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How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

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Old 05-17-2006, 03:15 AM   #1
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Question How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

Our 6 yr old son is a BIG TIME thumb sucker.I know that this is partially me fault as an infant I didn't want to give him a pacifier because I "couldn't stand seeing 5/6 yrolds w/them plugged in their mouths"Well this sure did come back to bite me,lol.At least you can get rid of the pacifiers certainly the thumb is there to stay.I probably wouldn't even be so upset about this but this poor child will be spending alot of time at the orthodontist as it is,he's inhereited(sp?) my moms over bite ,(which she doesn't have if you ask her...)He doesn't seem to do it at school but other then that it's stuck in there.It looks like he's got this apendage growing from his mouth I try not to keep repremanding him but nothing seems to help.Any suggestions are more then welcomed..Thanks

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Old 05-17-2006, 06:42 AM   #2
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Re: How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

I sucked mine constantly until I was 10. I even did it in school. Nothing my mom tried worked but there are some things on the market that I am not a fan of them. One, is drops that go on the thumb and can not be washed off and taste horrible. Another is a device that is strapped over the thumb, some sort of plastic thing. One Step Ahead sells it.

Old 05-18-2006, 08:19 AM   #3
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Re: How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

I've never understood the big deal about thumb-sucking. Some kids just find security in doing it, just like other kids might find security in a blanket or a teddy bear. My cousin sucked his thumb until he was 10 and he turned out fine. I'm not exactly a certified psychologist, but your son seems to have been deprived in his oral stage, and he's making up for it now (probably). I wouldn't be surprised if he became one of those people who constantly needs to be chewing gum.

However, if it really bothers you, why not try putting something on his thumb to discourage sucking? Anything edible and unpleasant-tasting will suffice. Lemon juice, hot sauce, the list trails. Of course, it would probably need to be re-applied after each instance of your son washign his hands, which can get annoying. I really don't think there's a sure-fire way of getting a child to stop a thumb-sucking habit except waiting for them to stop doing it by themselves. An acquaintance of mine tried the hot sauce thing, and her son eventually developed a love for Mexican food, so any catalytic methods you try will be prone to backfire.

Old 05-18-2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

There is something that the dentist can put in your childs mouth, so that although, the child could still put their thumb in there mouth, but there would be no suction with the thumb, and there thumb wont be comfortable.

My nephew's friend just got this done on Monday. I can try to find out more info about it ifyou want. He might come over and play with my nephew tomorrow

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Old 05-19-2006, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: How to "combat" Thumb Sucking 6 yr old?!?!

Sometimes I think the more you push the issue, the more the thumb-sucking will continue. I sucked my two fingers for 25 years--yes, 25 years!!! My parents tried everything on me when I was younger. The more they fought me with it, the more I rebelled. When I was really young (pre-school and kindergarten), I, too, sucked my fingers in school--however, this stopped really fast after the kids started making fun of me. I am not saying this to discourage you, but just want you to know that it's a very, very difficult habit to break. Don't blame yourself for it. Positively reinforce him when he is NOT sucking his thumb but, aside from that, I think the issue might come back to bite you if you push too hard.

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