How to prevent your child from biting their nails – South Coast Herald

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Biting your nails is a nervous habit that usually begins in childhood. Many children bite their nails during their teenage years, but for some children the impulse lasts until adulthood.

Nail biting can leave your child’s fingernails ragged and unattractive, feeling sore, infected, and even damaging your child’s teeth. If your child is upset about being teased for their nail biting habit, they are probably ready to stop biting their nails and will need your help. These ideas can help.

Know when and where your child bites

Before you start trying to stop biting your nails, do this simple exercise: Take a notebook with you for a few days. Whenever you catch your child biting their nails, write down the time, place, and events immediately preceding the nail biting (for example, 12 p.m. homework, 6 p.m. TV time, 7 p.m. reading time, and reads). Knowing when your child is biting their nails can help you find ways to stop it.

Cut them short

Keeping your child’s fingernails short can help discourage them from snacking. Your child can’t bite what isn’t there, so keep their fingernails clipped. It also ensures that bacteria and dirt stuck under the fingernails do not enter your child’s body.

Encourage your child to engage in a hobby

Children often adopt unhealthy habits like biting their nails when they are bored and have nothing to do with their hands. Have you ever found yourself, for example, chewing a fingernail while watching a movie or TV show? Encourage your child to indulge in a hobby, something that will keep their hands busy like working on a puzzle or painting, and keep the projects where your child is most likely to bite their nails.

Avoid the trap of negative goals

Despite all its complexity, the human mind does not handle negatives well. If I told you not to think of a green polka dot polar bear, the only thought in your mind would probably be this polar bear. If you set a goal for your child not to bite his nails, your child’s mind only hears “nail biting” and torments him with thought day after day. Instead of setting a goal so your child doesn’t bite their nails, find a positive way to phrase your words. You could, for example, set a goal for your child to “grow strong, healthy nails” or “take care of their nails”.

Using lotions and perfumes

For products that smell so good, lotions and perfumes often taste pungent and bitter. If you want to avoid biting your unconscious nails, just keep the skin on your child’s hands moist with a bad-tasting lotion. This way, even if their fingers move away from their lips, they won’t stay there for long.

Set up a sky map

For each day that your child doesn’t bite their nails, give them a little treat or a star on a sticker grid. At the end of the week, they can choose a prize. This prize does not have to be a store bought toy. An extra book at story time, or a morning baking cookies with mom or dad, is often more than enough to motivate a child.


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