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Nail-biting pre-schooler: discourage or ignore?

(10 Posts)
hester Sun 16-Aug-09 23:28:54

And if the Mumsnet line is to discourage, any advice on how? Or do I just have to nag?

piscesmoon Mon 17-Aug-09 08:06:09

I am probably not any help-I ignored.

feetheart Mon 17-Aug-09 08:12:46

DD did this at 2 and HV suggested discouraging by gently moving hand away from mouth and saying 'DD don't do that' Was very tedious but worked after a few weeks.
DS started biting at about 3 and has proved more persistant (is now 3.9 and still biting though at least he seems to have stopped biting his toe nails to the quick)shock] I usually say 'DS don't bite your nails' Trouble he can reason with me and will try and argue the toss - 'But I liker biting them Mummy'

Good luck

feetheart Mon 17-Aug-09 08:15:00

Excuse typos, trying to ignore children scrapping grin

SpawnChorus Mon 17-Aug-09 08:18:41

Ignore - saves time on nail cutting with scissors.

Onlyaphase Mon 17-Aug-09 08:19:57

DD (2.9) has bitten hers for a few months now, which horrified me as DH has disfigured hands due to this.

I couldn't ignore it so have gone for the gently discouraging route, telling her not to bite her nails and moving her hands if necessary. I did notice that if she doesn't watch TV then she doesn't bite her nails - everything else she does involves her hands so she can't then do any biting at the same time. So a joint approach of not doing activities where she can bite her nails and a gentle discouragement is working for me (and saving my sanity)

Good luck

MamaChris Mon 17-Aug-09 08:41:29

ds is 18 months and has just started nail biting (isn't that a bit young?!) thinking about trying gentle discouragement, but concerned drawing attention to it in any way will only act as encouragement, iyswim.

hester Mon 17-Aug-09 18:43:08

Your ds is obviously extremely advanced, MamaChris grin

Thanks for the advice, everybody. Think I will try some gentle discouragement and see how it goes. If it starts undermining other priorities - like stopping her picking her nose! - I might rethink.

MamaChris Mon 17-Aug-09 19:37:24

yes, ds does the nose picking too. obviously terribly advanced hmm

luvaduck Mon 17-Aug-09 19:41:36

Ds does it too - and started at 18 months, now 23 mo. He hated having his nails cut so at least thats easier.
Currently I ignore, but not sure if thats the right thing to do. its just a case of picking my battles!

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