How to Stop Biting Your Nails
As a teenager I asked my parents for a motorbike, and the subject was ended with this argument:
We buy you the motorcycle after a visit to Alcoitão to see with your own eyes the state of a person after a motorcycle accident, blah, blah, blah…
Whoever has never heard this phrase raise their hands.
There was no internet to search for images, so the visit ended up being completed and ended with the phrase: “draw your conclusions.” I forgot the bike.
At the beginning of the first year of school, my son Quico began to bite his nails probably because of the stress of adapting to school.
I spoke with the teacher and the helpers to see if there had been an event or episode that was making him more nervous and anxious than usual. At the time, despite everything that went through my mind, everything was okay at school. There were no rogues stealing his snacks, no bullies annoying him.
Following my parents’ example, I decided to show him a picture of a pair of hands with bitten nails, so that this would be the starting point for open discussion about the subject.
After the chill of the visual impact:
How horrible, mom!
We talked about the consequences this would have for his health if he continued to bite them. In addition to getting ugly fingers and fingernails, he would run the risk of developing infections.
It also causes enamel wear on the incisor teeth, which can lead to cavities in these areas.
Over the course of a few weeks I always kept his nails short, with a daily survey so there is no room for a little nibble.
I also considered applying a bitter nail polish* on his nails.
But as after a few weeks the habit seemed abandoned, and I also abandoned this strategy.
I think the visual image of a photograph is strong, it helps and complements the idea that I am transmitting to the kids, and often serves as the starting point for a good conversation on a subject.
Now all I need is for one of my four children to ask me for a motorcycle, because I can imagine myself on the way to Alcoitão again. After all, nothing convinces you like seeing it with your own eyes.
* This is a clear nail polish containing a very bitter substance that leaves its taste in the nails. It is non-toxic and is usually applied twice a week to discourage biting.
Read more HERE about the tics of the little ones.
If in doubt speak to your pharmacist 😉