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What do you do to stop a 5 year old from chewing on everything?!

My daughter has recently started just randomly chewing on things... the collar of her shirt, the tails or legs of her stuffed animals, pennys, straws, her toe nails, you name it! This just started over the past few months and I punish her every time I catch her doing it but she will start chewing on her shirt while in time out! Any ideas?!

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Asked by EmmysMom113 at 12:25 PM on Nov. 24, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (6)
  • I have a friend who is having her daughter stand against the wall and sit on an invisible chair with her arms in front of her like she is doing a squat and she has to hold that position for 1-2 minutes depending on the offense. This is the only thing that seems to work--at first I thought it was a little harsh, but it works. I don't know what else to tell you try--I wish you all the luck

    Answer by coala at 1:07 PM on Nov. 24, 2008

  • Get her some sugar-free gum, lol. I chewed on the tail of this little mouse I had growing up...I don't chew on things as an adult. It's most likely just a phase ;)

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 5:11 PM on Nov. 24, 2008

  • i know a lotta kids that do that, usually kindergarten and first grade, usually a nervous habit, see what stress is causing it, i had a kid that was uncomfortable reading and would routinely bite the buttons off his sleeves to chew them, so that he could chew something during reading circle!! our solution was sugar free gum and an understanding about how to dispose of it (not on the carpet!) i would suggest checking to see if it is a nervous thing...btw kids who put things into their mouths get sick with colds and flus at alarming rates so it is really a health issue in teh day of the super bugs!


    Answer by AmaliaD at 8:05 PM on Nov. 24, 2008

  • Both of my boys went through this and as other people have said I got them gum and it worked. It could also be a teeth issue .

    Answer by imtheonlysane1 at 9:09 PM on Nov. 24, 2008

  • Take her to the dentist!! She most likely has begun to grind her teeth at night, so the need to chew on these compulsively while awake arises. It's an act of nature to stimulate the gums back into healing. She may need a night-guard. If it isn't that (your dentist can tell by examining the erosion on the tooth enamel), then I would say she loved how much attention she got out of you the first time. I guess I'm old fasioned, but my 5 year old recently decided to start eating toothpaste. I would remind her not to swallow any ans she would right in front of me for kicks. I washed her mouth with soap after the last time. Problem solved :) Best wishes and stay positive!

    Answer by 20sumstepmom at 11:11 PM on Nov. 26, 2008

  • I would ignore the chewing (unless dangerous or damaging something) and when she's not chewing give her praise & attention. Let her join the dots "I chew, mummy ignores me. I don't chew, mummy talks & plays with me."

    Answer by Waxing_Lyrical at 6:39 PM on Nov. 29, 2008

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