My Daughter Won’t Stop Biting Her Nails

 

My Daughter Won’t Stop Biting Her Nails


My Daughter Won’t Stop Biting Her Nails


Q. My five year old daughter won’t stop biting her nails. Other than the habit being very irritating, her nails and fingers are starting to look bad. The skin around her nails is always torn and hurt. I constantly tell her to stop biting her nails, but it is useless. What can I do to encourage her to quit this habit?


A. Nail biting is a habit that children take on and find very hard to stop. The best option is to remain calm and avoid putting too much pressure on your daughter.


When your daughter is busy biting her nails, try to distract her by asking her to do something or get you something, without making any direct allusion to the nail biting. Very casual and positive remarks (but widely spaced out and without waiting for a reply), implying that she is much more attractive, or that you feel that she is prettier, or that she is smarter because she has reduced he nail biting, can sometimes be great boosters. Even more casual remarks about another child who does not look very attractive when he or she is biting their nails could also be of use. However, this should be handled carefully so that your daughter does not feel that you are in any way making a remark about her. Children catch on very quickly.


Use creams to smoothen out her nails and the surrounding skin. Hopefully she will appreciate her prettier hands and will overcome this habit much sooner than anticipated.