How to wean a child to bite nails

To attribute oniophagy - this is what doctors call the habit - only to the problems of childhood is not worth it. Most often it occurs in two other age groups - among people of age.

Why does a child bite his nails and why is this habit harmful?


In a child, the habit of nibbling nails is most often replaced by sucking fingers. According to neuropsychiatric specialists, the preservation of the sucking reflex and the appearance of onychophagia, which act soothingly on a child over 3-4 years old, indicate a slow formation of the emotional-volitional sphere.
The child begins to bite his nails during anxiety, psychological stress. Stress will be caused by aggressive family relationships, discomfort in contacts with peers, fear of change, weakening of parents' attention due to the appearance of brothers and sisters - the list of sources of negative emotions is extremely wide.
Starting to solve the problem, it should be remembered that oniophagy refers to auto-aggressive behavior. In other words, gnawing at his nails, the child gives an exit to anger, discontent.He is weak and helpless, does not have the ability to stand up for himself in a difficult situation for him, so he makes himself an object of restrained aggression.
As a rule, not only the nails are gnawed off, but also the skin around the fingers. Infection of wounds can lead to paronychia or panaritium, dirty fingers and subungal contents cause worms and sharp nail fragments irritate the digestive tract.

How can we wean from nibbling nails


Dictate and negative pressure will not help in the struggle with an unpleasant habit. Excessive pressure provokes a regular return to the sedative procedure or the appearance of other types of auto-aggression. It requires patience and calmness, observation of the baby in order to ascertain the causes and conditions leading to an attempt to stick fingers in his mouth. It is extremely important to analyze the climate in your family, other places of stay of the child.
If a girl gnaws her nails for 3-5 years, there is a prospect to captivate the little one with a story about the well-kept fingers of a fairy princess. Will help the maneuver with the "alignment" on your favorite actress, pop star or catwalk and a teenage girl.Such a concern about the state of the hands of a young teenager can also work - as an example, you can put a famous athlete, a famous biker, film character.
A good move is nail extension in the salon, because the natural desired result will have to wait too long.
The method of ridding a child of a bad habit by using a special nail polish with the addition of a special substance that is very bitter to the taste is quite effective. Such varnish is sold in pharmacies and is practically harmless to the child. Folk analogues - mustard, aloe juice, quinine, pepper tincture and others - help less.
Experts also offer an option, partly repeating the stages of the process, but with the “replacement” of the nails with dried licorice root.
All of these methods are good only in cases where there is no question of the transition of the habit into an obsessive state. If you cannot cope with the problem yourself, and the intensity of the habit evokes thoughts about its similarity with the disease - it is better to turn to a psychotherapist or a neuropsychiatrist who will conduct effective treatment. It is worth remembering that the younger the child, the easier it is to get rid of the habit of nail biting.With growing up, as a rule, more serious difficulties appear on the way to liberation from onychophagy.

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