would pass, but it has not and shows no signs of ceasing.
the only issue i have with it is that she’s entering a new stage in social development and being a dinosaur is:
1. Sometimes intimidating for other kids and
2. Not at all “girly”
She’s socially awkward and that hurts any parent that has a “different” child.

December 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(87) E.Long says:

My son, who is now 7, is obessed with teaching. Ever since he began preschool, he has come home every day to “teach” his kids. He doesnt want to go anywhere to stay here and teach. Each year the kids names changes, but he is still teaching. I have bought him much, much paper, a dry erase board, many pencils and pens, etc. Whatever he is doing he is teaching, he will ask me if his “kids” can go with us when we do leave. He knows the kids arent real and will tell me this, but he insists on teaching them everyday. He writes out what they will do, what they will learn and so on. He may teach math, art, science, music it just depends on waht he saw or learned at school that day. He does this throughout summer. i dont really discourage this because he is learning things, but sometimes it gets a bit aggrevating that that is all he wants to do. He was born early, had a speech delay and now has an awful fear of bugs after being stung. Overall he seems like a typically developing child, he just absolutley loves to teach and does not want to stop. At night he will get so upset that he has to go to bed because he cant teach anymore that day, so i assure him he can the next day. I can not find this anywhere on the internet…..

December 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm
(88) thecolonelswife says:

with SO MANY THINGS!!!! at 4 months it was cords and outlets….you can imagine the fun. it’s been characters, ideas, morals, parties, seasons…you name it.

January 16, 2013 at 11:54 am
(89) Chao says:

My 4 year old son is very, as in very, obsessed with basketball.

January 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(90) Raz says:

I am twelve and I have been obsessed with disorders for quite a while. I constantly read about them and blabber to my family about them. I taught myself to read at two and was obsessed with books. I would never complete my schoolwork which gave my teachers a headache, it was too simple. I was tested in the second grade and was classified as intellectually gifted. I have experienced several obsessions and it is perfectly normal to have them. I am a perfectionist, and it drives me nuts. I’m sensitive to spelling, grammar, arithmetic, and many more mistakes. Math is one of my obsessions, when my mom started to take me to the library, I checked out math textbooks. Now I am learning pre-calculus independently. I also was obsessed with the number 3, I had to have 3 or multiples of three, in any inanimate object. I pointed out three everywhere and to this day it is still a good omen to me. I believe it is good to nurture such talents that children acquire.

January 19, 2013 at 4:06 am
(91) tiffany says:

My 2 year old is obsessed with astronauts and becoming one he knows all 9 planets and in order he can also point them out he can also count to 25 knows all his colors and letters and he is only two

January 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm
(92) pipay says:

my 7 years old son is very obsessed with CALENDARS. since he was 4years old he love to collect it, especially during end of the year. he wants a calendar with moons, he even memorized our birthdays and all special occasions..if there’s no calendar he gets a paper and a pencil and making his own with all the details like memorandum,high tide or low tide full moon,first quarter etc. all details in calendar… also he know how to make it on computers and print after. I’m so worried is this normal? please help! thank you

February 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm
(93) Rosie Aldrich says:

My son is three going on four in may and for the last year his obsession has been flags, necklaces and tacks. He left the house at two in the morning in the middle of a snow storm Made it a block away before i woke up and was able to find him. He told me he was going to get a flag. He once got some thumb tacks and when i tried to take them away he held them so hard i had to pick the tacks out of his hand. They were stuck in.The necklace obsession is all day all the time he doesn’t want them to wear he only wants to have them and hang them wherever he can. I really don’t think he is autistic but this obsession is crazy to us and its been so long. I would love any input on this thanks

February 5, 2013 at 11:57 am
(94) Beth Hardy says:

My grandson is obsessed with keys. He early drives us crazy with keys. He pats everyone down and demands their keys when they come in. He sits in his Little Tykes car and makes backup noises all the time as well. I had three very intelligent children and there were no obsessions of any kind.

February 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm
(95) Laurie says:

First I must say I’ve really enjoyed reading this thread! It makes me feel better about my 10 yr old son & his obsession with roller coasters. It’s just like others have explained: Very intense & time-consuming. He was in the gifted program at school until we started homeschooling last week & he also has some anxiety issues; so it all must be linked. One reason I’m homeschooling him is to teach him as much math & science as possible since he wants to be a roller coaster engineer/designer. (I figured I’d embrace the obsession) Plus I love roller coasters; so I guess I got lucky!

