8 Tips to Stop Kids from Biting their Nails

Help your kids stop biting their nails - Easy Tips by ZenParent

I’m a compulsive nail biter. It’s so bad that my some of my nails have barely risen from their nail beds. It’s a pity that it has carried on to adulthood and now it terrifies me that my toddler son will pick it up from me. So I’ve decided to stop. And here are tips that will help identify the habit early enough in your kids and break it –

 1. Track it down – The first step is to obviously identify if the practice is a habit in your child. Observe her and see if it’s a one-off thing or a habit. Speak to her teachers at school to get a more comprehensive picture.

2. What triggers it? This is the key to solving it. Is it nervousness, boredom, anger, concentration or what? If your child is old enough, ask them to maintain a log on when it happens. If you can eliminate the triggers or replace the pacification, your work is done for you.

3. Call them out – Awareness is key. As a chronic nail biter, I can tell you that most times I don’t even realize I’m biting them until there’s some sharp pain or someone calls me out. With kids, this is definitely one of the things that might be happening. So the next time you see your kid biting their nails, alert them to it and ask them to stop.

4. Start slow – If your kid has already formed a bad habit of repeatedly chewing or biting his nails, start slow and suggest that one nail on each hand cannot be bitten for the next 2 days. Reward him if he keeps it up. And slowly increase the number of nails per hand till you’ve overcome it.

5. Make them yucky – yes indeed. There are products available that can are colorless and odorless but once bitten into produce a bitter taste and discourage the wearer from biting them anymore.

6. Nail art (for girls) – make them pretty! So pretty that your kid doesn’t want to ruin them.

7. Substitute! Have your child substitute nail biting with something else – squeezing a stress ball or twisting a pen cap – this should be something that’s non interfering during class hours, and something that keeps the mind and hands occupied.

8. Test for calcium deficiency – sometimes a calcium deficiency in your child’s system may be the culprit for taking up nail biting. Increased dairy products, green leafy vegetables etc may break the habit.

Like everything else, perseverance is required to break this habit. Reward your child on short term goals and encourage them to make it long term. And before you know it, your kids too will have beautiful, healthy nails. Mine are growing, I promise!

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