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Thumb sucking seven year old - how to deal with

(6 Posts)
swallowthree Thu 31-Jul-08 21:31:58

My seven year old daughter constantly sucks her thumb - especially when tired - if we're lucky, this is accompanied by chronic nose picking. I can get her to stop the nose picking sometimes but the thumb sucking seems to be something she needs. When she did try really hard to stop, she replaced it with pulling her hair out. I decided the thumb sucking was preferable. Do I just let her do it until she decides to stop. I remember my sister constantly being told to stop and she eventually gave up age 13.

flowerfairy Thu 31-Jul-08 22:13:27

Don't know whether this helps but i sucked my thumb until i was 7 and my parents got me to stop by promising me i could have a Holly Hobbie ornament (sister got my little pony stable set, i still have myornament)if i stopped for a week. Though i probably sneakly did it i must have more or less stopped to get it. My ds sucks his now at 4yo, so am hoping that this approach will work with him when the time comes, fingers crossed.
Good luck

NotQuiteCockney Thu 31-Jul-08 22:55:48

My DS1 was thumb sucking a lot. He would suck his thumb and zone out at school, and they were fed up with it. We bought a Thumb Guard, and it did work - after the first little while, we would put it on loosely, and it did the trick. He's still a v oral child, he chews his clothes, but he doesn't suck his thumb any more.

neversaydie Thu 31-Jul-08 23:20:38

My son was a very determined finger sucker, from shortly after I stopped breast feeding him at 2. We tried various ways to discourage him - they all failed until he decided he was ready to stop, just before his 8th birthday.

It probably helped that we offered at hefty bribe (an XBox 360) if he managed to stop, but earlier offers were politely declined, so readiness really was the key.

We were really worried about damage to his mouth and finger (he had a very hard suck). A year on, his finger is back to normal, and his dentist reckons it has probably helped even up a slightly undershot jaw. So I wouldn't worry too much.

cornflakegirl Thu 31-Jul-08 23:26:28

I stopped sucking my thumb when I was five because my Granddad told me to (v obedient child wink ).

My sister still sucks her thumb (not in public!) and is approaching 30. Her teeth are fine, although she does have a callous on her thumb.

I guess your DD will get embarrassed to do it in public fairly soon. But does it really matter if she does it when she's tired? (Assuming no dental problems.)

sobeda Fri 01-Aug-08 10:43:47

My DD decided she wanted to stop sucking her thumb aged 6, but couldn't, so we got some of the evil tasting liquid used to stop people biting their nails and she voluntarily dipped her thumb in it at night. Within a few days she didn't need the 'dip' and has not sucked her thumb since. It was her idea though, so I do think readiness is essential.

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