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Nail-biting - desperately trying to help DD kick the habit

(13 Posts)
DeepRedBetty Sat 19-Jan-13 01:35:58

ddtwin1 stopped only when her friends took the piss out of her at school sad. It's worked for her, but if it hadn't it could have been awful.

I like 80'sMum suggestion. At 12 she's old enough to understand the time frame.

80sMum Sat 19-Jan-13 01:30:39

It might seem an odd question, but does your DD actually want to stop? It's such a hard habit to break; you have to be highly motivated to stop, then make the commitment to stick with it.
I speak as a lifelong nail biter: I'm 55 and have been a biter on and off (mostly on) since about 6 years old (when I was forced to stop sucking my thumb at school).
I am currently in a stop-biting phase and haven't bitten since 31st December. The longest I've ever gone without biting is 4 years. I really thought I had finally cracked it but about 18 months ago I started again and have been trying to stop ever since!
What works for me? This time I resorted to putting strips of elastoplast around the base of every nail for about a week before I stopped, to draw my attention to my hands, to make me look at them and realise how horrible they look, then Elegant Touch No-Bite to start with, to remind me whenever I started to bite that I don't want to; plus loads of extra nice handcream at every opportunity; also photos help a lot (take a photo of the nails every day and compare from week to week: seeing progress motivates as does seeing how horrible they were before you stopped).
Good luck to your DD. Have you considered offering to sponsor her to stop? For a teenager, a little financial incentive might help! Can you afford to drop two £1 coins in a big jar every day? Tell DD that, starting on the day she stops, you will put £2 in the jar every day that she doesn't bite (letting you check her nails daily would be part of the deal). If she manages not to bite for a year, the money is hers; if she starts biting again before the year is up, all the accumulated cash goes back to you - but can start to build again the next day if she can stop again. There may be a few false starts (usually takes me about 3 attempts before I get properly going into a stop phase).

boxoftricks Sat 19-Jan-13 01:03:44

I started the exact same thread for myself! See this

It's take a good few weeks, but what worked for me was growing them one at a time. put a plaster round the one she's growing if you have to. that way, you can bit the others, but slowly reducing the habit!

Startail Sat 19-Jan-13 00:56:56

Getting married.
I finally managed to have nails long enough to paint at 22 on my wedding day.

Not a very practical suggestion, but like most bad habits you need a reason to stop and that was mine.

sashh Fri 18-Jan-13 04:45:08

Acrylic or shelac nails.

Don't worry about the instruments, you don't have to have long nails, mine are short, when they are new they don't get to the end of my finger.

cartey Thu 17-Jan-13 21:54:26

Excellent advice, thank you so much! I shall definitely try the shellac - I have not thought about this, so thank you RightsaudFreud. I shall let you know how we get on with this ! Good luck to all battling this habit !

RightsaidFreud Thu 17-Jan-13 20:51:27

I should add, the very first time i had it done, the lady in the salon said i had the worst nails she had ever seen. There were no nails, and my nail plates were the size of a toddler as i had bitten them down so far. I would also bite the skin around the nail so much so it would bleed. But having the gel nail polish on them allowed them time to grow, and I haven't done any permanent damage to my nails, so next time i went to have them re done, there was actually some nail and larger nail plates to paint.

RightsaidFreud Thu 17-Jan-13 20:43:22

I'm 25 and i've bitten my nails all my life. Its a horrible habit. The ONLY thing that has stopped me doing it is getting my nails painted with that gel nail polish stuff at a salon, i think its called cal-gel, or shellac or something. Once I can't see my nails, i have no urge to bite them. Plus, the gel stuff is thicker than regular nail varnish, and is more difficult to bite off. Maybe give that a go? Maybe a neutral shade though, I'm not sure what school rules are on nail polish!

exasperatedemma Thu 17-Jan-13 20:33:33

paint the Stop and Grow stuff on her nails when she's asleep!

cartey Thu 17-Jan-13 20:07:42

I have tried the sour nail varnish- no joy with this and her nails are now very bitten, so no point doing the manicures at all. I have done the manicures previously, when she would occasionally leave the nails for a week, but as soon as there is something to bite she starts again. I am minded to try the acrylic nails but the problem with this is that my daughter plays the violin and the flute and these will be an obstruction to her playing the instruments. Has anyone got any idea if acrylic nails can be put on children or am I going madshock? Thanks for all your help I really am despairing with this !

bigbluebus Thu 17-Jan-13 17:01:16

Same problem here with DS. He bites his down so far, they look sore. Have tried all that stuff that you paint on - he just seems to pick it off when it dries. Will be watching with interest for suggestions.

Scroobius Thu 17-Jan-13 15:50:52

That horrible tasting nail polish worked on me. Or have a weekly manicure session so she doesn't want to ruin her lovely nails (depending on if school allow nail polish I suppose).

cartey Thu 17-Jan-13 15:30:34

My DD 12yo has been biting her nails since she was 5yo. I have tried everything to make her stop this, as her nails have now become really ruined. Have you any ideas how I can help her beat this habit? Any advice is most welcome smile

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