How do you get kids to stop sucking there fingers?

Brandie - posted on 08/28/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 year old that sucks her first to fingers and a 2 year old that sucks her thumb..how to i get them to stop?

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Kendra - posted on 09/01/2009

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Hi Brandie, I think it's important to first figure out why this behavior is worrying you, and then move on to thinking about how you want to deal with it. If there is no medical reason for you to be worried, then maybe someone has said something to you that has left you feeling anxious about this issue. If so, relax and trust that some of the other great moms that posted here are right...this is not usually an issue when kids grow up. The more uptight you get about this, the more focus your kids will have on it. No matter what you ultimately decide to do, finger sucking is not an emergency, so you are free to sit with this issue for awhile and decide what feels right for you - not anybody else. Have a wonderful day, and let us know how you're doing with this!

Rachael - posted on 08/31/2009

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My nearly 11 year old son stopped about 6 months ago because his teeth were affected by it, but to be honest, he was doing it less and less anyway (only when he was tired mainly) - I didn't stop til I was about 14'ish, but I'm told that when I'm REALLY tired, or I've been extremely upset, I still suck my thumb in my sleep and I'm 34! X

Johnette - posted on 08/31/2009

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As a former thumb sucker and mother of an 11 year old...leave it alone. It'll go away on its own, I promise. It's just not a big deal unless you make it a big deal.

Nicole A. - posted on 08/30/2009

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hmm you can try to remove the finger every chance you get. some have tried with me during my younger years, applying pepper or hot sauce. i remember it being so comforting and it just puts me in a special place. you dont want to embarass the older child but try to gently ease the hand away from the mouth and find things for the child to have the hands full. distract the mind and maybe that will wean him/her off.

Vicki - posted on 08/30/2009

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my daughter sucks her thumb and she's 9!!! I'm thinkin I might have to cut it off.

Haydee - posted on 08/30/2009

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How about trying the bitter taste of the ointment used for nail-bitters. I got lucky with my kids, neither wanted to suck a thumb, fingers or pacifiers. If not compensation always works (bribe). When seen sucking their thumb bribe them with the sugarless pops sold in all pharmacies. Good Luck!

Christine - posted on 08/29/2009

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I think you should just let it be. I was a thumb sucker and the more people bugged me the more I did it. They tried dips and pastes and meds. It didnt help. For me it was a security thing. And no one likes it when their security is messed with. We all eventually quit. You dont ever see adults walking down the street sucking thumbs and fingers.

Glendalyn - posted on 08/28/2009

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Quoting Brandie:

How do you get kids to stop sucking there fingers?

I have a 6 year old that sucks her first to fingers and a 2 year old that sucks her thumb..how to i get them to stop?


 

Melissa - posted on 08/28/2009

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Speaking from a past-finger sucker myself, my mom used to sprinkle a little pepper (not much!!!) on my fingers to curb me from doing it. It worked! Ask your pharmacist though, because I've heard that there is something on the market (or used to be) to use instead of regular pepper. I'm sure you could use just about any kind of unappealing spice, in very small amounts, though. By the way, I've noticed with many former clients of mine that when babies aren't given the opportunity to use a pacifier, they end up sucking fingers/thumbs to compensate for their innate need to suckle during the oral stage of development. Good luck to you.

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