36 answers

Advice on 6 Year Old Sucking Her Thumb!

Hi Moms - I need any advice or proven techniques that you all have used to stop thumb sucking. My 6 year old still sucks her thumb and we have tried verbally reminding her but it is not working. Can anyone help?

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Thanks everyone for all your advice. I am going to look into the thumb guard. However, I am also going to sit down and have a heart 2 heart with her about it and see if she says she is ready. I think I will try the reward system and see how that works first. She sucks her thumb at school also, but not as much as at home. She aslo bites her nails and twists her hair in knots! I know that she is she and that all these are security for her, but I feel like she needs to learn not to. Again - thanks for everyones help. You all are awesome!!!!

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I just overcame this issue with my 4 year old son!! We used the Thumb guard. You can order it from the company at www.medetal.com. Some Denist and One Step at a Time have it too. But straight from the company probably offers the best price. My son and I talked about it first, so he wanted to stop sucking his thumb. Then I went to the Chuck E Cheese website and printed a "No more Thumbs" behavior chart. It's a 2 week calendar. I bought some special stickers and let him put one on each morning. He mostly sucked at night so that's the only time I put it on. After 1 week I gave him a small prize and then after 2 we went to Chuck E Cheese....Then we started over. After 3 weeks he was done. But I think the norm is about 4 - 6 weeks. It worked for us. Good Luck! Oh the thumb guard comes with colored bands so he like being able to pick a oclor each night!

1 mom found this helpful

Would love to know myself, I have an older child that I took her blanket, favorite bunny away and she just stopped when those things went away. But my 6 year old can't seem to stop sucking hers also. Hope someone has a good idea because I need it also Thank you

My little girl sucked on one of her fingers until she was six years old. We discussed it & I told her that she was getting too old to do it any more. The problem was, her father & my mother (who both spend lots of time with her) thought it was "cute". But I had a heart-to-heart with her & explained that she was just too old to do that. Then, we got an empty jar & put it in her room. Any time I "caught" her NOT sucking on her finger when she normally would have been, I gave her a marble to put in her jar. When the jar was full, she got a reward - a trip to the Build a Bear workshop. I would definitely talk to her about it first & then use a rewards system to encoruage her to stop. I can't tell you how good it was for her self-esteem when she stopped. We talked about how proud we were of her for being able to stop a bad habit. Now, any time she gets frustrated about something & says she can't do it, we remind her of how she stopped sucking her finger & you can just see her confidence growing!!! Stick with it & give lots of positive reinforcement & you'll have a great building block for lots of other things!!! Good luck!

More Answers

I would recommend a Thumb Guard. It's a device that your child wears that makes it impossible for her to suck her thumb. She wouldn't want to wear it to school, but she could easily wear it at night while she's sleeping. I've included the link below.

You could also talk with your pediatric dentist. They are able to make appliances that make it impossible for a child to suck her thumb. The thumb guard is less expensive, though, so it might be a good first choice.

Good luck!

http://www.thumbguard.com/english/ourproduct.html

1 mom found this helpful

I just overcame this issue with my 4 year old son!! We used the Thumb guard. You can order it from the company at www.medetal.com. Some Denist and One Step at a Time have it too. But straight from the company probably offers the best price. My son and I talked about it first, so he wanted to stop sucking his thumb. Then I went to the Chuck E Cheese website and printed a "No more Thumbs" behavior chart. It's a 2 week calendar. I bought some special stickers and let him put one on each morning. He mostly sucked at night so that's the only time I put it on. After 1 week I gave him a small prize and then after 2 we went to Chuck E Cheese....Then we started over. After 3 weeks he was done. But I think the norm is about 4 - 6 weeks. It worked for us. Good Luck! Oh the thumb guard comes with colored bands so he like being able to pick a oclor each night!

1 mom found this helpful

I was a thumb sucker till I was 10 or so and one day I just stopped doing it. I do remember that everyone in my family, my brothers and my parents, use to try all differnt things to get me to quite, my brother use to threaten to stick my thumb in dog dodo. It just made me want to do it even more. If I were you, I would just let her continue to do it and let her quite on her own. That is the one thing that she has control over and the one thing that makes her feel safe. Dont take that away from her! She will quite when the time is right for her. My daughter is 3 and still has a binkie, and I will never take that away unless she tells me to, that is her security, this is a scary time for them, especialy if your daughter has just started school. Let it ride and see how she does. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Set a deadline.... maybe Christmas.... every time you think about it... tell her when Christmas comes you are going to stop sucking your thumb.... this will git the idea planted in her head. Don't be forceful... say it to her calmly.

Observe when she is sucking her thumb: is she tired, upset, bored, withdrawn? Then take steps to remedy the situation, give her alternatives without making a big deal over the thumb. Gently encourage her to verbalize to you how she feels. Getting to the "Why" is much more important than stopping the habit cold turkey. Confrontation and tears do more harm than good.

I worked with a family who bribed their daughter. She was seven and still sucking her thumb. She loved chocolate. She'll do anything for it so mom said no chocolate until she didn't suck her thumb for a whole week. That was enough to motivate this little girl. I am a firm believer in well placed thought out bribes. Don't bribe for everything, but they can be helpful for long term goals.

WOW, I have to tell you I am shocked at the number of responses to let her do it when she is ready instead of grill her to death till she stops. Love it, what a great group of moms. I sucked my thumb in the privacy of my own room until 16, yeah I know horrible right, but it soothed me and was a major stress reliever, I had braces and all that stuff too but I never did it in public. Anyhow, both of my boys suck thier thumbs and other than the fact that they only do it at home, it is a problem with germs and getting sick so for that I wish they would stop. My kids are 7 and 4 and my seven year old would never be caught dead doing it in front of his peers, he just does it at night to fall alseep, so you know what once you start doing sleep overs, you will find out that even the biggest toughest of kids who you think would never have a blankey, DO! Anyhow, just take solice in the fact that she does not bite her finger nails or twist her hair in knots till you have to cut them out. Kids of all ages have thier own vices just like us adults! Tell her that it will mess up her teeth and that you wish she would just concentrate on not doing it while watching TV or something like that. I told my eight year old that people could see him in the windows of the car and if they saw him sucking his thumb they would tell the whole school, he never does it in the car anymore! Maybe not right but so true! My husband goes nuts telling them to take it out and it creates alot of drama on the weekends, but during the week, I lay off!Good Luck

I sucked my thumb till I was eight years old. After a certain age - I think 4, I didn't do it in public, only at night. It helped me sleep. Then one night as I was settling to sleep, I put my thumb in my mouth and decided it was no longer for me. I was totally over it. I never developed problems with my teeth. I have perfectly straight teeth and never had braces. I think it's better to let children decide when they want to stop sucking their thumbs IMHO.

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