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Nearly three year old extreme fastidiousness about hands...

(6 Posts)
Flowerface Sun 14-Oct-12 20:59:01

My DD (three at the end of Nov) is extremely fussy about her hands. She is reluctant to eat anything with them because they will then become sticky, which will be a disaster. We largely have to feed her like a baby. Going to the park can also result in much upset if things are wet, and I think she doesn't eat the snack at nursery because she is worried about the hand situation. On other occasions she seems to forget about it and will play happily and messily. She doesn't mind having messy clothes or legs/face.

I also have a 5 month old DS, and we have recently moved house, so I understand that this might be because she is a bit stressed and anxious (it has got worse since the move). But should I ignore it and comply with her requests to be fed/go through the elaborate hand cleaning ritual? Or should I be tougher? And are there any 'desensitising' games we could play to help her get over this? I feel sad that she can't enjoy painting, playdough, cooking...etc...

TIA

doinmummy Sun 14-Oct-12 21:06:08

My Dd went through a phase like this she still gets what she calls 'sticky hand syndrome' and has to go and wash her hands.

Could you try getting the paints out a home and start messing about with them, maybe she'll join in.

AshieFan Mon 15-Oct-12 14:35:06

My DS is 4 and he hates messy hands. Never does finger painting, went off playdough for a while, wouldn't eat with his hands, won't open the car door if it is wet and doesn't like to get wet or splashed at nursey when near water play and would scream if it was raining. It was worse when it first started but its getting better. I gave him a cloth so that he can wipe his hands while he is eating - cycle of pick up food, put in mouth, wipe hands and sent him to nursery with cloth and explained to staff. Staff at nursery were great and if he did not want to do something, then that was fine - i assume your DD's nursery are the same. Bought him an umbrella which has helped him to cope with the rain. Took him swimming so that he gets used to splashes etc. when we paint (he hardly ever chooses this) we use brushes and if he wants to stop because he got a tiny bit of paint on his hand, we stop straight away and I just tell him how much I enjoyed painting with him and I like his picture. Also ELC have those bottles of paint that the child holds and it's mess free - he likes those paints!

I would not force her to do anything cos it will just stress her out more. I know it's tough but think of all the things she does like doing. The fact that she occasionally and spontaneously does get messy is a good sign. You are probably right, it could be a way of her coping with all the changes that she has had. Just hold on in there.

Flowerface Mon 15-Oct-12 19:26:12

Thanks. Glad to hear we're not the only ones! Should I continue feeding her or try to get her to do it herself...? Putting a cloth next to her at mealtimes is a good idea....

AshieFan Mon 15-Oct-12 19:53:23

What I did was use my hands and used the cloth so he re-learnt to feed himself with hands that way. LO still likes to be fed his dinner at night - he is now in reception eating school meals so I reckon he is just either too tired to feed himself in the evening (he independently eats about half the time) and/or he needs that reassurance from his mummy. He can be a pretty sensitive child so I just go with the flow. It's never bothered me that he likes to be fed but I think it depends on your own tolerance levels. Actually, my friends still feed their kids too but that's because we all have children who are super skinny and who don't eat a lot. Personally, I think it's more important that they get food in them.

AshieFan Mon 15-Oct-12 19:56:31

Oh by the way, he was upset today because he got some felt tip marks on his hands. I just said never mind eh, just go wash them. He washed his hands and he was much happier even though the marks were still visible.smile

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