DS is 3.5 and has acquired a habit of picking his fingers and toes/nails/cuticles.
At first I could deter it by cutting his fingernails short, but he then started picking his cuticles and surrounding skin. He'd stop when we asked him to at first, but now it's almost like a compulsion, he can't seem to help it and I don't think he even notices doing it... We make him jump sometimes by interrupting his train of thought, he looks at his fingers as though he didn't notice he was doing it
Sometimes, if we haven't kept on top of reminding him to stop, it gets so bad that he's peeling skin from his fingertips and making himself bleed and cry.
I've tried wrapping his fingers in plaster tape, he picks it off in seconds. I don't know what to do anymore! Does anyone have any experience of this? Is this typical behavior, will he simply grow out of it?
Huge Sympathies, DS3 was a face-picker / scab-picker until 5yo. Any little cut he got too months to heal because he wouldn't leave it alone. Lots of scars.
He stopped, finally, completely, maybe 4-5 months ago. He still has some scars, obviously, but should be mostly faded eventually. I think he stopped because even though it was a terrific comfort habit he's just so reasonable, we finally talked him into believing he should stop.
Thing is he is so sorry when he hurts himself. He comes up to me and says "sorry mummy, I'm really sorry" over and over again, holding out his finger, which makes me feel terrible; like I haven't handled this right if he's scared I'm just going to be telling him off. I can't be firm when he's like that, I just give him a cuddle.
But I don't know what else to do! I've tried ignoring it, but I can't stand to see his skin all shredded up on his fingers. And he'll just do it regardless. I've tried being firm, being really firm, being kind about it, reward charts, treats for going x amount of hours without picking etc. He'd just do it and be super sorry about it
So do I keep on just trying to remind him to stop in the hopes he just does one day?