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Nervous habits in 5 yr old - lip picking

(9 Posts)
paranoidmum Thu 11-Sep-08 16:09:25

DD 5 yrs starting picking top lip over summer hols and now won't stop. I have tried the usual threats, but all in vain.

I have no idea what to say, how to stop it, nor why? is it a nervous thing? but the more she picks, her lips get sore and crusty, so more picking ....

Judging by how sore her lip looks today she picked all day at school.

Please could anyone be so kind to offer advice?

Thank you

misi Fri 12-Sep-08 12:17:16

I bit my bottom lip when at school and also my finger nails as I was bored. during the summer hols, it was particularly bad, my mum tried everything, mustard, some stuff she got from the doctor, but as I had always been taught to wash my hands, I did, then bit them afterwards grin

it may be a nervous thing, look out for other signs of nervousness, it may have been the thought of going to school for the first time (or going back) but it could just be the totally bored thing.

only make something of it if you think it is getting out of hand, I think I still nail and lip bite because my parents made such a big fuss of it, it reinforced the idea of it IYSWIM?

southeastastra Fri 12-Sep-08 12:25:36

i used to do that too, nervous habit not really sure if anything would have stopped me tbh.

you could paint her nails with clear varnish and maybe she could pick that instead

GillL Fri 12-Sep-08 15:31:27

Hi paranoidmum. This is something I've done for as long as I can remember (I'm now 30). I've noticed that I do this mostly when I'm bored, nervous or stressed. I stopped for 2 weeks before my wedding because I had an incentive to look nice but started again straight afterwards. I don't remember my mum ever saying anything to me but I don't think it would have made any difference.

AuntyVi Fri 12-Sep-08 16:41:23

I used to do this too and still occasionally do when I am feeling poorly or frazzled... So obviously I haven't found a perfect cure, but one thing you could try is getting her some good lipbalm and encouraging her to use it regularly, if there are no "picky bits" she is less likely to pick. Especially if you get her a nice one that's a bit of a treat (nice tin, smells nice etc but it also needs to work well - some don't), it might help to encourage her to use it lots and also to discourage the picking. Sometimes if I am getting tempted to pick, I put coloured lipgloss on (esp. the gloopy sort) - then if I pick it messes it up and gets it all over my fingers, so it's a good reminder not to; though you might think she's still a bit young for that I suppose. One thing that does NOT work is nagging, my mum always tried that but it had no effect at all! Also if there are times when she is picking particularly much, it could be a sign that she is feeling poorly/stressed/upset, so you could try gently sounding her out in case there's anything wrong (though it could just as well mean her lips are just particularly dry that day!). There are worse habits though... so try not to stress about it too much.

EyeballsintheSky Fri 12-Sep-08 16:44:03

I do this all the time. DH hates it. Sometimes I look like I've been punched in the mouth because there are raw spots of skin on my lip. Have tried everything but can't break the habit.

AuntyVi Fri 12-Sep-08 16:44:16

Oh also if it is a relatively new habit, you could maybe try finding her something else to fiddle with instead when she feels the need.... like some kids pick at erasers, that sort of thing. If she hasn't got too badly into the habit yet it might still be possible to change it. Not sure if that would work but it might be worth a go if she is willing to try it?

quickdrawmcgraw Fri 12-Sep-08 16:52:59

dd is orally fixated and is always chewing somthing. Whether it's the skin around the sides of her nails, her hair, her sleeves. It drives me potty mainly because I used to do it too.grin
I'm thinking of making her some kind of necklace that has things on it that she can chew. It may not solve the problem but at least it will stop her from eating herself and clothes.

paranoidmum Sat 13-Sep-08 08:15:13

Thanks all so much for the advice, and to know she's still normal.

I think the idea of getting her something else to pick instead of her lips (bubble wrap to pop? nail varnish to pick off?), plus the nice lip gloss sound like a good combo.

Fingers crossed!!!

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