How to wean a child to bite his nails: the cause of the violation, popular recipes and recommendations of psychologists

Bitten nails, unpleasant burrs look - a common situation, because the habit of pushing fingers in the mouth is inherent in both young children and adolescents.

It seems that oniophagy - the scientific name of this problem is not so terrible. And yet, it is necessary to fight it, despite the numerous experiences of my mother’s “I can’t,” “I can’t do anything.”

To decide how to wean a child to bite his nails, you must first discover the "trigger mechanism" habits, and after that take certain measures.

Disease or bad habit?

Psychiatrists knowingly introduced into medical practice a special definition - oniophagyu. This term implies a mental disorder (!), Which is expressed in an uncontrolled desire to bite the nail plate.

This disorder is formed gradually, moving from a seemingly harmless habit.

Surveys have shown that almost a third of children of primary school age are subject to biting of nails, and this habit is more common among male children.

Then the incidence only increases, since in adolescence almost half of children bite their fingers. Perhaps this is due to the increasing psychological burden.

That is, the habit cannot be left alone with the child, hoping that it will outgrow it. On the contrary, there is a risk that the problem will simply develop into a mental disorder that cannot be overcome without the help of doctors.

Therefore, it is necessary to find the provoking factor and, if possible, get rid of it.

Why does a child gnaw nails?

Sometimes it is extremely difficult to understand exactly where such an unpleasant problem originated from. Experts speak of possible physiological and psychological factors that "include" oniophagyu.

1. Physiological factors:

  • Why does a child gnaw nailsThe condition of the cuticle.In some young children, the skin around the nails is constantly “puffy up”.Without waiting for parental help, they are trying to remove the irritant on their own. Such behavior is somewhat similar to an animal self-care reflex (for example, cats wash themselves with their tongues).
  • Physical satisfaction.The child is trying to achieve pleasure by all available and inaccessible methods. If he is forbidden, for example, to eat sweets or a cake, he can switch to his fingers.
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency.The nervous system is able to function normally only with good nutrition, rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamins E, B and magnesium-containing products are especially important for a child, otherwise high anxiety, nervousness and overwork develop.
  • Glistovye infestations.Domestic doctors believe that one of the possible causes of gnawing nails can be parasites that have settled in the children's body. Other signs indicate the presence of worms: increased salivation, itching in the rectal area, a dramatic change in behavior, a causeless cough.

Physiological factors

2. Psychogenic factors:

  • Difficulties with adaptation.For many children, a bad habit occurs simultaneously with the beginning of socialization.So, by the age of three, the child begins to attend the kindergarten, but if he is a “greenhouse” child, then even short-term separation becomes stress. At the age of seven, the next adaptation begins - he goes to school, which affects his emotional state.
  • Family climate.Constant scandals in the family, squabbles between parents, leaving one of them from home, shifting the process of bringing up to grandmothers - all this is also a stressful factor leading to biting off the nail plates.
  • Autoagression.With such behavior, aggressiveness due to various circumstances is directed at himself. The child, fearing to be angry with others, begins to harm his own health - for example, biting his nails.
  • Behavior modelChildren tend to "get infected" by the actions of other babies or adults. If someone in the kindergarten, classroom or at home nibbles nail plates and burrs, then the child is able to subconsciously repeat such movements.
  • Genetically caused anxiety.A child may bite his nails without an obvious stressogen, only because of an excessively excitable nervous system and temperament, which are caused by a hereditary factor.It is curious that positive and negative events have an equally strong stimulating effect.
  • Psychogenic factorsThe result of early weaning from the breast.Prolonged breastfeeding significantly soothes the impressionable child. With a sharp or early weaning from the "Titi" fingers become a kind of replacement of the mother's nipple or pacifier.
  • Perfectionism.The desire to be the best of all, which is broken about reality, makes the child perceive his every failure as the “end of the world”. Usually such situations are found in those parents who make excessive demands on their children. The child, unable to cope with stress, bites his nails.
  • Replacing bad habits.Many children distract themselves in any particular way - they pull at curls, spin in place, suck their fingers, bite on nail plates. In this way, the children calm down, and if you try to wean from one bad habit, another will begin.
  • Boredom.Some babies gnaw fingers just like that, nothing better to do.
  • High loads.Congestion in school, simultaneous attendance of several studios, seminars or courses lead to fatigue, after which the child fights the neurosis with nail gnawing.
  • Passion for TV or computer.Melteshenie frames, high volume, glare from the screen negatively affect the child's psyche. Trying to calm down, the child sucks fingers or bites nails.

Thus, the main provoking factor is increased anxiety and tendency to stress.

Psychologists believe that by biting the nails, the child activates a kind of painful point that drowns out the stress center.

Consequences of habit

Doctors warn that the words “I can or cannot disaccustom” should in no way stand in front of parents.

Such a habit is not just an annoying nuisance, but a very serious psychological disorder, which is fraught with certain consequences:

Consequences of habit

  • damaged nail plates and cuticles, which become an aesthetic problem;
  • slowing the normal growth of nails;
  • infection of the skin near the nails;
  • problems with teeth, gums because of the constant presence of fingers in the mouth;
  • defeat by helminths (larvae of worms often accumulate under the nails);
  • persistent infectious diseases due to low immunity;
  • mockings of the same age;
  • decreased self-esteem.

