Nail biting is not a good habit, and it doesn’t pleasant to watch someone do that. So, when a child bites his nails, this worries his parents a great deal. Indeed, there is a reason to worry – a habit to bite nails may be a sign of psychological issues.
Why do children bite nails?
More often than not, children bite their nails because they are stressed, anxious, under some nervous strain or experiencing some emotional upheaval. This habit gives a sort of relief; it’s a way to relax, and to get pleasure.
Try to notice what kinds of situations make your child bite his nails.
– He is too excited when there are too many people around him?
– Or maybe he doubts his possibilities or feels insecure — for example, when performing in front of an audience?
– Your child is angry with someone?
After finding out the real reasons of this bad habit it will be easier for you to conquer it and to help your kid get over a negative feeling he experiences.
How can you stop your child from biting his nails?
1. Does your child bite his nails waiting anxiously for his on-stage performance, for example? In this case you need to help him fight this fear, to teach him how to defuse tension — and only then to fight the habit itself.
2. And what if your child bites the nails only if he is, let’s say, watching TV? In this case it can be assumed that the TV is the source of nervous excitement. Try to limit your kid’s time of being in front of the TV screen and offer him some interesting quiet games, or just offer him to watch some less exciting shows.
3. Does your child bite his nails after he argued with someone? This is the way he tries to suppress his aggression, so you have to help him find a constructive way to release this aggression, and after that you can work on the issue of nail biting.
Examples are numerous, so it is better to have an individual approach to each and every single case with some psychological counselling.
Here are some one size fits all recommendations
– Don’t put pressure on your child. If you have noticed that your child bites his nails, don’t scold him for that. The habit is very similar to jerking a leg, tapping on a table or touching the hair — these actions are unconscious and therefore they are hard to control. This is why in case of biting nails no encouragements or punishments will ever work. By telling your child off you will only make his anxiety greater.
– Show your child some ways to de-stress. For example, he can clench and unclench his fists; to breathe deeply and try to listen to his own breathing, to hold a favorite toy in his hands, etc.
– Manicure for kids. Teach your child to look after his nails, cut them regularly, and help him notice how pretty they look.
– Try to distract your child with something else that will keep his hands busy.
– Love and hug your child, always show how much you care: no one has ever designed a better way to relieve a child from stress.