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Pediatrics/clock obession?


I'm not sure if you can give advice with this topic but since I guess it has somewhat to do with behavior, I'll give it a shot.
My daughter is 4 years old and has recently developed an obsession with clocks. She has taught herself to read the clock by the hour. (I don't mean digital clocks, she is reading analog clocks) In the beginning I thought this is great. I worked with 2nd graders who had major difficulties reading the clock, so I wanted to encourage her desire to learn. I explained to her the minute and hour hand and taught her to read half hours. So she can tell exactly when it is five o'clock or five thirty, etc. However, she asks me about it all day long and is eager to tell me what time it is (She would ask "Is it two thirty?") When we are out, she looks for clocks, in a store for example and makes sure she finds as many clocks as possible and tells the time on those clocks. Is this something that will "die down" eventually? Is she gifted or is this a normal interest in pre schoolers? I have worked for 7 years with kids with autism and Asperger's who had similar obessions, but I am certain that she does not have any of those. She has appropriate social skills for a 4 year old, she's a bit shy sometimes, but she shows an interest in other things and other children and she interacts well with kids. When she was about 2 years old she seemed a little more advanced than other kids her age. She knew her alphabet and numbers, etc. However around the age of 3 she kept at the same pace as her peers as far as development goes. She did not. At that time she did not seem "smarter" or more gifted than other kids her age. She was fully potty trained at age 2 and dry at night by 2 1/2. She draws very well for her age. She draws persons with bodies, limbs and other extremities (as opposed to just heads with arms and legs). She also draws trains, cars and animals very well.
While I do want to continue her desire to learn about clocks, I don't want to feed into an obsession.
Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you and best regards


It is common for kids to have minor obsessions regarding various things or situations.  This does not necessarily mean she has OCD, but might, especially if there is a strong FMH of this or generalized anxiety disorder.  I would lessen any feedback regarding this and if this seems to be all encompassing or interfering greatly with her interactions with others, then see your doctor.  Certain conditions that follow a strep infection, so called PANDAS, can sometimes trigger this behavior.

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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