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6 year old still thumb sucking, when and how do you cut it off?

My 6 year old step daughter still sucks her thumb... She usually only does it when she has her "baby" (bunny that shes had since baby), so i started making her keep baby in her room until night time. But she still sucks her thumb while sitting and watching tv and just when shes relaxing. Shes going to be 7 soon and i myself think its time for this habbit to stop. Is this a big deal to other people? Do you just let them do it cause it makes them happy or do you tell them to stop? And what kind of thigns have worked for you to get it to stop, besides TAKE YOUR THUMB OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. lol.

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Asked by stepmom2B29 at 12:45 PM on Jul. 13, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I would work on limiting when she can suck her thumb and let her help make the rules. like 'not on the car, not when friends are over, not outside of the house(except for sleep overs) It's not so much a problem of for her to be self soothing to sleep as much as it is teaching her good hygiene and helping to save her from doing this in front of the 'wrong' person as she gets older- she could be teased.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:52 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!!!! I THOUGHT I WAS IN IT ALONE!!! i have the same problem. we've tried everything but putting dangerous stuff on her thumb! i have tried every spice and hot sauce that is out on the market. she doesn't do it in school she just does it home. thank god! but right now i'm bribing her. everyday she doesn't put her thumb in her mouth she'll put a sticker on the calander and if she fills it up then she'll get a very special award at the end of the month. and each month is a different award. since it's summer we're using the pool and lake as an award. she hasn't made it a full month without sucking it, but she's close. i know others will bash me for bribing, but this kid can handle sucking on the hottest peppers out there so there really is nothen left for us to do.

    Answer by noel1978 at 12:53 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • luckily i didn't have to deal with that. my son didn't even keep a pacifier past 4 months. so i am not really sure. i know that i could just joke n say for u to tell her ur gonna cut it off if she continues..but that would maybe scar her...n we don't want but yeah not really sure how to keep em from doing that. she may have to grow out of it.

    Answer by goofygalno1 at 12:53 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I owuld also consider a reward system. Set up a jar with say 15 marbles in it. every time she is caught 'breaking a thumb rule' she has to take 1 out. If she still has marbles at the end of the week you will go get ice cream or something. You can even make it to where marbles can be earned back if you wanted.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:54 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • the jar would serve as a visual reminder as well.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:54 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Our five year old sucks her middle and ring finger on her right hand...basically if she isn't using that hand (yes, she's right handed), those fingers are in her mouth. And then around 3 when we thought that she should be at least cutting back on it, we were told again and again by people that she will stop when she's ready. But although it wasn't messing up her teeth, it has started to bend her ring finger toward her middle finger. So starting when she turned 5 (February), we told her no fingers in mouth unless she was in bed....well, then we got the "I'M SLEEPY" whenever we told her to get her fingers out of her mouth. It seemed like a constant battle with us telling her to get them out and her putting them right back in. Finally, just yesterday, I bought that nail polish you can use to help break the habit of biting your nails and put that on the nails of those fingers...she hasn't sucked them since.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 12:55 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I can only speak from what I went through. My mom never made an issue of it, I sucked my thumb until I was 12. I slowly weaned myself through pure pressure and embarressment around friends seeing it. I think it naturally happens. I often at 32 still feel the want to do it but the comfort isn't there anymore,. only when I'm stressed now

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:57 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • Put something in her hands to do. Like drawing. or something to figure out like a puzzle or rubics cube..legos. Its a great way to self soothe sucking the thumb..independence but also can be a sign of boredom. I have a child that sucks his husband will draw for example..Iron Man..and my son can copy it to almost the exact detail....gets his thumb out of his mouth. He has invented the coolest space ships out the little mini Lego things. It takes some work sometimes to find something he will do that I am good at but it is a much more positive esteem builder giving him something to do rather than a negative one when we get onto him "take your thumb out of your mouth"!!Plus it can be bad for her front teeth.find something to put in her hands without saying anything about her thumb.just maybe that she may need 2 hands to do thisand reward her with compliments about her accomplishment.she will do that instead in time

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:58 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I didn't have to deal with this with either of my children neither one of them even took a pacifier but I have been told if you put something that tastes awful on their thumb that it helps them stop

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 1:07 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

  • I have no idea what works the only thumb sucker I know of still does it and she is 42 and she has done it all her life

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 1:24 PM on Jul. 13, 2011

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