February 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm
(96) Kim says:

I have had such a laugh reading all these comments. My son is turning 3 in a month, but his first word when he was 18 months old was FAN, and his love for them has only grown with time. He wakes up and switches his “hand fans” on in the morning, grabs whatever object he can spin and gives it a name, like The outside fan, the low hard fan, the powerful fan, etc and if it has a string or chain hanging from it, even better, so he can pretend to switch it on before spinning it. I ask his if he wants to go to the park… No… He wants to see Fans, fans, fans. Everyone in my suburb knows him as fan boy, as he goes in to all their shops and asks if he can switch their fans on and off (most actually oblige)! He even pretends he’s hungry just so he can go in to Subway as they have fans! In every other way he is completely normal… Clever, funny, sensitive and extremely observant. I’m hoping its a phase because getting him to participate in life more broadly is a challenge. Today he was eating a cupcake and right in the middle of it, he started to pretend it was a fan and started spinning it… Cup cake went flying everywhere!!!

March 1, 2013 at 1:07 am
(97) knme says:

Ever since she was a baby my daughter has been obsessed with my belly. She would lift up my shirt and start touching it. While falling asleep she needed to touch it and in the middle of the night she would cry if i had my back turned to her and was unable to touch my belly. I relate this as almost like a child who needs a “blanky”.
People have said this is normal for a child who have been nursed.
I never really understood this obsession and now that my daughter is almost 8 years old I figured she would have out-grown this by now.
Is this normal behaviour? Or is this an indication of some type of behavioural or even developmental problem?

March 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm
(98) dottie says:

For the parents of children with fan obsessions: My son is now 12 years old and is still obsessed with fans. If he can have a thousand he would. He likes the way they look, knows all models. We have put limits on it, but they have remained his passion. At 3 he was also obsessed with vacuums at first, then all that spins (helicopters, planes), lamps, doors (opening and closing them) and lights.

As he got older, his obsessions have branched out to anything electrical– he built his own homemade air conditioner at 9. He builds many contraptions on his own, takes fans apart and reuses parts. He is excellent at wiring switches. He is also interested in transmission towers, electricity, balasts, and insulators. He is fortunate that we have some tinkerers and engineers in the family.

At 3 I had him evaluated. They found he had a high but uneven IQ and was diagnosed with Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism. That sounds scary, but really I just look at it as living life sideways. My son sees the world through a different lens and thank god for people like this. If Einstein and others were evaluated today they too would be diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum.

That is not to say it has been easy. There are other things that come with it (sensory issues, muscle tone, difficulty handling change). I think there is a fine line between feeding the obsessions and embracing the passions. If you are thinking there is something askew, best time to do things is when they are really young. I am not saying all kids with these obsessions have Aspergers, but it is worth exploring because so much is out there now for kids to keep their passions and at the same time get what things they need to adapt. I am told he is much more adapted because of the early intervention work we did.

March 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm
(99) sadiero says:

In regards to the previous posts, it’d be interesting to hear from parents with fan obsessed toddler/child. Does fascination with fans, revolving objects always indicate an Autism Spectrum Disorder? My son is very bright and he’s also really into fans and such.

April 7, 2013 at 2:46 am
(100) elba says:

My husband and I are very concerned about our granddaughter. She is 12 and has had an obsession with the deceased singer Selena since she was 2 1/2 yrs old. Her mom introduced her to songs and videos of the singer at that young age. Our granddaughter talks about Selena constantly and doesnt seem to be interested in anything else. We cant talk about anything that she doesnt find some connection to Selena. Our granddaughter hates being blonde.. she wants to be a brunette like Selena. Our son says she’s going through a “phase” but we dont think a ten year obsession is a “phase”. Please feedback! Thanks

April 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm
(101) Mandy says:

My son is 3 and has been obsessed with churches and bells for around 3 months now. He talks about them non stop. Wherever we go we have to visit the local church, if its locked then we have to walk all the way around checking all the doors. He gets very upset when we have to leave, it can often completly ruin family days out. We have endless discussions about where the bells are in the bell tower and why we can’t go up there. He watches clips of the giant church bells on you tube and bell ringing. He doesn’t know anything about religion, just loves to visit churches….

