Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thumb Sucker

Practically since birth Chloe has been a thumb sucker.  We tried to give her a dummy (numerous times) but she kept spitting it out in favour of the thumb.  As you can see everything was done with the thumb in mouth. 

We have unsuccessfully tried the break the habbit in the past with the terrible tasting nail biting stuff (which she hated) and we were going okay (until Sarah was born). 

When she turned 3 and became a 'big girl' we felt we REALLY had to get the thumb sucking sorted before it continued any further so we dedicated a Family Home Evening to helping her break the habit.  We needed to set a goal with a reward to work toward and decided that 25 days might be a reasonable time to break the habbit. 

With Chloe by my side we made a chart and she chose the counters to mark each successful day and later we all headed off to KMart were she was able to pick ANY toy she wanted (Far cheaper than the cost of braces if we can stop it now ;p )  so after making her go up and down EVERY toy isle (such a difficult task for a toddler - yeah right! ) she decided on a princess bike/trike.  Then it was off to coles to buy the treats (Cars eggs) that would help to keep her motivated on her way to getting the bike.  I also made her a glove from old fleece (really a sock with ribbon at the top that I could tie at her wrist) that I would put on her to help her remember - she hates it!!! 

So far she has done incredibly well the first two days the 'remembering' glove was used if I saw her tumb go inter her mouth with a gentle reminder that "we are trying to help you remember so you can get your special toy".  We did also give about three treats in the first five days rather than the one to keep her motivated and feel that the end goal would be achievable.  Now we are almost through the chart and she is set to get her bike on Tuesday (all going well).  Then we will see if she has broken the habit or will need to continue her chart for another 25 days.

What have you tried to break your childrens bad habits?  I would love to know what you have found works because I am pretty sure I will have to do it again when Sarah is older (She has also started to suck her thumb and not the dummy) and if the chart doesn't work for her I will need some back-up ideas!


Anonymous said...

I have three grand daughters, 4.5 , 2 and just 3 month old.
Sophie 4.5 just stopped by herself, Emily 2 is still doing it and so is Tahlia.
The dentist said it is no problem until they are about 4 or 5.

Lotti said...

I had one that sucked the two middle fingers and one that thumb sucked. It was a hard habit to break for the finger sucker, but not the thumb sucker. I used to just quietly prompt him if he had his fingers in his mouth ..... funny thing was he stopped doing it most of the other times when he was young, except when he was tired or watching TV or going to sleep. He was quite old when he stopped doing it completely .... I mean in his teens. He said to me that he knew he had to stop because he didn't want to go on school camp or stay at anyone's place because of it. If you can break the habit when they are young it's so much easier. I think what your doing is great and it's obviously working quite well. The less she does it, the easier it will become for her. I had a cousin who sucked his thumb till he was in his early 20s ... just out of habit.

Nettie's Blog said...

GO can do it ...what a clever Mummy..bribery and corruption does work...!!!!

make it perfect said...

go clare! that takes some persistence, looks like you are doing an awesome job. hopefully it will all pay off on thursday!

p.s. i love bribes :)

Teresa Felgueiras said...

That is one of the hardest habits to break. Her thumb is always at reach. You're doing the right thing, she has to give it up by herself. It's good for her and for her teeth and palate development.
Keep on.

Stitchin' time said...

My DD12 still sucks her thumb when she is exhausted. Her father wasn't much help trying to break her of the habit when she was younger but I found after she went to pre-school, then regular school the habit decreased immensely. This was probably as she was the only thumb sucker and girls are more aware of being different to others than boys are, so she self regulated and it's rare that it happens now. Her dentist mentioned at the end of last year how her 'bite' was almost perfect so I guess it depends on their method of sucking if it affects their teeth or not :).

Fiona said...

Hi Claire, I have an almost 5 year old starting kinder tomorrow with a finger sucking habit. She really only sucks now when she is tried or shy. You are all doing a great job breaking the habit together.

p.s the above mentioned child also has an allergy to eggs so I baked your egg free cookies. HUGE HIT !!!
thank you I am always excited to find new egg free reciepes.

Brooke said...

I have two daughters, one sucks her thumb and one sucks her fingers. We have been working with the thumb sucker since she is now 3.5 and old enough to understand what we are trying do! To help break the habit we have a "thumb sucking spot"- her bed. She can suck her thumb if she is on her bed. If she has her thumb in her mouth I give her a gentle reminder that if she wants to sick her thumb she can do it on her bed. She rarely thinks it worthwhile to go to her room to do it! It has been working well for the first few days. I have to remind often, since it is ALWAYS in her mouth, but she is improving and occasionally I see her think before she puts it in her mouth and doesn't do it. I haven't figured out what to do about going away because she does it when she is shy or uncomfortable with where she is. I might try a glove at home to see if it helps. :)

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