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How To Get Your Kid To Stop Biting Nails

Try A Bit Of Bitter Gourd

How Can You Help Your Child Stop Biting Their Nails? (Raising Children #25)

Bitter gourd is a vegetable commonly used in Asian cuisine hailed for its naturally bitter taste.

Also known as bitter squash or bitter melon, this vegetable is very potent when used on its own.

Its bitter taste is sure to put you off biting your nails, leaving a gag-worthy taste in your mouth if you choose to get nibbling.

You can either crush bitter gourd, apply the juices on your nails and leave to dry, or find a pre-prepared bitter gourd nail-biting treatment in the shops.

When To Seek Medical Advice

For some people, nail biting may be a sign of a more serious psychological or emotional problem.

If you have tried to stop biting your nails and the problem persists, or if you begin to develop skin or nail infections, you may want to consult a doctor.

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

25 August 2021

Why Is My Toddler Biting Their Nails

An estimated 30 to 60 percent of kids and teens bite their nails, so your child isnt alone. So what causes it?

Some research shows that nail biting may have genetic factors. Also, your toddler could be biting their nails because of the attention they garner when you insist they stop.

However, most experts pin down nail biting to habit a repeated behavior that your child isnt even aware of. Habits develop for three main reasons:

  • Boredom. A bored child may start nibbling at their nails because there isnt anything more pressing to do.
  • Relief. Nail biting may be a response to stress.
  • Relaxant. Some kids suck their thumbs to help them fall asleep, while others bite their nails.

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Find A Secret Signal To Stop Them Biting

Nail biting can often be subconscious, so coming up with a way to make your child aware of their biting can be useful.

Try lightly tapping your childs arm or leg when they are biting their nails without telling anybody else.

Keep it friendly and avoid scolding them, this is only to make them more aware of their biting.

Create A New Healthier Habit

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Like every habit, nail biting is a tough one to quit, so replacing it with a healthy one can be a good tactic!

Try introducing regular snacks of crunchy carrot, cucumber and apple sticks as they can replicate the crunch they get when biting their nails.

A small stress ball or some silly putty can work in the same way, giving your child something else to focus on when theyre feeling fidgety or worried.

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Try Habit Reversal Techniques

Habit reversal is a clinical treatment procedure used to treat repetitive behavior problems such as nail biting. This works with older children who can understand why they are practicing it and recognize what triggers their nail-biting episodes. One technique is to do something such as holding her arms straight down and making a fist with her hands as soon as she has the urge to bite her nails. Tapping on a hard surface with the finger nails is another technique. Important people in the childs life needs to be made aware of the method so that they can help the child when needed. Habit reversal has been found to be quite successful in treating many other repetitive behavior problems.9

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.

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So Whats The Trick To Stop Nail

Brainstorm about a reward that would motivate your child.

It needs to be something way bigger than normal, and trust me, its worth the investment!

Then, give your child a certain cut off date.

I have found five days to work best.

For younger kids, you can use a chart to mark off the days or make paper rings for the countdown.

Anything visible is a great reminder to keep going.

My daughter just needed verbal reminders, plus she has five siblings making sure she keeps her side of the bargain!

I always give my kids three strikes.

If I see them biting their nails three times, the plan is over no reward.

How To Stop Your Children From Biting Their Nails

How To Stop Your Child From Nail Biting

Nail-biting onychophagia in medical parlance is a common habit among children, one many of us may remember from our own childhood. Its another matter when you see your child chewing on their nails, though! If your childs nail-biting habit is stressing you out, heres what you can do to get them to stop.

Also Check: How To Stop Your Child From Biting Their Nails

Why Your Child Bites Their Nails And How To Help Them Stop

Nail biting is unsightly, and it can lead to skin damage, infections, and other health risks. Heres how to help your child stop the bad habit once and for all.

Nail biting is a common habit during childhood. But although it can be frustrating for parents, it’s often harmless, and kids usually outgrow it over time. “A lot of kids stop biting their nails as they age and start to look around and see that other people aren’t doing it,” says David Hill, M.D., adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at University of North Carolina School of Medicine and author of Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro and Co-Parenting Through Separation and Divorce.

That said, excessive nail biting can be problematic for kids’ health, causing infection or damage to the skin, nails, and cuticles. We spoke with three pediatricians to better understand why kids bite their nails and how to help them stop.

Why Do Some Children Bite Nails

Nail biting is called a nervous habit something, a child does unconsciously when he is worried, scared or stressed. Other nervous habits include sucking thumbs, tugging hair, picking nose and grinding teeth. Kids also bite nails when they are bored or curious. They might also be doing it to imitate someone elses nail biting. Sometimes, there is small part of nail hanging and the child must be innocently trying to bite it off, which can cause soreness, making the child attend to the area with further nibbling. Researchers also say that genetics play a role in nail biting too.The child is not doing this consciously. And hence, while there are few things that you can do to stop him from biting his nails, what you should not do is punish or shame him. That will only aggravate the stress the child is feeling, making him want to bite his nails more!

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Find Out The Underlying Cause Of Nail Biting

Understand what is causing your child to bite nails. If you know the reason , the talk about it. Address your childs concerns and help her distress. If you do not know the reason , then patiently ask your child about what is eating her. The little one might not open immediately, but with time, she would. Unless you identify and address the root cause of your childs nail biting, it will be difficult to break it

Most Importantly Be Positive

5 Foolproof Ways to Stop Biting Your Nails  For Good!

Making a big deal out of your childs nail biting, shouting at them or punishing them might cause your child to bite their nails even more.

