How Can I Get My Child To Stop
For example, at breakfast you might tell them calmly, âIt would be nice if you could not bite your nails today,â and explain that youâll touch their hand lightly with your index finger every time you see them nibbling.If the habit bothers you, set limits. âNo nail biting at the dinner tableâ is as reasonable a rule as âNo feeding the dog from your plate.â At other times, explain in a compassionate way that you know they canât help it, but you donât like to watch them biting their nails, so youâre going to another room for a few minutes. The most important thing is to keep whatâs basically a nuisance from escalating or getting laden with emotion. Stifling your anger for as long as you can and then snapping, âStop biting your nails! I canât stand it!â is a recipe for disaster. If the situation is already tense, defuse it by being straightforward ââI think weâre both getting too worked up over this. Iâm going to take a break from it for a while.âAs long as theyâre not hurting themselves and donât seem stressed out, your best bet is to wait out the habit. The less fuss they associate with their nail biting, the more likely theyâll stop on their own when theyâre ready â and the more likely theyâll feel comfortable asking you for help.
How Do I Stop My Child From Biting Their Nails
Unless your child is hurting themselves by biting their nails, experts say you shouldnt really do anything to get them to stop. Nagging, punishing, or calling too much attention to the the habit can put even more stress on them and potentially make the behavior worse. Just make sure to trim their nails and have them wash their hands frequently to avoid getting sick.
If you believe the nail biting is stress-related, you should try to find out what is causing the stress and address the root cause. Sometimes a major change, like a move or family member passing away, can cause the stress. This is when you can offer up healthy coping skills, like getting them to talk about how theyre feeling or taking walks to burn off the nervous energy. You can also offer them alternatives to biting their nails like clicking a pen or playing with putty.
Its also okay to set some boundaries around when and where they can bite their nails. For instance, you can tell them that biting nails is off limits while visiting a friends house or eating a meal. Most of the time, kids will come to a point when theyre ready to stop. With older kids, you can share different techniques youve read about. Be supportive and encourage them to try different solutions until they find one that works. There are a range of home remedies you can try.
When Nail Biting Could Be Something More
Sometimes, nail biting could negatively affect your childs social relationships or interfere with their daily functioning. Youll notice this happening if your child complains that other children are teasing them about their bitten nails.
Nail biting can also have physical ramifications. It can lead to painful ingrown nails or nail infections caused by bacteria that have entered the damaged skin around the nail.
More rarely, chronic nail biters can damage their nail beds and teeth. This is called onychophagia. Research shows that it can be treated using oral devices to help break the habit.
A toddler who adds habits to their repertoire may be signaling that theyre anxious about something. By spending one-on-one time with your child, youll build up a strong parent-child relationship that will help them share whats going on in their world.
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What Makes A Child Bite Their Nails
Nail biting is a nervous habit, just like leg shaking and thumb sucking. But your child may also bite their nails for other reasons. They may pick up the habit after seeing someone else do it or out of boredom. Do they bite their nails when theyre watching TV, studying for an exam, or in deep thought? Youll probably be able to tell why theyre doing it by simply watching for triggers.
Resort To Few Tried And Tested Creative Techniques
You could put bandages on your child finger tips or if its a girl, paint the nails with multiple coats of nail polish. Some also use bitter tasting polish to make biting more of a challenge. While some experts claim these to be ineffective as children, consider them as a type of punishment, there is no harm in trying it if all other methods fail and you are convinced about what you are doing is rightHope the above mentioned 10 Tips To Get Rid Of Nail Biting In Children is helpful for you.
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Ask Your Friends And Family To Help
You may not notice youre biting your nails as often as you are, and once you do the damage is often already done.
One thing you can do is ask the people around you to remind you not to bite your nails you choose how cruel or kind you want them to be.
This not only gives you accountability and a better visibility of your nail-biting habit, but it also gives you the support to help you stop.
What Could Go Wrong If The Habit Persists
Without getting overly worried over your childs nail-biting habit, there are some dental and medical problems that you should watch out for.
Other than the obvious cosmetic problems, severe nail-biting could infect and damage the skin. These are possibilities:
- Chronic paronchyia, a bacterial infection that involves inflammation of the skin around a finger
- Subungual infection, a condition during which blood collects under the fingernail causing a lot of pain
- Onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the nails
- Onycholysis, damage to the nail bed14
Children can also contract other infections from touching things around them and then putting their fingers into their mouth.15
If nail-biting persists for several years, it could lead to damage and hinder normal nail development.
