Get Your Child to Stop Sucking Their Thumb

 

Get Your Child to Stop Sucking Their Thumb| Parenting, Parenting Hacks, New Mom Tips and Tricks, New Mom Hacks, Parenting, Parenting Tips, Parenting Tips and Tricks, Kid Stuff #NewMom #Kids #Parenting

Every now and again in my 3rd grade class I’ll get a student who still sucks his/her thumb.  3rd grade is kind of a transition age where babyish behaviors like thumb sucking don’t leave you a huge target for bullying but also when social divisions do start being created.  I see the struggle my students go through as they want to hold on to comforting behaviors but also to mature with their peers.  I myself sucked my thumb until I was 7.  I honestly can’t explain why I held on to the behavior for as long as I did, but after 3 years of braces and head gear, I can confidently say I wish I’d actually listened to my mom’s constant nagging to pull my thumb out of my mouth.  I have another student this year struggling with the bad habit and I’d really like to help her out.  So after some digging (and reliving some bucky childhood memories), here are some suggestions for how to get your child to stop sucking their thumb.

 

YouTube

Some of life’s best lessons are best learned when watching others’ examples!  One approach you can take to helping your child quit thumb-sucking is to watch some short videos on YouTube that will hopefully shock a bit of reason into them.

 

Chewlery

Chewlery is just what the name implies… jewelry that you chew on.  Although it’s not an ideal solution to thumb-sucking, it can at least provide some relief from teasing as it’s less noticeable to chew on than a thumb.  Choose from Lego, light sabers, emojis, and more.

 

Thumbsie Chart

Just as using reward charts can help a child to potty train or to develop good chore habits, they can be just as useful for putting a stop to finger sucking.  It provides motivation for a child just as a bonus at work does for an adult.

 

Non-Toxic Finger Polish

Depending on how stubborn your child is, bitter finger polish may or may not do the trick.  When I was a child I just sucked it off before going back to blissful polish-free sucking.  Stubborn?  Me?  😉  However, other children may find the taste offensive enough that sucking their thumb becomes too repulsive.  

 

Books!

If your child won’t listen to you, perhaps they’ll listen to the messages being told by their favorite characters in books.  Brother and Sister Bear really do know their stuff, after all!  As an added bonus, you’ll be giving your child some great guided practice with reading.  LOVE IT! Get a copy of The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit from Amazon for under $5!

 

Dentist Visit

Arrange a visit with your dentist to have her talk with your child about the effects of thumb sucking.  You of course don’t want your kids to be afraid of the dentist, but an official meeting may just be serious enough to get the message across.

 

Identify Triggers

Like other bad habits, thumb sucking serves a purpose for your child.  Are they anxious?  Bored?  Lonely?  Talk with your child to identify the triggers that lead them to thumb-sucking in search for comfort.  Once you recognize the triggers, provide an alternative such as a hug or reassuring words instead.

 

Positive Reinforcement

 When you see your child making real efforts to stop sucking their thumb, pour on the praise and provide small non-food incentives.  Offer to go on a special trip to the zoo or park, allow 10 extra minutes before bedtime, or provide a special art project… just whatever will help motivate your child.  Check out Crayola.com for some great free printable coloring pages.

 

YouTube Videos:  Australian Buck Tooth, Thumb Sucking Effects

Chewlery Found From Ark Therapeutic Products

Thumbsie Reward Chart

Magique Bitter Finger Polish Found On Amazon

Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit Book Via Amazon

Dentist Image Via Sahara Dental

Hugging Child Image Source

Free Coloring Pages From Crayola

 

 

 

 

1 comment for “Get Your Child to Stop Sucking Their Thumb

  1. August 22, 2018 at 8:43 am

    This is actually useful, thanks.

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