6 Ways to Effectively Help Your Child Break Their Thumb Sucking Habit

finger guards for kids Thumb sucking is a natural and common occurrence in many children that is relatively arbitrary in the early parts of their life.

If left unchecked, however, thumb and finger sucking can become a hard-to-break habit that can pose health concerns for your child. In fact, an estimated 5% of children will have a speech impairment by the first grade due to thumb sucking.

Breaking the habit before it starts is the easiest way to prevent any major damage to your child’s health and key functions. There are many ways to get your child to stop sucking fingers.

  1. Restrict his or her ability to thumb suck to only his room or the house. Explain that it’s something they shouldn’t do in public and should be reserved for naptime or bedtime.
  2. Positive reinforcement is key. Don’t yell or scold them for sucking their thumb. Instead, praise them when they don’t. For instance, if you went to the store with your child and they didn’t suck their thumb, you could let them know how proud you are of them.
  3. Keep an open discussion about thumb sucking. Don’t make them feel bad for doing it, but make sure that when they need to talk about it or want to stop, you’re there to help them.
  4. If you’re child get’s injured or hurt (mentally or physically), then you should let them suck their thumb if they want. Thumb sucking is a comfort habit and you’d only be making your child more traumatized by not allowing them to do it when they need to most.
  5. It’s important to their draw attention to their thumb sucking. If you catch them doing it, ask them if they’re aware that they’re sucking their thumb. Practicing self-awareness will enable your child to recognize when they’re doing it and stop them from unconsciously performing the habit.
  6. You can always use finger guards for kids. It’s a sheath for their finger that prevents suction, and thus takes away the opportunity for thumb sucking in the first place. Finger guards for kids are safe and effective and can be a helpful tool in breaking the habit.

While the health concerns regarding thumb sucking are negligible until the age of two, forming a habit that lasts longer than the first two years of their life can have adverse effects. It’s important to be aware and active in your child’s early formation of a thumb sucking habit.

For more information about thumb and finger guards for kids, check out T Guard today.