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9 year old Daughter sucks thumb!

I am so ashamed, my nine year old daughter sucks her thumb. It is a habit, she doesn't even realize she is doing it. I have punished her repeatedly and nothing seems to work. I have talked to her about how if people at school saw her they would make fun of her. I know how mean kids can be so I am trying to spare her this. I just don't know what else to do. Help please!!!

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Asked by rugrats3 at 10:02 PM on Dec. 31, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (11)
  • she is definitely old enough to know that she is doing this and to stop it.
    punish her every single time she does it. or buy this stuff at the store that people use to make them stop biting their nails. it is like nail polish and it in a nail polish bottle but it smells and tastes NASTY ...its clear.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:04 PM on Dec. 31, 2008

  • My cousin still sucks her thumb and she is 24!! Most of the time she does not realize she is doing it. Your daughter will have to make the conscious decision to stop and it will take time, like stopping any other bad habit. Don't punish her, but be supportive. When you see her doing it just remind her to stop.

    Answer by darcibeisheim at 10:15 PM on Dec. 31, 2008

  • Wow, the person above needs to take a chill pill. Relax, look, I have had students (6th graders) do it and they don't realize that they are doing it. For the teeth aspect of it yeah you need to help her stop. The nail polish thing should help. You just have to help her unlearn this behavior. Keep reminding her, have her put a bandaid on it. something that will clue her into that fact that she is doing it. It's a learned behavior that can be unlearned. It's just going to take time. I wouldn't punish her persay, it's a force of habit that has to be broken. Don't get her too stressed about it, other wise she may do it in hiding.

    Answer by ConnorsMommy521 at 2:28 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • My kid still sucks her thumb at 8. She knows she shouldn't and does not do it at school. She does it in the evening and going to sleep. I quit worrying about it a long time ago because my sister did it until she was a teenager and she is fine...uh, wait a minute. Maybe this is a problem! LOL, just kidding. Relax, love your child and she will be fine.

    Answer by 4mykids66 at 6:28 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • My doughter 8 also sucks hers when she is tired or when she goes to sleep. It's just something she's always done and is part of her personality. she may grow out of it, she may not. But so long as she is happy; I don't care. I'd be far more concerned if I caught her smoking or experimenting with drugs like some of the kids her age 'round here
    I think 4mykids66 said it very well

    Answer by Eddy_G at 6:48 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • My son is 11 and I still catch him doing it on occassion. He does it when he is bored and he doesn't even realize it. I just tell him to stop when I catch him and he does. As for Kay 300, ignore her!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

  • Don't punish her for it...its a habit that can be very difficult to break. There are adults that still suck their thumb and they are completely fine people. I agree with a pp that she will have to make the decision to quit on her own. There is nothing you can do to make that happen any faster. Good luck and just support her no matter how long it might take her to kick this habit!!!!

    Answer by Cubsgirl02 at 10:32 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • My son is 11 and still sucks his thumb. I have done everything starting very early on to get him to curb the habit. NOTHING has worked. Basically, I believe that when kids are ready they will stop.

    Answer by richgirljj at 10:39 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I'm really trying with my six year old, too. I didn't quit until I was close to 10, so I know it's hard. I just can't see punishing her for it. I've tried rewarding her (bribing) if she quits, but it hasn't worked.


    Answer by 3gymnastsmom at 10:49 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • The only thumbsucker I know of is my nephew and he still catches himself doing it. Have you considered WHY it started to begin with? I know its a self soothing thing, but at this age, do you think its STILL a self soothing thing or just a bad habit, or both? Just wondering if there might be some emotional issue with it. I would let her come to terms with this on her own. She will eventually stop. The biggest issue I would have would be her teeth. My 10 yr old has a HUGE over bite just due to prolonged pacifier use ( no, Im not talking 3 or 4). I would find her with one at 7 where she stole it from her brother. I can't imagine what a thumb would have done. I feel for you, I really do. Don't be ashamed. Its a normal kid thing, but I think you might want to make sure its not something deeper than just a bad habit.

    Answer by momofsaee at 11:59 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

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