It could also lead to dental problems.
- Continuous nail-biting creates mechanical forces that could lead to misalignment of teeth, dental crowding, and rotations.
- Onychophagia could also cause temporomandibular dysfunction or problems with the chewing muscles, and the joints between the base of the skull and the lower jaw.16
In rare instances, nail-biting may be a sign of a deeper problem like obsessive-compulsive disorder which requires treatment with medication.17
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Tips To Get Rid Of Nail Biting In Children
The good news, if you can call it one, is that nail biting is not an uncommon phenomena in kids. As many as 60% of children and 45% of teens bite nails. The bad news, however, is that it is a touch habit to break and is often something that gets carried forward to adulthood. Find out 10 Tips To Get Rid Of Nail Biting In Children.While it is pardonable in a child, it looks quite inappropriate and unprofessional in adulthood. As parents you have the chance and duty to nib this habit in the bud, so that your child does not grow up to bite nails while watching a suspense thriller or waiting for a meeting with his/her boss.First step is understanding why your child bite nails.
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Bring Out The Vinegar
This bitter-tasting ingredient is probably ready and waiting in your kitchen cupboard to help put an end to your nail-biting woes!
Whether its malt, apple cider or wine vinegar, dilute a few drops into water and dip your fingernails into it .
Let it dry naturally on your nails and serve as a pongy reminder to stop biting your nails.
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How Can You Stop A Toddler From Biting Their Nails
While there is no single surefire way to stop a toddler from biting their nails, there are some strategies and treatments that may help them keep their nails, and you keep your sanity. One thing not to do is punish them for the habit. The best thing you can do to help your child is to try and figure out why they are biting their nails in the first place, Gellner explains. If your child is under a lot of stress, try to reduce the stress. Talk about what is bothering them and ways to handle those situations.
While youre getting to the root cause of their nail-biting, here are a few suggestions to try in the meantime:
- Keep your toddlers nails trimmed and filed.
- Provide your child with the opportunity to wear adhesive bandages and/or colorful stickers on/over their nails to make them less accessible and provide a reminder not to do it in the first place.
- Try distracting your child with another activity like drawing a picture, writing, or squeezing a stress ball or Silly Putty when you find them biting their nails.
- Think about why your kiddo bites their nails. Do they do it when theyre frustrated or feeling anxious? When the trigger is identified, address the problem and find a healthier substitute.
- Together, make up a secret signal with your toddler to remind them to stop biting their nails. Tap your nose or say a catchphrase from their favorite TV show.
And finally, it goes without saying that if youre a nail-biter yourself, try to kick the habit .
How To Get Kids To Stop Biting Their Nails: 14 Tips For Parents
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If you are trying to figure out how to get kids to stop biting their nails, it may seem like you have an uphill battle against you. Everyone has heard a horror story of an adult who was never able to break this childhood habit. Not only is nail-biting a pretty gross pastime, but it can cause dental and gastrointestinal problems due to the bacteria from under your nails. Not good! Here is how to get kids to stop biting their nails well before adulthood.
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Fear About Nail Trimming
After having worked our way down a list of reasons that could contribute to our sons new-found habit of nipping at his fingertips, we discovered that the whole thing stemmed from an incident where we had trimmed his nails a bit too close to the cuticle. That minor incident had given birth to a reluctance to trim nails, and eventually to his reasoning that if he trimmed them himself, we wouldnt have to.
The solution: Over the following months, we took great care not to hurt him while trimming nails after bath time. We slowly eased him into the trimming process by involving all the kids. We even tried to make nail care fun and fascinating. We sat them all down and explained to them how their nails worked what was the cuticle, what we trimmed, where we should cut the nail away, and showed them how to do it themselves.
How To Stop Kids From Biting Nails: Causes & Solutions
As a parent, you will encounter loads of bizarre habits in your children. Be it hair pulling, thumb sucking, nose picking or nail-biting, there will be something. Some of these habits may unnerve you, while others make for funny video clips.
While nail-biting is a common habit in young and old, children are more prone to this impulse control disorder. Approximately 30% of all kids actively bite their nails and this behaviour is known as onychophagia.
