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Why is my daughter obsessed with her jacket?

Q: My daughter is 3 years and 3 months old. She has developed this unusual obsession with her jacket and sweater. It started with her new jacket, which had to be replaced with a sweater. She has to wear it everywhere, every time, including when she's going to bed and while she's at home. I agree she is a bit stubborn and choosy about the clothes she wears but this fixation with one garment is getting difficult at school and I am worried for the reasons behind this unusual behaviour. I spoke with her about this and she tells me that she doesn't want her body to be seen but doesn't seem to 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 but nothing seems to be working. I have no problem if this is simply a phase and will soon pass but I am not assured is that is what it is. I have heard her talking with my sister about the excess hair on her hands, though she seems to be too young to get conscious of such things. She has hair all over her body (though not to the extent of abnormality). Please help me understand my child's behaviour and help me 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 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. All the best.

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