Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingToddler & Preschooler · 1 decade ago

thumb sucking?

i have a 4yr old daughter and she wont stop sucking her thumb. when she was little she had a dummy and at 2 1/2 we told her she was to old for it and took it away. her older cousin sucks her thumb so she thought it was ok to do that as well and she is still doing it. how can i make her stop?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I went through this with my two girls. The guy that answered you with the dental appliance was an option that the dentist suggested. It was expensive, and it was not covered on our medical, so we did not do it. As a psychology student I dont like the negative reinforcement. Studies show that punishment is less effective to alter human behavior. Believe me I sympathize with you, wanting the behavior to change ASAP. Try postive reinforcement with your daughter. Talk to her about your concerns when it comes to thumb sucking, at a time that it is not an issue....a neutral time. Try to include her in a plan to stop thumb sucking. 4 yr. olds are smart! When she is "caught" sucking her thumb, just reminder her....."sweety, I see that you are sucking your thumb, remember our little talk?" Try touching her when you remind her and get down on her level when you talk to her. Talk to her about same and different. For example: babies are different from you, they are small and you are big. Babies get thier food from a bottle or thier mommy and you are a big girl you sit and eat at the table all by yourself. It is exhausting believe me. There is a little something Dr. James Dobson said that I remembered, "on average a child does not hear us until we repeat something 5 times". Hang in there, it sounds like you are a good mom.

    Source(s): focus on the family, Dr. James Dobson Mother of three Develpmental Pscyhology student
  • 1 decade ago

    I have a NINE year old step daughter who still sucks her thumb...the rewards are a little easier with her cause she has more things she wants..lol...I told her I would do 1 of 2 things if she quit. I would give her a dollar a day or I would give up my nasty habbit. I WOULD QUIT SMOKING...she is liking the dollar a day, but I think if I was going through the same thing, quitting, at the same time she would have someone to relate to. I still catch her occasionally and immediately she says she forgot, which I believe. At first I put a piece of tape on her thumb, it didnt work, she would take it off suck her thumb and put it back...that was just for spite because it seemed like a punishment and that is DEFINATELY THE WRONG THING TO DO...NO PUNISHMENTS WITH IT...you should have stopped it instantly..when you first saw her put it in her mouth...I am not saying you were wrong at all...but it has developed into a habit for her now...habits are HARD to break.

    After the tape didnt work, I put a glove on...of course it didnt work, so next a TAPED the glove on...took a pic of how the tape was and told her now try and fool me...LMAO..it was funny but she was MAD...she knew I had her then...but I couldnt do that to her..I couldnt...so next I sat talked with her and we are trying TOGETHER...better results with the talking...4 years old is a bit different so talk to her in 4 year old talk and tell her possible rewards for quitting and let HER pick out of a number of them...

    FYI- my step daughter has a speech empedemant from the thumbsucking...at first her dad told me it was because she had bad hearing, but it is NOT...she mumbles all her words and pronounces her d's as g's...example: daddy= gaggy...so on...she learned to talk with something in her mouth so now she uses the back of her toungue to pronounce words instead of the front as we do...if you put your thumb in your mouth and try to pronounce dad...it does come out as gag...just so u know...nip it in the butt as SOON AS POSSIBLE!! AND some people get buck teeth, some dont...it is NOT guarenteed that she wont..dont let anyone fool you with that...you can look up thumb sucking on the web and SHOW her pics of people who have sucked their thumbs or other fingers...the pics are NOT pretty..I did that...that did have an effect on her, but again she is 9 not 4...

  • 1 decade ago

    I personally think you'd be better off leaving her till she grows out of it, the more fuss you make the longer she'll do it, I sucked my thumb till I was 16 years old, (I'm now 29) it's just a comfort thing, some people bite their nails, some twist their hair, some kids pick their nose while others suck their thumb, She isn't doing any harm so leave her be.

    And no it wont make her teeth be bucked or stick out. Mine never did.

    Source(s): Experience
  • 1 decade ago

    they have this stuff you can put on their thumbs that tastes nasty to make them want to stop. thumb sucking as well as pacifier usage can effect how their teeth grow. I had a friend and her daughter sucked on a pacifier for so long that when they finally took it away like at age 4 her front teeth were curved outward and she had the worst lisp because of it. When he baby teeth fell out her new teeth still didn't look right but she sounded a lot clearer but when she was little she was really frustrated when no one understood her because of the way she talked. Talk with your pediatrician and dentist and ask them if they have any suggestions.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Put Thumb on her thumb. Thumb is a sour liquid that quickly teaches kids to stop doing something, like biting or thumb sucking.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually your child is doing this out of security. Before, she found that security in the dummy, but now that this is gone she has replaced it with her thumb. My best advice would be trying to get her to replace her thumb with something else to soothe her. Perhaps a small soft blanket she can call her own, or a stuff toy, so that it will ease her tension in this crazy world. It will take some patience and a lot of encouragement but it can be done.

  • 1 decade ago

    chances are she is raising the roof of her mouth and will need an expander. as soon as they put one in she wont suck it anymore, there will be a big peice of metal junk on the top of her mouth and no where for her thumb to go.

  • 1 decade ago

    my brother didn't stop sucking he's thumb till 11

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Really Hot, Hot Sauce!

    A little burn in the mouth never hurts.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    mine worded with mustard .... yuck mummy in bin in bin.... that was the end of the dummy ... good luck

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