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Why is my daughter obsessed with covering herself with a jacket?

Q: My daughter is 3 years and 3 months old. She has developed an unusual obsession with her jacket or sweater. She wants to wear it everywhere, every time, including when she is going to bed and while she is at home. She is a bit stubborn and choosy about her clothes, but this fixation with one garment is getting difficult at school. I am worried for the reasons behind this unusual behaviour. I spoke to her about this and she told me that she doesn't want to expose her body. But she doesn't mind her bare lower limbs. I have tried everything I could think of - putting down rules, being assertive, bribing, diverting, talking it out with her etc. But nothing seems to work. I would have no problems if this was a passing phase. But I don't see it ending. I heard her conversing with my sister about the excess hair on her hands, though she seems too young to get conscious of such things. She has hair all over her body (though not to the extent of abnormalcy). Please help me understand my child's behaviour and help her.

A:It does seem like an unusual situation. But since you have heard your daughter talk to your sister about the hair on her hands, don't you see that it is the source of her anxiety and her wanting to keep herself covered. She is obviously not too young to notice this and somebody in school could have drawn her attention to her hairy hands. If your sister is close to the child, maybe she should help you with handling the child. Maybe you could get full-sleeved blouses made of cotton or other light material that the child likes and get her to give up the sweater. Be gentle and patient in dealing with her. Talk to her and listen to her. If you have access to a good Psychologist, who has specialised in children's issues, you could check out with her/him. Check with your pediatrician if the child needs any specific attention. You could also consult an Endocrinologist later on, to be sure that you have taken all the suitable measures.


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