Lip sucking in 3 year oldHello ,
My daughter is 3 years old and she constantly sucks her lips and twirls her hair.
She started sucking her lips when she was 10 months old.Initially we thought she was just playing with her lips and very soon it became a habit and now its far beyond her control.Not becuase of dried lips or something.Its just a habit.
Along with lip sucking she twirls her hair.She does it while she is playing, while watching TV,while is she bored,happy,sad,sleepy.Even during her sleep.Whole night she is sucking her lips.Now her front teeth are protruding and its become a worry for us.
I want her to get rid of this habit.I keep telling her not to do that but its out of her control and mostly subconscious.Pls help
anjana10 on 2013-06-22
I would say the best idea is to positively reinforce Not sucking/twirling.
Ie every time the child doesn't suck/twirl, reward her (very important - must not be with food!!) The reward can be something that is soothing - seeing as the habit she has is a soothing one - this is a behavioural issue - I have limited knowledge in homeopathics but from a behavioural point of view - this is how it would be tackled. You goal is to make NOT sucking/twirling more attractive/appealing to the child, so they are therefore more motivated to be conscious of actions, and try hard not to do undesired behaviour. Perhaps you can make her soothed/stimulated in other ways - aromatherapy/physical comfort (?)
An Eg is when my daughter was having trouble toilet training I would get everyone in the household to sing and dace congratulating her when she was successful. (this was only for a short time, as to not over-indulge her).
Reward the behaviour you are wanting (which is not sucking/twirling) and reward often at close intervals for the first few days, then as the length of time progresses and she is getting used to not doing the behaviour, reward her at less frequent intervals.
Rewards might be a:
A big special hug
A sticker on a star chart
A special try of mummy's perfume (?)
the list is endless and you would know what your daughter loves most.... try to not make it material (toys etc... make it something emotionally special)
This can eventuate: Maybe set a goal - if the child doesn't do the behaviour for a set time ( the whole day) then you can do a special activity, such as the park, or other special treat, - though this might be hard for your child to understand at three - depending on their level of cognition.
You can discuss with them very kindly and frankly the logical consequences of her actions in a way suitable to her age, so she understands the negative outcomes of sucking/twirling.
you might wish to say ' sweetheart, mummy loves you very much and she wants to look after you as best as she can, because your so special to me, but when you suck your lip like this, you might end up hurting your teeth and gums, and mummy wants you to have lovely strong teeth and gums, this is why mummy wants to help you to stop sucking, so lets work on this together'
Maybe - depending on your child, you may wish to go on to explain the negative consequences in depth ( eg. mummy might have to take you to the dentist, but we'd rather be play in the park) depending on their level of understanding/ emotional level. Be frank, positive, loving and caring - try not to terrify/scare them as this may later cause anxiety.
Most importantly - never use negative reinforcement - such as hitting, smacking, or taking away toy etc. Much better is to show her the positives of not doing the undesired action.
Also, try to recognise the antecedents to the habit - ie what happens before the behaviour (as you said she might be watching tv) and redirect this.
If she does it for soothing - sooth her in a new way, maybe a special blanket, pillow, stroke her brows lovingly - a mothers touch does wonders to a child.
These are just a small handful of ideas... im quite sure that there are many more in google.
Sorry I cant help more.
If there is anything else I can help with please let me know.
[message edited by HomeoHopeful on Sun, 23 Jun 2013 02:34:55 BST]
HomeoHopeful 7 years ago
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