How do i get my 8 year old to stop putting his fingers in his mouth?
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Corri - posted on 04/23/2009
My four year old daughter sucks her fingers almost non-stop, and is ruining her teeth. We have been given TONS of advice, some works better then other, however my daughter is very strong willed so nothing has completely broken her of it yet. Here are a couple things that have worked pretty well. Keep their hands busy, and they will be too busy to suck fingers. Does your son like building with legos or doing crafts? I have found that building things and crafts are great, because they take both hands to do (usually). At night we make her put a sock on her hand, and if we find it off she gets a light smack on the hand. (If you do not believe in spanking, a time out or some other form of discipline would work, I just try to keep it from being a huge deal with a light smack on the hand as a reminder) With your son being twice as old as my daughter, you would probably have better luck keeping something on his hand. This one serves as a reminder to not suck fingers at night, so it might not even be applicable. Other things that I have heard are very successful for others, but not us, are strong tasting things being put on the fingers. (My husband used horse radish and she stopped for about three days, but I could not bare to do it again when she started because it hurt her, so I would not suggest that one unless you are desperate) Hope this helps!
Cherry - posted on 04/23/2009
Lisa, does he suck his fingres or does he just put it in his mouth. Well if he sucks his fingers it might be kind of hard to get him to stop so late in the game you might have to let it run its course. My daughter use to suck her finger when she was a baby and all it took to get her to stop was to tell her to, she was one. Before that I tried everything to get her to stop but she didn't; who would have tought that all it would take was to tell her not to, but everyone is different; why don't you try giving him something else to comfort him or maybe try talking to him about it. I wish I could give you more helpful advice.
Ashley - posted on 04/23/2009
my 6 year old has an awful habit as well with biting her nails and having the fingers in her mouth. it drives me crazy!! last month we were in the er with an infected finger and had to have it drained, and she has adhd, and they said it could be part of that.
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Sheryl - posted on 04/26/2011
my 4 year stepdaughter was sucking the same 2 fingers since she was a baby and the doctor told her mother she had gotten an infection in one of the fingers and sucking on your fingers is a nasty habit and if they get infected, it can get in their blood stream and cause major infections. the pediatrician also said it cuts off circulation over time so it is possible to eventually lose the use of those fingers. we put colorful bandaids she picked out on her 2 fingers and kept them there. we gave her a special toy and told her she could keep it as long as she didn't suck her fingers. only took 2 nights to break her. good luck
Teri - posted on 04/23/2009
Hi Lisa. You know, I have always let my kids (two of my own and two step I am raising) let them do whatever was comfortable such as sucking thumbs (at 11), twitches, sleeping with "baby"(at age 12 ). These are not life threatening and are comforting. We all need a place to go for this. My stepson sucked his thumb at such a late age and I just always told him "when you are ready, you will stop". I know the issues he was dealing with and never made a BIG deal of it like others did. Simply address the issues calmly. With my son, I told him and others "he will stop sucking his thumb when he enters kindergarten" and guess what? He did. Now, if we were talking about pulling out their hair, scratching till they bleed etc.. that is a more dangerous issue some of my friends deal with. So, fingers in the mouth is not so bad. I would just make sure they washed their hands before doing so!!! I am a germ freak! Maybe, try to make it inconvenient for them such as calmly making him wash his hands more often?
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