The Grapevine

Nail Biting Treatment For Toddlers: Ways To Stop Children From Doing Unhealthy Habit

Nail biting is an unhealthy gesture that could lead to health problems. While adults can correct this through conscious effort, toddlers and children might find it difficult to do away with this especially when it has already become a habit.

According to BabyCenter, there are many reasons why kids bite their fingernails. Some do it out of curiosity, others do it out of boredom. There are also children who do this when they are stressed, or when they are imitating someone who does this in front of them.

Determining what’s causing toddlers to bite their nails could readily help parents nip the problem in the bud. It’s important to correct this at an early age, so it does not become a habit that they’ll carry with them throughout the different stages of their life.

Below are ways to effectively stop children from biting their fingernails.

Address what’s causing their anxiety.

As mentioned before, nail biting can be a product of stress. Knowing what’s causing toddlers to bite their nails will be helpful, since you as a parent or guardian can eliminate the things that’s making them worry or feel scared. This could be tricky, however, because some children experience stress at just about anything that comes their way.

Set limits and don’t nag about it.

Many toddlers and kids bite their fingernails unconsciously out of boredom. If your child is doing this, don’t nag or punish him or her for it. You don’t let this slide, as well. What you should do is set limits or rules about nail biting. For instance, you may say that no one is allowed to bite their nails at the dinner table. Do this with a calm and collected voice instead of aggressively pointing out your problems with their tendency to bite their nails.

Provide assistance when asked.

Some kids are willing to get rid of this habit when they realize how bad it is for their health, or when other children their age start to tease them because of it. If the moment comes that your child reaches out to you because of this, offer encouraging words and make him or her feel that you know how hard it is to break a habit.

Address the imitation issue while you still can. says children in general easily pick up behaviors they see from older family members. They imitate the things their siblings and adult family members do, and nail biting is one of the most common gestures they tend to copy. To address this, inform the older family members to refrain from biting their nails when they are in front of the younger family members.

Cut their fingernails short.

The best way to help kids avoid developing the unhealthy habit of biting one’s fingernails is to trim them regularly. Cutting their nails short is an effective trick that would help them minimize their urge of biting their fingernails. Clipping and filing their nails once every week would suffice.