It is not easy to believe that the seemingly insignificant violation is fraught with the most serious negative effects in the distant future. Grown up children may face social and psychological problems that can affect adulthood.

Folk recipes

Not always well-established traditional ways of getting rid of such a bad habit are considered humane. Many mummies refuse to apply such techniques, considering them to be too harsh ("I can not mock the crumbs"). However, they should still be listed.

  1. Perhaps the most common and at the same time ambiguous method is to smear children's fingers with hot peppers, mustard and similar natural bitterness. It is believed that, having tried such an unpleasant spicy seasoning once or several times, the child will no longer chew on the nail plates.
  2. The older generation often advises treating the nails with a brilliant green, because such an unpleasant appearance can repel the baby so much that he stops biting his nails. If all the fingers are in the mouth, their own green lips, seen after in the mirror, can ward off the child from a bad habit.

Such methods are ambiguous, however, judging by the reviews, it can still work, especially if the client is from two to four years old. For older children, such methods do not exactly work.

Recommendations of psychologists

It is not always possible to discover the cause on your own, so parents can turn to a psychologist if, furthermore, numerous attempts at weaning did not lead to any positive results. Many psychotherapeutic tips are widely known, but they should be repeated.

  1. You can not blame and scream at the child, because such an aggressively expressed interest in the children's problem, on the contrary, will aggravate the situation. Some kids even more nervous, others out of spite will gnaw marigolds. It is better to look for a more positive way to help your child.
  2. Be sure to talk with the child to establish the "trigger mechanism". Sometimes methods that reveal subconscious and hidden problems help to discover the cause. For example, you can offer your child to draw a school lesson, buddies, households. Black paint, a clear negative indicate a problematic area of ​​life.
  3. Try to spend more time with a small "rodent". Obligatory bodily contact (stroking the head, hugs, finger massage), pleasant words, discussion of pressing problems. That is, the hours and minutes spent with the child must be filled with positive emotions.
  4. You need to take care of yourself to demonstrate a positive pattern of behavior. It is foolish to expect a child to refuse biting off nail plates or burrs, if someone from close relatives (especially significant for a baby) bites his nails and constantly pushes his fingers in his mouth. Teach a girl to care for nails!
  5. If a child in such an undesirable way puts out aggression, show him the socially approved forms of its manifestation. For example, visiting sports clubs, a variety of competitions, contact games helps to spill out negative emotions that are no longer directed to their personality.
  6. Take the child by hand, for example, drawing, sculpting, working with scissors, burning will not only take pens, but also bring a lot of positive moments to your child. Older girls will be able to cross-stitch.In addition, textured objects such as stones, designer parts, pimply balls and other small things help to remove the surge.
  7. You need to talk about the negative consequences - unpleasant stories often have a proper effect on older children. Teenagers can independently find on the Internet a variety of "horror stories" in the form of photos of parasites that enter the gastrointestinal tract. A small child can be offered to examine through a microscope dirt from under the nails, which may contain various unpleasant creatures.
  8. A creative child needs an extraordinary approach. In particular, you can write a fairy tale story that tells about two heroes - one gnaws at the marigold, and the second - does not have a similar habit. That is why very few people communicate with the first one and play because of unpleasant-looking hands, while the other has many friends. Fantastic therapy positively and indirectly affects children's consciousness.
  9. It is necessary to revise the daily routine. So, for two years old kids and older children it is important to provide a comfortable psychological atmosphere, frequent walks on the street.Schoolchildren need to leave more free time, not to press with grades, success and academic workload.
  10. If the factor provoking the onychophagy of occurrence becomes an unexpected separation from his beloved mom after being constantly with her, then such a separation can become a serious stress. It is important to gradually accustom the child to independence and independence, for example, you should briefly take him to the grandmother, in the kindergarten, so that he gets used to being without a mother.
If correspondence advice did not help at all, you should contact a psychologist or a neurologist. It is possible that the child has a neurotic state, one of the signs of which is often obsessive movements.

Medical assistance

In difficult situations, the neurologist and the gastroenterologist become the two most specialized and most important specialists, with whom it is always worth talking.

Medical assistanceThe first will help pick up a sedative medication. The second will check the condition of the intestines and write out, if necessary, medications - phytopreparations, sedatives or vitamin-mineral complexes.

It is extremely important not to give the child any seemingly harmless drug of their own accord.

A number of bitter varnishes, acting like traditional mustard, are represented in the pharmacy chains: “Non-clipping”, “Belweder”.

They are transparent, so they are suitable not only for girls, but also for boys. Special bitter ointments are sold in children's departments.

The danger of such means is the possibility of chemical components in the eye. In addition, parents still act on the external manifestation of a bad habit, not working with the true cause of onychophagy.

Nibbling of nail plates and burrs is a common problem in childhood and adolescence. Some parents are not very serious about the situation, considering that the baby will soon outgrow it.

Experts also advise to seek help, especially if adults do not know how to wean the child to bite his nails. Well, it is also important to surround the children with love and attention.

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