How to help a Child Stop Biting Nails Nail Biting Children Biting Theri Nails Breaking Habits

Most of the time a child is completely unaware of when they are biting their nails, the first step in helping the child, is to make them aware of the habit in a loving way. This is a habit that has been formed and even though difficult to break it can be done with the proper encouragement and guidance.  With the knowledge that the child has formed a nervous habit and he it is not doing this out of spite, we can better understand how to help him break the nail biting habit. 

All of the old fashioned remedies of lemon juice, hot sauces and other barbaric tactics will not work.  The fact remains that the child is going to first need to become aware of the problem and see it as a problem.  There will come an age when the child will begin to notice that the nails look funny, may hurt and get embarrassed that they are chewing and biting, this is equivalent to a child sucking a finger, at some point they just make a decision to not suck it in public.

A parent that is continually nagging the child to stop biting their nails is not helping the situation and it can cause a problem between both the child and the parent.  Talk to the child about the reason why they should not be biting their nails and see if they have an interest in it.  With this being said, find out if they are ready to take the challenge on with you.  This is a crucial point, getting the child on board with you and the two of you working together to help them to stop biting their nails is the best solution to the problem.

One tactic that I used with my own child is this:  My son just turned nine and bites his nail down to the ends and sometimes they will bleed, his biting is a nervous habit.   My children does not like boogers or other people’s snot so I explained to him that each time he is at school other children wipe their hands with their nose and it touches the door, desk, or his hands and then when he bites his nails their snot goes into his mouth.  I created a visual image for him to become aware of each time he puts his fingers into his mouth he is now eating other people’s boogers and snot.   He made a concourse effort to think and catch himself now when he is biting his nails.  I also asked him if he would like me to give him a signal; when he starts and we could work together on it and he wanted my help.  This has not completely stopped the biting but some of the nails on his hands are growing back and healing.  This visual image has helped him tremendously and the fact that he is now accepting and wanting my help we are working as a team together to break the habit.

The child needs to be reminded in a way that is active for them to understand and want to take action.   As adults we can only appreciate how difficult it is to break a habit and many adults still bite their nails, cuticles and the insides of their mouths along with picking pimples and plucking hairs.   All of these fall into the grooming habit.  The last thing a child needs from a parent is more stress around the issue it will only escalate the problem.  So if you want to help your child to stop biting their nails, then get them to be invested in the solution by talking about it, finding out what will make them interested in stopping and working as a team together.