In newborns, the suction is an instinctive reaction. Almost all babies suck their thumb and it looks cute when they was a baby. But after they grown up, I believe most of you will start to worry about the fact that they still sucking their finger in mouth. If it let happen, there is possibily that your children’s front tooth will become protruded. In this case, you should find out some tips or guide on how to stop thumbsucking in children to prevent the undesired problem happen.
In my recent finding, pediatricians estimate that about 18% of children between 2 and 6 years are thumbsuckers. Why did they start doing that?
Several explanations have been suggested, but most experts agree that thumbsucking helps children to stay calm and comfort.
Pediatricians have observed that this phenomenon is very common in Western culture, in societies where children are separated from their mothers for a long period. Thumbsucking is not as common in cultures where mothers tend to stay with their babies for longer periods or maintain a constant physical contact during the first year of life.
Most experts advised that parents should not try to break this bad habit before their children not demonstrate that they are ready to stop. But if your children have reached at this point, you may follow these tips to help them to stop thumbsucking.
Tips to stop thumbsucking in children
Use a reward system
The pediatricians say that by doing a reward system, it is actually helping children to stop thumbsucking. Put a calendar on your refrigerator. Set a deadline for the award (e.g one month). Tell them if they stop thumbsucking within the targeted period, you will give them a small reward (like a toy or a dinner at their favorite restaurant).
Start with the easiest, then move on
First, ask your children to stop sucking their thumb in public or at any other time in which they are more likely to comply their time with that habit. Then, identify the time when the habit is most likely done such as while in bedtime. Try doubling the rewards if your children not sucking their thumb during the toughest times.
You know what happens to most children who thumbsucking at four, five or up to 6 years? They stop thumbsucking. Parents often notice that the habit becomes less and done frequently with each passing year, or maybe they just suck the finger at specific times such as when they are tired or watching TV.
Pediatricians say most of children usually stop thumbsucking at 6 or 7 years because of pressure from classmates. The mockery from their friends and classmates will do get they so embarrassed since maybe only they are still suck their thumb. They will realized and unhappy with that and decide to stop thumbsucking.
Use positive support
If your children slipped, it is discouraging to use a negative reinforcement. After suppressing the gesture, give your child positive support in the form of a hug.
Never scold them
Even if you are very frustrated when your children put the finger back in their mouth, do not punish or yell at them. This will only make them nervous and upset, which probably will make it even more thumbsucking.
Use other thing to change their “Hobby”
I’ve found it just now from other friend who recommended this to help your children stop thumbsucking. The product called as Thumbuddy to Love. I have made some research for this product at the amazon and most of the feedback reviews are positive. I believe this product was helped many parents to rid of this problem.
How serious the thumbsucking in children?
The persistence of the habit of thumbsucking in older children may be a sign of emotional distress. They may be feeling sad or anxious and thumbsucking can be a way to minimize the discomfort. Try to figure out what is causing their sadness and anxiety. Affection and attention can be the best way to solve the problem.
Parents usually begin to worry about their children if they continue to thumbsucking after passed the 4 or 5 years. What are the consequences if it does not stop at that age?
According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking can lead to problems if the habit persists after the permanent tooth have been grown. That’s because thumbsucking can cause problems in consistently aligning the tooth and affecting the proper growth of the mouth.
The severity of the problem seems depend on the way that every children suck their thumb. If your children put the finger in order to press the root of the tooth – which is common – and persistently prolonged thumbsucking can lead to malformation of upper jaw bone jaw, that may causing the projection of upper teeth.
As a child approaches school age, thumbsucking can bring social problems. Psychologists say that children who suck their thumbs tend to be the target of mockery.
Other problems that can arise are infections of the nail and the possibility of poisoning (if they touch a substance toxic before putting their finger in the mouth).
Understanding the origins, as well as adopt a strategy to stop the habit. It can give you a little more peace of mind. If all else fails, you may have to resign yourself and find a good orthodontist. But at least, you have tried to finding the solution on how to stop thumbsucking in children. It is your responsibility to prevent from happen.