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Little Obsessions

Benjamin Burroughs likes power. That's one reason his parents, Peter and Deborah Burroughs of Sherman, TX, came up with for why their 2-year-old son loves flipping light switches on and off. Constantly.

The Burroughs are right about power.

As toddlers' minds and bodies develop, they want nothing more than control over their environment. How do they get it? Some-times, by fixating on a certain action, like stacking bowls or playing with a truck in the exact same way every day. At times, it might seem like your child would fit the medical diagnosis for obsessive-compulsive disorder to a T -- but between the ages of 2 and 4, that's perfectly normal.

For Christine Jernigan's 2-year-old, the focus was on doors: She insisted on shutting every single one throughout the house before going to sleep. "Maybe it was a stalling tactic, but having things the way she wanted them definitely helped her go to bed," says the Chapel Hill, NC, mom.

How obsessive kids are depends a lot on their temperament -- more spirited children are often more rigid. Should you worry? As long as your child is engaging socially with you and others, no. Just sit back and chuckle as he spends another hour locking and unlocking every door in the house. He'll get over it.

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