Thumb sucker

Yeahhhh… we’re attempting to stop the thumb sucking. Han originally set the date of the end of thumb sucking for when she started school. Then it was moved out to turning 6. Now at 6 and 1/2 years, she’s started mentioning 7.

My problem is that it’s a good sign that I’ll be able to get extreme cuddles as she jams her thumb in her mouth when she’s tired, so I don’t discourage it as much as I should. But with the front teeth [finally] coming in, it’s probably a good idea to minimise it as much as possible. No freaking idea what you do at night though… any ideas?

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9 thoughts on “Thumb sucker

  1. Hmmm
    The behaviorist school of thought would say you could use either positive reinforcement (bribes, sticker charts, I'll get you a car if you don't send my wallet to the orthodontist) or negative reinforcement (putting that don't bite your nails stuff on her thumb) to alter behaviour. However the research suggests that this isn't long lasting.

    A social constructivist would say you would need to use Peer pressure to education devil child on the downsides of thumb suckage.

    A cognitive approach would say that you would need to reason with the child and set up contracts around thumb suckage.

    A humanist solution would be to look at the reasons why devil child sucks her thumb and work on those issues rather than thumbsucking.

    Guess who has studied too much educational theory in the last few weeks?

    Also my niece who is seven still hasn't stopped thumbsucking.

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  2. It was braces at 14 that finally stopped mine. If it makes you feel better though, the orthodontist said (and I remember this to rub in my dads face) that the tumb sucking didn't cause the braces-needing. So you might be lucky.
    From what I've heard most kids grow out of it eventually, I'm hoping my eldest does.
    Anyway no help really… sorry!

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  3. I remember my mum rubbing chili on my step btothers thumb. Mean, but effective. I have a thumb sucker here too and have no idea how I am going to get her to stop. She was sucking the damn thing within an hour of birth, so I'm guessing it's been going on since the very beginning.

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  4. Slightly embarrassing, but I still suck my finger at 22. No one's ever really made a big deal of it, and it hasn't done anything to my teeth, so…I did stop for a while, because I wore a ski glove to bed.

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  5. My mother chewed her nails something chronic…and so her dad took her on a week-long fishing trip whereon she baited her own hooks day-in, day-out. The smell and memory of all she'd been handling was more than enougn deterrent for her to keep her fingers away from not only her mouth, but her face entirely. I figure the same would work for a thumb sucker. KEEN? Ha. x

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  6. Hey I like that the last person compared it to the nail biting as I know that is something you can relate to Nikki.
    I sucked my middle fingers until I was 12 at night, until 15 I would find them in my mouth if I woke at night (!) and in my self conditioning I would bite myself really hard before I was even entirely concious (lucky no fool ever tea bagged me aka In My Fathers Den hahaha)I think when I was really sleepy and drunk I would occasionly suck them until 18ish.
    But my Nanny who was a dental nurse pre kids said to push out wards with my tongue and pull in with my lip while studying and watching tele etc and within a year people back 'home' were asking if I had braces while in Nelson.
    I used to have a huge over bite and mega toddly styled gaps in my teeth now they are pretty awesome even if I do say so myself.

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  7. Crikey your daughter is cute in that photo! I have no useful advice. My son still sucks his thumb as he is falling asleep and he is eight. He has lax parents. His teeth are fine. Though maybe they will fall out tomorrow or grow through his nose or in some other way punish me for my laxness.

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  8. I sucked my thumb until I was…I dunno, 6 or 7? And my front teeth are fine. (I have incredibly, luckily, straight teeth).

    I do know that my Mum tried the whole “pepper on the thumb” thing, but, like, I was clever enough to just (gasp) wash my hands.

    I think what stopped me in the end was embarrassment. Some chick at school teased me and I stopped. Probably.

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