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What's a good way to get a 6 year old to stop chewing on her fingers?

My 6 year old has inherited two bad habits, one from me and one from my husband. My husband chewed his nails from the time he was a baby until his mid-teens and even now he's 26 and I still catch him occasionally chewing on a nail. I never bite my nails, my habit was chewing on the skin of my fingers - which was easier to break than my husband's nail biting although I do have tiny scars on my fingers from where I'd chew until the skin broke. Jenna started chewing her nails when she was about 2 years old and recently she's begun to chew the skin on her fingertips and one finger in particular is badly chewed up. I showed her the scars on my fingers, told her about the few times the bites became infected when I was young, but it doesn't even slow her down. I know a lot of people say put extra spicy or gross tasting things on her fingers but I can't do that to the fingers that have open cuts on them.


Asked by anon1986East at 2:05 PM on Nov. 20, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 18 (4,812 Credits)
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Answers (5)
  • Consistency is about all that works on avid chewers. My son can not seem to keep his fingers out of his mouth but has only started it in the last year. I put the nail bitter polish on him and he didnt care he still chewed away. I don't know how as I tested the stuff and omg is it foul!!! Maybe take her to get a pretty manicure and show her how nice they can be and that if she keeps her nails nice you will make sure they will always be beautiful. Kid manicures are usually only $10 so its a reasonable monthly reward

    Answer by andria82 at 10:23 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Hot sauce or dish soap. Stopped my from chewing my nails at that age.

    Answer by Scarlet_Delilah at 2:34 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • My husband used hot sauce

    Answer by momindiana at 3:11 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • they have something called THUMB that you can putnher fingers...really bitter and does not come off w/o nail polish remover I am a huge cuticle helps

    Answer by rebeccadac at 3:09 PM on Nov. 21, 2010

  • I like the idea of the manicure - even if you do it at home. They have great home manicure items now you and you could make a project together.

    Answer by MomIWant at 8:01 PM on Nov. 21, 2010