Read on to find tips on how to stop kids from biting their nails and ways to figure out why they are doing this.
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How Can I Get My Child To Stop Biting Her Nails
Nail biting is a common habit, but usually not a serious one for most children. Most children who bite their nails eventually lose the habit, but some may continue well into adulthood. In more serious situations, nail biting can lead to health concerns. There is no prescription to stop nail biting, but it can be addressed. Dr. Cindy Gellner talks about the reasons why nail biting occurs and offers suggestions on how to help your child stop biting her nails.
Most children that bite their nails have no problems. In some cases, nail biting may cause a bacterial infection called paronychia, which requires a doctor’s visit for antibiotics. If your child has warts, they can get around the nail beds. Children touch everything and then, if they put their fingers in their mouth, they can get sick because they have just introduced germs into their body. And some children who bite their nails for years can cause permanent nail damage.
So how can you help your child to stop biting their nails? I have actually been asked to prescribe medication someone found on the Internet to get kids to stop. Sorry, no such medicine exists. Also, punishing or shaming a child for nail biting is not helpful. The best thing you can do to help your child is to try and figure out why they are biting their nails in the first place. If your child is under a lot of stress, try to reduce the stress. Talk about what is bothering them and ways to handle those situations.
Take Your Teeth Into Consideration
You may have your dental hygiene routine down but biting your nails could be setting your mouth health back, bigtime.
Biting your nails can cause problems down the line like cracked and chipped teeth. Use this as motivation to stop biting your nails unless you really do want to go and sit in that dentist chair.
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To Relieve Anxiety And Stress
Situations at home or school that can cause stress or anxiety triggers nail-biting in children. There are plenty of stressful situations that can cause them to get anxious such as:
- Fights between family members or parents
- Loss of a family member or a close relative
- The pressure to perform well in class or sports
Why Does My Child Bite Their Nails
About 20 to 30 percent of the population habitually bites their nails, and the exact cause of nail biting is unknown. But research shows that children might bite their nails for several reasonsincluding out of anxiety or physical restlessness. “Because it’s a repetitive habit, it may be a self-soothing behavior,” says Kimberly Montez, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest School of Medicine and associate director of Integrating Special Populations for the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.
On the other hand, “sometimes it’s purely cosmetic,” says Antwon Chavis, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University. “Some kids really like having short nails.” Nail biting can also happen if children are bored or under-stimulated, he adds.
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How To Stop Toddlers From Biting Their Nails
When it comes to a 2-year-old biting nails, sometimes the best option is to simply carry on as normal, and hopefully, this little habit will go away on its own. If not, then we have some other methods that may work for you below.
You could start by telling your little one about hygiene and some reasons why it’s not nice to put your fingers in your mouth and that we all have dirt and bacteria under our nails.
Keep their nails trimmed and smooth, so there won’t be much there for them to bite. Also make sure to gently file down any rough edges, as these can be very tempting to chew on!
Come up with a secret signal or code, so that when you spot your child nail-biting you can gently remind them to stop. This is great for when you need to discreetly remind them, without drawing attention to it or embarrassing them.
Use a fun reward system. You could give your little one a sticker for every half-day they manage without nail-biting, then once they get say, four stickers, they get to choose a treat. Don’t forget to heap on the praise, even if they don’t quite manage it, remind them that you are proud of them for trying.
Try offering your child a swap so they’ve got something else to keep their hands busy. Silly putty, a soft toy, a funny or cute stress ball, or finger puppets all give nervous hands something else to do. If you notice there are certain times when your child is most likely to bite their nails, for example, while watching TV or in the car, then start the swaps here.
How Can I Get My Child To Stop Biting Nails
Do you have any nervous habit? Or do you have any habit that you are trying to break? If yes, then you know how difficult it is! So do not expect your child to stop biting nails just because you say so. It takes time, patience and lot of encouragement. Find below 10 Tips To Get Rid Of Nail Biting In Children
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Reward Each Little Victory
Who doesnt love a good sticker chart? They can be a fun and useful way to reward your child for not biting their nails.
Choose a time marker, e.g. day, half a day and give your child a sticker if they manage not to bite their nails during this time.
Once they have earned a specific number of stickers, give them an award like a trip to the cinema or a toy theyve had their eye on for a while.
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