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Tame the Twirling Hair and Nail Biting!

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My mom bites her nails, she has done since she was a kid. She is not alone. Did you know 30%-60% of kids bite their fingernails? It is one of the top habits people get into. Right on that list as well: hair twirling. I've seen a lot of girls - and boys -- twirl their hair at a young age, doing it while zoning out on the bus or while reading.

Nail biting and hair twirling aren't the worst habits one can do for sure, but when you child starts developing a habit like that it can be a sign of depression or stress or anxiety, so it is wise not to just ignore it. Check in with your kiddo and make sure she's doing okay.

-- Talk to your kids about the behavior and ask them if they want to stop doing it. Explain why it may be a good thing to switch up that behavior. Come up with ideas together instead of just reprimanding them for doing it.

-- Offer distractions, like learning a craft such as knitting or embroidery or crocheting or origami.

-- If it is biting nails, offer rewards like a new bottle of nail polish or a mom-kiddo mani-pedi afternoon. Your child will think twice about chewing off the pretty polish.

Do you or your kids bite your nails? How have you tried to stop? 



by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

 My DD bites her nails at times.  She's getting better with it.

by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM
the just outgrew it on their own
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by Sarah on Jun. 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

My son pulls his hair when he gets stressed or sensory overload.  He doesn't pull it hard but just tugs at it.  I've talked to his DR about it and he said let it go and don't draw attention to it.  He'll stop eventually, he's just self soothing himself.

by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 8:46 PM

None of us do anything like that. 

by on Jun. 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM
My daughter used to bite her nails but stopped when we started letting her paint her nails
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by Bethany on Jun. 21, 2012 at 11:04 PM
None of us bite our nails. My daughter is a hair twirler though. She just turned 1, so I have a hard time believing that it's a sign of anxiety or stress :)
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by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:03 AM

If they have a hang nail or something they might try to bite it off, but it's not a habit and really they don't do it.  My daughter has started to chew on her hair though, which I'm not such a fan of that being a habit.  

by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:03 AM

Quoting timon95:

they bite their nails every now and then. no biggie. they really only bite them if their is sticking up a bit. i try to keep their nails pretty short.

That's how mine are too, unless there is an issue with the nail they don't do it.  

by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Quoting PoehlerBear1983:

Ds2 is worse about it than ds1. But he doesnt constantly have his fingers in his mouth so i am not super concerned

I feel that way too, unless they are constantly doing it, it's probably not a big deal.

by Nikki on Jun. 22, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Nope neither of them have even tried to bite their nails.

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