Four Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking In Children

Four Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking In Children

Four Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking In Children!


Thumb sucking is a habitual and usual occurrence in children. It is as if the moment they have discovered their fingers and thumb, they become obsessed with it. Once children get into the habit of sucking their thumb, it is pretty tough to break the habit. But, we can always try, right?

Why children suck their thumbs: Children have rooting or sucking tendencies naturally causing them to put their fingers or thumb in their mouth. It has the effect of making children feel safe and secured which; is the reason they tend to engage in thumb sucking when they are anxious or trying to sleep.

Most children stop sucking their thumbs by the time they reach the age of two. However, if your child is turning three soon, and still hasn’t stopped sucking the thumb, it’s time to intervene and help him/her break the habit of thumb sucking. Here are four ways, you can help your child stop sucking his/her thumb:

 

1.Talk to Your Child: This may seem to be an ordinary solution, but it has extraordinary effects. Often children don’t even realize they are sucking their thumb until they are made aware of the same. Speak to your child and try asking him/her why he/she does the thumb sucking. Further, ask if it makes him/her feel better. Once, you help your child figure out why you can work on the methods to stop it.

You can show your children a cartoon where the characters break a habit and then show your child how he/she can take inspiration from the same to break the habit of thumb sucking.

 

2.Identify Triggers: More often than not, thumb sucking is triggered by a feeling or a thought. It could be stress or anxiety. Parents need to identify the real trigger behind the thumb sucking and work on the same. Parents should provide comfort and support when the triggers are pressed. It could be a hug, a favourite or words of positive encouragement. You can begin by giving small rewards such as fifteen minutes of extra playtime or fun stickers to get children to break the habit of thumb sucking. You can also try setting a deadline, for example; no thumb sucking allowed an hour before bedtime or nap time.


3.Keep the Thumbs Occupied: The moment you find your child taking his/her thumb towards the mouth, intervene and distract him/her. The distraction could be by giving your child a toy to play or engaging him in a fun game.

4.Get Creative:  Apply some lemon juice to the thumb so that the moment the child puts the thumb, he feels the bitter/sour taste of the lemon. It will immediately stop the thumb sucking. Yes, your child will feel the weird taste in the mouth, but in the end, it is all for the good of the child.

 




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