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Patience is the Key to Stop your Child from Thumb Sucking

Thumb Sucking
6 December, 2018

 
Does that scar on your thumb remind you of one habit from your childhood? Have you forgotten the time while knowingly or unknowingly we used to put the thumb or any other finger inside our mouth? Almost every one of us used to be habituated with thumb sucking during our childhood. Now, if your child is getting addicted to the same habit, don’t get freaked out.

Is Thumb Sucking Normal?

As per pediatrician, this habit is very much normal in your kid. Children do it to feel comfortable. Sometimes, they do it to grab your attention.

Initial few months of the life, all children suck their thumb or any other finger to calm down or fall asleep or just to feel comfortable. At this stage, thumb or finger sucking is quite acceptable. As per child specialist, it is normal in terms of speech development and growth of the child.

But, the question is that how long child should continue this habit? Is it good for your child to continue this habit till the preschool time?

When to Intrude?

In some cases, children stop this habit between the age of 3 and 6; whereas, a few children can continue this habit even beyond the age of 6, which can cause severe dental and speech problem in them. If this habit stretches for a longer period, you may end up with certain jaw deformation. And, this is the high time when parents should start intervening.

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Although it depends on the kid when s/he stops sucking the thumb or finger. But being a parent, it becomes your duty to discourage your kid to stop such a habit.

  • Being a parent, you should immediately stop scolding or embarrassing your child in front of other people. This method will never help you to discourage your child from thumb sucking.
  • Offer rewards to them and ask them that they will get this reward only when they will stop sucking thumb.
  • Identify the reason behind the habit of sucking thumb. Kids adopt such a habit as to cocoon themselves against any fear, anxiety or unpleasant circumstance. Stay calm and deal with the problem, instead of abusing your kid.
  • Try to divert your kids and put some lotion on their thumb. Plus, if you can divert your child with a soft toy; then it will soothe them.
  • A dentist can counsel your kids and tell them how their teeth can get affected by thumb sucking.
  • If counseling does not work, the dentist might recommend some dental appliance or special mouth guard.
  • In rare cases, negative reinforcement may work such as putting any bitter substance on the finger or bandaging the thumb.

When No Method Works

Always remember that this habit is associated either with any negative emotion or comfort of your child. So, pushing them insensibly might delay the process. If no method works well, give your child some time or peer pressure will automatically change this habit from them.

A Piece of Advice

Your consistent effort might make your kid agonized. So, be careful while you’re trying to stop your kid from thumb sucking. Your patience will work well, and you will certainly see changes in the ugly habit of your kid.

You can also read: Gulping Warm Water Every Day is a blessing for our Health