Prior to this it was Henry vacuum cleaners from the age of around 1. He has a huge collection of toy Henry’s and hettys aswel as a couple of dysons. Thankfully his interest in them has finally calmed down now.

April 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm
(102) Christie Higgins says:

I See all the questions….where are the solutions?

April 29, 2013 at 5:45 am
(103) sarah says:

My Son is obsessed with Wizard of Oz, he dresses up as a witch all the time and re acts a scene from the film over and over again, he wants to watch it on the I pad all the time and just talks about it non stop, I have ordered him a broom as am sick of sticks etc in the house and all he did yesterday was ask me when it was coming, he just doesn’t seem interested in anything else other than arts and crafts! Can anyone else relate to this?

May 8, 2013 at 2:11 am
(104) Lisa says:

My 19 month old baby has been obsessed with containers since 16 months old. He does play with other toys too but he loves to look at all different types of cups, jars, containers, and tubes. Anything that you touch that has a lid on it, he needs to play with it and learn how it opens and closes. He also can tell when we are almost home, before we are even on the same street as our house. I hope he is gifted!

May 19, 2013 at 10:41 am
(105) Lani says:

My 3 year old son is obsessed with dinosaurs. He can tell you the name of any dinosaur by visual or sound display. It amazes me every time. He plays with various toys but it’s something special when he plays with dinosaurs. He even imitates the role and sound of a T-rex. His facorite show is Dino Dan and his favorite movie is Jurassic Park.

May 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm
(106) VanyllaBean says:

My 3 1/2 year old son is absolutely obsessed with silos. He wants to watch videos on YouTube of silo demolitions constantly and every time we drive somewhere it is a game to search and find silos or silo-like structures. When he’s not doing that, shampoo bottles, paper towel rolls and any other taller object is a silo. It is a complete obsession.

June 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm
(107) christina says:

Numbers specifically 5 because he seems to think its even

June 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm
(108) Wendy says:

My 2 1/2 year old son is absolutely obsessed with cd’s. He has to have them in sight or hold one at all times. It’s so bad now that he has to have a few with him when we drive somewhere, and has to have them in his hand when he falls asleep. He understands that he can’t take them into school, but any other time he has to have them.

June 21, 2013 at 9:53 am
(109) Ruthie says:

I’m wondering if anyone has a similar situation – my son, who just turned 5, is obsessed with the packaging his toys come in. Or any packaging for that matter. For instance, he wanted to keep the package his Lightning McQueen came in. The cardboard backing AND the plastic enclosure that keeps McQueen in. He studies the packaging – almost prefers it over playing with the toy. I just assumed he liked looking at the details and kept the plastic part to “put away” McQueen when he was done playing. But then he got upset that we threw away the bag his sleeping bag came in, claiming he wanted to look at it – it had a picture and description of the sleeping bag on it. Not so normal.. He’s always had obsessions/been an intense child, but now it’s almost like an attachment issue. Anyone have any ideas/have a similar child?

August 26, 2013 at 9:26 am
(110) Emily says:

My 20-month-old daughter is obsessed with watching the orchestral version of the Star Wars theme (John Williams conducting). She’s also really into having something in each hand – sticks, binkies, stuffed animals, rocks, pieces of food.

I think these obsessions, for each age, just help her feel more secure? It’s interesting and weird, no doubt!

September 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm
(111) Elaine says:

I love this thread and now feel so much better about my 8 year old. He is obsessed with washing machines. He spends as much time as possible watching you tube (how to repair, problems) and appliance websites. Ask him where he want to go – he’ll want to go to a washing machine shop. One of the mothers in the earlier thread mentioned that their son read machine manuals – found all of mine under my son’s bed. It started with fans and all things spinning. He is still obsessed with that rotational type of movement.

I have no idea if he is gifted. Most of the time I feel I am trying to avoid him “mending” my washing machine…… I’ve had 7 years of this – thought it was cute, but now feel its too strange. Can anyone tell me what this could lead to? Has anyone elses child grown out of this?

September 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm
(112) el-wood says:

This is a bit different but my 2 and a half year old boy is obsessed with changing his clothes and getting new clothes. In a day he will change at least a 15 times.

