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2 Bumps

Why does my 13 year old step son still suck his thumb?

My husband and I met 4 years ago and married 3 years ago, and I now have two step boys, 13 & 8. They were 9 & 4 when I met my husband. The oldest one has a problem with thumb sucking, I notice it when he is in his room by himself watching TV, and I walk in and he is sucking his thumb. I thought this was odd at 9 years old, and my husband and I both DISCOURAGED this behaviour, but I walked in his room yesterday and he was sucking his thumb! He's 13!!! I confronted him and said, "were you sucking your thumb?", he nodded 'yes' and I said "You are 13 years old, teenagers do not suck their thumbs" and walked out. He is a smart and well-adjusted kid otherwise, but he has got to stop this. This will be COMPLETELY embarrassing for him if he spends the night with someone and unconsciously starts sucking this thumb.
Anyone have suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by 2nd-Hand_Mom at 10:31 AM on Jun. 24, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (1 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • no need to shame him... at 13, even BOYS have self esteem problems. i know that there are adults that suck their thumbs too...

    this came from my google search.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 10:37 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • LEAVE HIM ALONE. There is nothing wrong with sucking your thumb. It is no worse than cracking your gum, twisting your hair or any other nervous habit. The boy has been through a divorce. It makes him feel better to suck his thumb. Be glad he isn't wetting the bed or cursing like a sailor. Stop confronting him. He does not have to stop. It is his choice. If he needs your help he will ask for it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:39 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I have to say you saying to him in a derogatory tone "are you sucking your thumb" is probably doing more harm to him than good. I was a thumb succker for a long time and it was part habit but mainly comfort. my parents were divcorced and i was sad, it was a comfort from childhood. I say as long as he does it at home, leave him alone. as for "accidentaly" doing it at a friends...doubtful, and if that happens SUPPORT him. He isnt harming anyone and he will out grow it. a bigger concern might be why he still needs to take comfort from it, meaning what things are going on for him?

    Answer by Bearsjen at 10:43 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • my cousin is 14 and still does it.... His thumb sucking is a comfort thing for him it could also be his way of feeling comfort. Some kids that suck there thumb is because they aren't recieving enough love at home or also because there lacking something in there life. When parent divorce it can affect children that suck thumbs makes them do it more. I know a girl who sucked her thumb until she was 18 and she is 29 now and still does it sometimes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:43 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Maybe I should send him to Junior High school with his bottle and a blanket too...I can't believe I should support (or not discourage) this behaviour.

    Answer by 2nd-Hand_Mom at 11:00 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I'm with the LEAVE HIM ALONE comment, but would like to add leave him the HELL alone. Trust me, he knows that it is embarassing without you telling him that he is going something wrong. I am 22 and STILL catch myself doing it sometimes, and people saying sh*t like, "You're an adult, adults don't suck their thumbs" DOES NOT HELP at all. He is probably in a stressful situation, coming from a "broken" family.

    I am a VERY FIRM believer that a child will quick sucking their thumb when THEY are ready, and only then.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:00 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Leave him alone. My one professor sucked her thumb until she was 14 she says. We all have our quirks in life.

    Answer by purpleducky at 11:38 AM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Let him be, he probably will not do this with his friends. I worked in a maternity ward and every once in a while I found new mom's who still did this, it is comforting, this in place of drugs is great!

    Answer by older at 12:15 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • He will stop on his own. I would just leave him alone, like everyone else said.

    Answer by jojolicious220 at 1:15 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Leave him alone. He probably only does it when he is alone anyways. I was about 14 when I stopped. I was also VERY sick one time (like completly out of it, don't remeber a day) and later my DF asked me if I sucked my thumb when I was little because I was suckingmy thumb. It is a self-soothing thing. Just let it go.

    Answer by beanielips at 1:36 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

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