Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Calling All Moms - Again!

Hello to all the wise mom's out there! Once again I am calling upon your help. This isn't a terrible life-threatening issue, it's just a nuisance. My kids are suckers.

My 8 year-old son has sucked his thumb since he was born. My 5 year-old daughter sucks her middle & ring fingers on her right hand. She sucks and bites and has indentations from her teeth on her fingers that I think might not ever go away.

We've tried rewarding them when they don't suck. We've tried ignoring it. We've put on gloves, band-aids, soaked fingers in lemon juice, even one episode of Tabasco sauce in which my son said it tasted good. Nothing has worked to make them stop sucking. We've been told that other kids pointing it out to them would make them stop. Well, that hasn't worked either. We've caught them on video and in pictures and it doesn't phase them when they see it.

We read in a friend's blog today that her 4 year-old has stopped sucking her thumb. My kids were excited to hear that she stopped, but haven't made any effort to stop themselves. I really want them to stop. My son is starting to have dental problems because of it.

So what has worked for you? Please leave me a message letting me know what you have done to help your kids stop sucking. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  1. Well, I can only tell you what worked for L. Every child is so different!

    We explained to her that sucking her thumb was making her teeth be crooked and stick out funny.

    We explained to her every time she put her thumb in her mouth she was getting yucky, sick germs in her mouth!

    We encouraged her at first to ONLY suck her thumb when she was in bed...and slowly she stopped even doing that.

    WE PRAYED about it together!!!
    Asking the Lord to HELP her stop!

    We encouraged her to hug her teddy bear tighter instead of sucking her thumb at night.

    We promised a special day as a reward (eating at chick-fil-a and getting nail polish).

    I think that's all we did:)

    Maybe you could have a dentist or a Dr. talk to the children???

  2. We had the dentist talk to both kids, even had an orthodontist talk to #2. They know the sucking is going to give them crooked teeth and it has already displaced #2's top jaw from his bottom.

    They were told if they stopped sucking they could go to Chuck E. Cheese, get a special toy from the store, all sorts of stuff so the reward system didn't work.

    They both pray every night to stop sucking. They each have something else to hold on to while they sleep. I continually pray for them to stop and for the wisdom in dealing with them.

  3. I wish I could help. My oldest sucked on his thumb only at night or when he was stressed. But, he gave it up all on his own by the time he turned 5. My younger son is almost 2 and seems to suck on his thumb a little more. I'm not sure he'll be able to give it up that easily. Let us know what works for you.

  4. This sounds like pretty typical behavior for a four year old. The eight year old I would be concerned about. It sounds like he may have some underlying issues regarding a constant need for a sense of security. I would definitely discuss this ongoing issue with your family physician. Also, your four year old will probably continue to suck her thumb as long as she sees your eight year old sucking his.

  5. No real advice from personal experience... as you know! But here are some links I read through that may offer some "new" ideas:

    Most of the sites I saw have a similar thread running through them: Don't Make It a Power Struggle. It just seems to exacerbate the problem. Of course, that goes against our "mom" inclination that defiant behavior should reap a negative consequence, so it's not easy to do.