How to stop nail biting in a child?
Have you noticed what you do when you are nervous? You may start touching your clothes, scratching the back of your head, or twisting a strand of hair on your finger. At such moments you have no control over your actions and your body is trying to do something to get rid of the nervous tension. And no matter how we try to get rid of this habit, our body comes up with new ways to combat stress.
We talked about adults who are already able to explain their actions and clearly understood, however, what is happening. And what about children’s bad habits? Today we will talk about how to stop nail biting in a child and the reasons that cause this action.
Nail-biting solutions for toddlers
Take your time smearing salt or mustard on your baby’s delicate skin to stop toddler nail-biting. To begin with, you need to understand the initial cause of the urge to chew on delicious nails.
Usually, all the bad habits that children have – picking a nose, sucking a finger, and chewing nails they are associated with the body of the child. This behavior occurs involuntarily. So, if you badly scold your child for behaving in this way, you need to reconsider this option of punishment. Habit and ability to control their thoughts and movements appear gradually.
In case you will constantly scold a child and give up the fact that the child chews his nails as a result it can turn into serious psychosomatic diseases.
How to stop kids from biting nails? – Start with the reason
As statistics shows, schoolchildren are more likely to have a habit of chewing nails than preschoolers. And the reasons can be different.
According to many psychologists and researchers of child behavior, if a child chews his nails it means he has certain problems at school or in kindergarten.
There are some other reasons why a child can calm itself in this way:
- maybe the child has a weak and thin nail plate and tries to chew on his or her own nails rather than using scissors to do it;
- there is a possibility that some adults or older children have a habit of chewing on their nails, and younger children simply repeat and enjoy such manipulations of their body;
- the most dangerous is that in this way the child may exhibit early signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, thus suppressing anxiety within themselves;
- the child is just stressed or bored;
- the baby’s nails are too long (you forgot to cut them or the baby refuses to cut them itself) and so he chews them off because they are in the way.
How do you stop kids from biting nails?
We tell you to forget about the criticism – “Are you biting your nails again? Aren’t you an adult boy/girl for this? Here other children are normal, they understand that chewing nails is stupid and not beautiful!” In this case, you are not fighting with a habit or problem of the child, but with him, which is not the right direction on the way of stopping kids from biting nails.
Toddler nail biting remedies
We hope that we can miss the version to hit a child on the hands or just to tell him to stop doing it. You realize for yourself how useless and not humane this is.
Start with a normal/usual conversation
Ask what worries your child, what makes him put his hands in his mouth and chew his nails.
Start talking about what you are worried about him because if he continues to chew his nails, his nail plate will spoil over time and will look terrible. The child will understand that you wish him well;
Plus, you can tell him that the hands are the main source of infection. If the child licks and chews dirty nails, it will get sick and feel bad (this should make him think at first). Some parents tell and show terrible stories about worms that settle in the child’s stomach.
First, it will be a great excuse to wash your hands more often and one of the ways to stop kids from biting nails.
Secondly, the child may be frightened and each time remember the terrible creatures that may settle in his stomach. This is a strong motivation to stop biting nails for some children.
Because the child doesn’t understand and doesn’t notice how his hand is in his mouth and he starts chewing his nails, you can agree that you will remind him to take his fingers out of his mouth. You can come up with a word or a funny phrase. It will signal to leave its fingers alone and come up or switch his attention to something else. It works in a circle of close relatives as well as among strangers.
Encourage your child not chewing on his nails all day long!
You can think of a reward and praise him again for a big victory over his bad habit. That the child is strong and can abstract itself from unpleasant reactions and emotions.
But it is best to see a psychologist with the child
Very often the cause may be various psychological and neurological disorders. Here you need to intervene and work with a certified specialist.
In any case, you have to find the reason for this behavior and then the solution can be very simple.