Skip the its gross lecture – shaming them wont make it better. Instead, try and get your child on board using rewards, an encouraging attitude, etc. and be patient.

Its hard enough for adults to kick a habit, so a child may find it even harder.

Just keep at it and find a way that suits you and your child in helping them give up nail biting once and for all!

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What Causes A Habit

Experts aren’t always sure what causes a habit, but do know that they’re learned behaviors that usually provide a positive outcome for the child.

Habits may develop as entertainment for a bored child or, more commonly, as a coping mechanism to soothe an anxious one. The next time you see nail biting or hair twirling, try to recall if your child has recently had a stressful experience. If so, the behavior might be your child’s attempt to relieve tension, much as you would by working out at the gym. On the other hand, some kids engage in habits when they’re relaxed, such as before falling to sleep or quietly listening to music.

Some habits may be leftovers from infancy. In infants, thumb sucking is a common self-comfort behavior that has pleasurable associations with feedings and the end of hunger. So it may linger into childhood because of its positive associations.

Or perhaps the explanation for your child’s nail biting is in your mirror. Do you bite your nails? Studies suggest that nail biting may have a strong familial or genetic component.

Other kids engage in habits to attract attention or to manipulate their parents. If kids feel that their parents are ignoring them, they may engage in the annoying habit because they know that it will get a reaction from Mom or Dad.

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Nail Biting Prevention And Habit Reversal Tips: How To Get Your Child To Stop

Nail-biting is a common and frustrating habit for many children, teens and parents. Roughly half of all children bite their nails, and it is more common in boys than girls after the age of 10. But, there is good news! More than 75 percent of teens who bite their nails will stop by age 35.

Why Do Kids Bite Their Nails?

  • Their nails might not be well-trimmed.
  • They see other people do it.
  • To give their brain some extra stimulation.
  • To cope with stress or anxiety.

There are a few things parents can do to help combat nail-biting which include both general prevention as well as habit-reversal.

General Prevention Strategies

  • Keep your childs nails well-trimmed. Nail decorating may prevent biting if it fits within your familys culture and values.
  • If nail biting is a habit for you, stop biting your own nails first or at the same time as your child .
  • Teach your child effective ways to manage stress like taking deep slow breaths, squeezing their muscles tightly and slowly relaxing them, as well as doing mindfulness activities.
  • Keep your child and their hands busy.

Habit Reversal Training

HRT is a research-based approach to treating all kinds of habits, including nail biting.

HRT Step 1: Increase Your Childs Awareness of Biting Their Nails

Put something on their nails: You can use bandages, gloves or bitter nail polish. Note that these strategies are designed to help your child realize they are biting their nails, not stop them from doing it.

HRT Step 3: Build and Maintain Motivation

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How To Stop Your Kids From Biting Their Nails

Suzie is a busy mom with three energetic kids. She loves finding and sharing activities and solutions to help her fellow moms stay sane.

Pixabay.com KHeinz46

Is your child biting his or her nails? How can you stop this habit?

Nail biting in children is a very common habitone they usually grow out of but can take into adulthood if it goes unchecked.

Most of the time it is just that…a habit. It’s something a child unconsciously does when bored or anxious.

Occasionally it can be a sign of more serious, underlying problems, such as real anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder . Don’t worry though if this is the case, there will be other signs, so nail biting on its own is not a major issue.

Mostly it’s just a simple activity that the child isn’t even aware he or she is doing. Usually, the only result is that the nails look ugly and can develop sores around the fingertips and cuticles, plus it can be a bit unhygienic if nails are dirty. In extreme cases, newly developing teeth can be weakened, but again, this is unusual.

Stop The Nail Biting Habit

How To Stop Biting Your Nails!!

Like most moms, you want to stop your child from developing a nail-biting habit that can last a lifetime. For the most effective results, it is important to intervene as early as possible. Early intervention is easier to deal with than trying to break a habit that is well established. Several solutions can help but it is important to know that all kids are different and what works for one child may not work for another. Your childs motivation for quitting will determine which solution will be most effective.

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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.

Anxiety / Stress Relief

Toddlers can get anxious sometimes. They can experience pressures and tensions and find it hard to express them. This usually leads to behavior like nail-biting.

They may bite their nails unconsciously while watching television or in response to certain situations. It can be your toddlers way of coping with minor stress, so you dont have to worry much about it most of the time.

You, however, have to worry about it if your toddler severely bites their nails to the point of harming themselves.

Talk to your doctor if your toddlers fingers get bloody or sore when they bite their nails. This could be a sign of excessive anxiety.

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How To Get Kids To Stop Biting Their Nails: 14 Tips For Parents

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

When Nail Biting Could Be Something More

5 Foolproof Ways to Stop Biting Your Nails  For Good!

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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Address The Root Of Anxiety Frustration Etc

While it might be difficult, if the root of the anxiety, frustration, or more can be deduced, addressing it and finding alternative outlets for the big feelings may put a stop to the nail-biting almost immediately. This can be hard to do with a toddler, however, as he may not have the words, or even know what it is that is causing him to have these feelings. But, it is worth exploring to see if there is anything obvious that is causing the toddler to respond to those feelings via nail-biting.

There is no one right way to stopping a toddler from biting his nails. It may take more than one solution to get the biting to stop, and, quite honestly, none of them may work. In that case, the only thing to do is to be patient. Fortunately, according to verywell family, nail-biting in young children does subside over time. While it may be difficult to live with at the time, it will eventually come to an end.

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