Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Nail biting

Nail biting

Do you have a nail biter? Do you know a nail biter?

I have a nail biter in my house.

His name is Monkey.

I know an adult who’s been a nail biter her whole life and her fingers are kinda a sad story. So I knew I didn’t want to let Monkey go his whole life without ever trying to help him stop this bad habit.

Well, we have finally made progress! I would like to share our success with you, and I would think many other kids would fit this style.

The first key to success is consistency!

Every 3 days or so we look at Monkey’s nails. If we can tell that he’s bitten them, then we say, “thanks for letting me know you need your nails clipped”. And then no matter if he bit one nail, or all 10, I clip all 10 nails. Not to the point of bleeding, mind you, but yes very very short. Almost as short as you can go without it bleeding. Not to make it hurt, but yet it does make it a little more difficult to do things. We stuck at this for a few weeks, and finally he got to the point first of all, where it bothers him to have his nails short because he can’t do certain things, (like zipping his pants is kinda hard), and other things that were harder to do. And then he started thinking for himself,’s hard to do things when you don’t have any nails. And then a couple more weeks later, he came to me before I even looked at his nails and said, you’re gonna have to cut my nails because I bit one. So it was his idea that time, which was great progress!

Well, today Monkey has long growing beautiful nails! I’m so excited to see the hard work of consistency, and not saying anything else about it besides just casually cutting his nails, and saying “thanks for telling me you need your nails cut”, or if I would see him in the process of biting, I would say, “looks like someone wants their nails cut”. But after you say those things you have to take them directly to the bathroom (or wherever) and cut them, so they get the connection.

Just in case you have a nail biter in your family, and you feel like you’ve tried it all. Maybe you haven’t tried this?!? So give it a try. What will it hurt?

We have tried many different things with him, but this is the only thing that's got him actually thinking about why he wants nails, and why he shouldn't bite them.

So glad to have found something that works.


Gampa and Gamma said...

I might have to try that on Bob. JK!!

Sheree said...

GREAT idea!!! I will begin tomorrow! Both Corey and Zach will need it!

7Shoes said...

hmmm Elaina used to bite her nails all the time. a couple of years ago at camping aunt Susan told her if she quit biting her nails she would give her five dollars the next time we went camping. I didn't even know about this until she mentioned it a couple of months later when we were talking about nails or something. For some reason five dollars was enough of a motivation for her to quit because she stuck to it and when she would relapse and bite a nail she would on her own say something and try even harder not to bite. I still cannot believe that this worked. It is wierd what will work with kids.

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