Monday, 17 August 2015

How to stop nail biting

Nail biting is a habit seen in many kids and adults too. If not stopped at an early age it continues into adulthood. The common cause for this habit is found out to be anxiety, stress, insecurity or boredom. Nail biting is not the only habit that develops due to these issues. Kids also do nose picking, thumb sucking, hair twirling or teeth grinding. Some of these habits looks unattractive to people and they tend to avoid such kids.

Effects of nail biting:

- Nail infections

- Dental problems

- Child becomes socially unacceptable as it looks gross

- Other infections as germs are transferred from fingers to body

What to do:

- Start at an early stage: For this you need to spend time with your kid everyday. Keep observing and communicating with them. If you notice the changes in behavior you can act on it early.

- Identify the trigger: Observe when you child bites his nails. Talk to him and try to understand what triggers the habit.

- Make them aware of effects: Talk to them about the bad effects of nail biting. Ask them to check their nails and teeth frequently. Once a week call them for nail trimming to show them you are checking too.

- Distractions: Use distraction methods like squeezing a stress ball, yoga or other exercises, art or craft to keep their hands busy. Just make sure the new method should not be another bad habit.

- Coating: Coat the fingers with bad tasting liquid. The bad taste will make sure to break the habit.

- Remind: Whenever you see them doing it remind them to stop. They are doing it unknowingly. So just make them aware of it.

- Address their issues: Talk to your kid about what is going on in their mind when they do it. Solving the issue might break the habit automatically.

- Do not punish: Do not shout or punish your child for the bad habit. You will only add to the stress.

In cases when nail biting is severe in children it is time to consult doctor or counselor.

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