Help w/ 11year old sucking thumb-plz

Danielle - posted on 02/03/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I'm not actually a mom of someone over 10+ (mine are 16m and -8weeks (and I'm 21) lol) but my dad has a dilema and needs help so I turned to ya'll:

My brother (who just turned 11) is STILL sucking his thumb! We have (I say we because I basically was his mom) been trying since he was 4 to get him to stop. First it was that thumb-sucking stuff they sell in stores, then time outs, then lemon juice, then hot sauce, then as he got older we tried "making fun" of him (saying he's a big kid and big kids don't suck their thumbs) and we even asked him (when my and my husbands son arrived) why he sucks his thumb and my son doesn't? I personally took him to the dentist and showed him what happens to his teeth but he didn't care. My dad has given up and figures he will stop in MS or HS, but I still want to try...any ideas ladies?

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Linda - posted on 02/13/2011

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My daughter was 9 when we had the dentist put a retainer in her mouth to stop the thumb sucking. Really I think it is just a habit, but also probably some self-soothing going on there to. They had it in for 3 months, and she stopped sucking her thumb. In her case, the thumb sucking affected her teeth, and the shape of her mouth. And that has gone back to normal since she stopped sucking her thumb(s). And yeah she was self soothing too.. we are finding other ways for her to handle her anxieties now. (oh she's 10).

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Raina Maria - posted on 02/10/2013

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Sucking thumbs soothes children and makes them feel protected. Your child will grow out of the habit but for now, let her.

Danielle - posted on 02/10/2011

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Thank you both for your replies/advice. I will try ignoring it, I hope it goes away soon.

Laura - posted on 02/10/2011

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He is most likely sucking his thumb as a way of self-soothing. That's why most kids do. It may be a form of security for him. It is also possible that your brother does this for attention. He knows that it bothers you and that you give him all kinds of attention over this. By making a big deal over the thumb-sucking, you may actually be encouraging your brother to continue! Your dad is probably right: This is most likely a battle that is not worth fighting over and he may very well stop on his own when he gets older. He may even stop sooner if everyone just ignores the behavior. At this point, that is one option that hasn't been tried by everyone yet. Just ignore it for now and see if their is any improvement in the behavior. Hope this helps and good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 02/05/2011

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my husband is 32 and he still sucks his thumb so i think its just something you might have to deal with,not trying to sound rude but it bothered me so bad at first and i learned to just ignore it!

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