How to Cure your Childs Nail Biting Habit

Nail biting has always been regarded as a filthy habit and rightly so, at any one time your fingers could have germs such as cold and flu bacteria, salmonella, E.coli and even fecal matter on them. And that’s just for an adult; a child’s hands could contain a whole host of other disgusting and dangerous bacteria. When you bite your nails these germs are then transferred from your fingertips into your mouth and onto your tongue, quite a repulsive thought.

But children are not as aware of the consequences of biting their nails and so they will not think twice before putting their fingers into their mouths. After a while it becomes a habit and as any adult knows, a habit is hard to break, but the earlier you intervene, the greater chance of success you will have at ending their habit.

The first thing you will need to do is find out how often they are doing it, and there are two ways to do this. The first way is to write down every time you see them doing it. The second option for older children is to give them a “clicker counter” these are devices that register every time you press a button. Have your child press the button every time they catch themselves biting their nails and you will be able to see how many times they do it in a day. This will give you a better idea of how serious the situation is. IT will also give them a chance to see how much they do it, and in older children this may shock them enough to stop or cut down.

Give them an incentive not to bite their nails, for example, tell them that if they don’t bite their nails for one month, you will give them something they have been wanting for a while. This is a very powerful tool because it is positive, they are not being punished for bad behaviour, they are being rewarded for good behaviour.

Explain to them the consequences of their nail biting, don’t go into too much detail but tell them how many germs are on their hands and under their nails. They won’t like the idea of all those filthy germs in their mouth.

There are many treatments you can buy that are designed to stop nail biting, but there are only a few that are safe for children. Be sure to buy a child friendly treatment and regularly apply it to their nails. It will not harm them but when they bite their nails they will be met with an absolutely foul taste. It can’t be washed off, but it will need to be reapplied about once a week because the more they experience the foul taste, the quicker they will stop.

Nail biting is something that most people grow out of, particularly when they realise the consequences of it. But children don’t really understand the consequences and so they don’t care, they will simply do it whilst you are not looking. This is why it is better to stop their habit as quickly as possible before it gets too ingrained.