September 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm
(113) Missy says:

My son is 9. He had many classic signs of being gifted but was always very quirky and had trouble with phonics and spelling. Last year his 3rd grade teacher asked to have him tested and we discovered he is gifted. I was worried to test him because he is so sensative I thought he would fall apart if he didn’t pass.When he did he said”finally, a teacher who understands me. I cried! His obsession has been Lego building since he was 2. He would spend the entire day building, reading books about them and researching on the web if I allowed it. He did not talk until 2 yrs. but many sounds and signed to us. He was always obsessed with any construction equipment and also fans. He is also obsessed with the military, history, Egypt, and is furious with any injustice he observes.He has trouble with friends because his interest are so different. So we are looking into a gifted middle school.So don’t hesitate to have your child tested. Most public schools do this for free after 2nd grade. It is a releif when your kid who is called “different or sensative” to be recognized for his strengths.

November 21, 2013 at 8:21 am
(114) lisa says:

All kids drive parents crazy in one way or another. For the most part I would be happy if my kid had interests he was passionate about and displayed dedication, determination and ambition to pursue his interests in full. As long as kids are still sociable and considered “normal” in other ways, accept and encourage them, they could be the Teslas of the future!…what is normal anyway? To sit in front of a playstation or tv a few hours every day turning their brains to mush?

January 4, 2014 at 8:02 pm
(115) Teejay says:

Reading everyone’s comments have been interesting glad my son isnt the only one my 4 year old son has a huge obsession with road signs and anything to do with cars or trains. I read that it could be a possible sign of autism is this true?

Would be great to get in touch with other parents who kids have similar obsessions.

February 15, 2014 at 11:23 am
(116) amy says:

#50-Tanya
My 3yr old has an obsession with ANYTHING time. We go to Walmart and the “click” isle is his favorite! We have seen him build, draw, make clocks out of anything. We have to draw them on the bathroom walls all the time. Major obsession!! If he sits down with his Dry Erase board or paper & crayon, he wants you to draw any kind of clocks he names off…tower, cuckoo, grandfather, etc. He sees someone with a watch on, and he has to inspect and touch it!

February 17, 2014 at 8:01 am
(117) Stephanie says:

My 4 year old son is obsessed with drawing buildings. he fills up plenty of notebooks just from drawing buildings.

February 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm
(118) Ralene says:

My 3 year old grandson, is totally obsessed with tree branches, or bush branches. Always wants a piece and will carry it around like it was his pride & Joy!!

March 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm
(119) Cory says:

My son has been obsessed with sports for as long as I can remember. Knows so much about sports it crazy. If he’s not watching it he’s listening to it if he’s not listening to it he’s talking about it. He has a couple favorites like baseball/football (NFL/college). He knows so much it’s crazy. He’s only 9 and it’s all he does. He will watch any sport on tv and I mean ANY sport. He puts it on in the car and as soon as he gets home. We like sports but no more then any other family. He does this all on his own. His teachers have even talked to us about it. Is this normal? He wants to be a sports broadcaster. I don’t push him into it either I will love him no matter what!! But it’s all he wants to do. If it’s sunny out he will play sports all day then watch it untill bed. I’ve never heard of anyone so young knowing so much about sports. He knows players, stats, etc, etc. he a very good kid never been in trouble. So is this normal?

March 27, 2014 at 9:40 am
(120) Mike Evans says:

My 9 year old son has always been obsessed with various things during his very early years right up to today. I have studied some of his traits and I can point maybe 90% of the ones mentioned he displays or has displayed. He has a fantastic memory both long term and short. He can recall events that happened when he was 2. I guess the latest obsession is a strange one, probably started by me watching Finding Bigfoot. He loves to rein act the scenes using handheld radios and wood knock and calls. You name it he does it. He has even done calls in the playground. He just loves talking about it all the time. He is a very delicate loving boy with a long list of friends in his school. I guess I shouldn’t be worried. I would just love to know how the gifted/obsessed thing works fully. I would be very interested if anyone could explain or expand, even show evidence.

March 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm
(121) Lola says:

My 3 yo is obsessed with electrical outlets, plugging and unplugging things, charging my phone, laptop and iPad, “batteries,” flushing things down the toilet, washing his trains, lights, plumbing, pistons on trains, Thomas. I definitely worry about the outlets…Thanks for sharing your kids’ obsessions!

April 11, 2014 at 11:30 am
(122) Dorsy says:

My 17 month old boy is obsessed with pushing toys from anything that is elevated and is interested in how it dissapears and how it falls, it’s been going on for quiet a long time now, not sure if it is normal.

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