6 year old who chews on shirt sleeves

Dawn - posted on 12/01/2008 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Can anyone help? I have a 6 year old that chews and sucks on his shirt sleeve cuff. He has chewed holes in most of his shirts. I have tried giving him gum to chew when I notice, but before I know it he has spit it out or swallowed it and is chewing shirt again. I have also tried putting him in short sleeve, but we live in ND and it's cold. He also, then chews on the neck. This grosses me out, especially when he puts his hands into a chip bag with sleeves full of saliva. Does anyone have any suggestions??

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Sara - posted on 03/16/2013

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I am having the same issue, chews on his shirt sleeves and collers to zippers on his jackets. We have gone thru 3 jackets and I lost track of how many shirts get ruined within a day of wearing. My son is 5 and he has been chewing since he was a baby, started with his blankie and then sweater strings to his shirts and zippers. I called the dr. finally with concerns and he has a consultation in a few weeks. P.s. he also chews on straws.

Glynis - posted on 12/01/2008

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So my kid wasn't the only one, eh? Where were you folks 14 years ago? And where was Barbara with this nice, gentle advice?

Barbara - posted on 12/01/2008

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As most of us know all too well, habits are soo hard to break! My little brother is 21 and he still does this to his sweatshirts! Maybe you could start rewarding him for not chewing. Tell him that you will check his sleeves after some pre appointed time, and if he hasn't chewed he can have a treat. Keep spacing the time in farther apart intervals and see if that can break him of it. And, I would try not to use any negative reinforcement, try to make him proud of his accomplishment. That's my suggestion anyway. Good luck!

Andrea - posted on 12/01/2008

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I am a kindergarten teacher and have students who do that. I have a few this year. Sometimes we just roll the shirt sleeve up and pin it. I too would love suggestions.

Rebecca - posted on 12/01/2008

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My son did that all summer and it drove me nuts, esp. when he kept wanting to change shirts after they got wet! I have to say that when I started to ignore it, he stopped doing it and how he doesn't do it at all. Yes, there were many ruined shirts, but it did finally stop.

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