How Do I Stop My Daughter's Nail Biting??

Updated on November 17, 2008
G.M. asks from Chicago, IL
6 answers

My daughter started biting her nails a couple of months ago. It started shortly after she shared w/ me that a couple of her little friends bit their nails. It's such a bad habit! How do I stop it? I've tried taking a toy away, I've tried painting her nails. Any suggestions?

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L.F.

answers from Chicago on

Yes, it's a bad habit, but truthfully there are worse ones. I used to bite mine, my mom tried everything. I eventually grew out of it when I was old enough to care what my nails looked like. Maybe you could try painting them for her. Keeping them looking "pretty" might help. But again, we all have some annoying habit, it usually doesn't bother us, just those around us. She's probably a great little girl, focus on the positive things about her! Your attention to the nail biting may be making it worse!

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K.R.

answers from Chicago on

There's a nail polish you can buy specifically for this purpose. It tastes really bad. I forget it's name though. It worked for our daughter!

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

My 9 1/2 yr old does this!! And she bites them so low that they bleed and the skin peels away. So I know what you mean. We tried the nail polish, the nasty tasting stuff, slapping her hands if we saw her doing it, etc. Nothing has helped. She wants to stop too, but just can't.

No advice, sorry.

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E.F.

answers from Chicago on

I believe nail biting is a symptom of stress. I myself will do it when I feel underpressure or worried. Considering the huge changes that are coming to your and your daughter's life I can't imagine what's going on in her head. Eventhough you do have a great guy and your daughter likes him and everything she will still have confusing feeling and will need to know how to deal with them. I would not worry about the nail biting as much but concentrate on what she may be going through. She may not even realize that the situation is causing her to be stressed out because it is a happy occassion and she is happy for you. Pay extra close attention to her. Make sure to spend extra time with her, if you are able to go get a manicure together how great would that be as a reward for not biting nails. If you can't go to a salon, make it a big production at home. It's easy to just paint her nails, but if you go that extra mile of massaging each others hands, soaking them triming etc. it will be more fun and a great opportunity to talk or just be there in case she needs to. Congrates on your impending nuptiuals.

A.B.

answers from Champaign on

You can try putting something nasty-tasting on her nails. I had to use banana pepper seeds - but that's only safe if you're very EXTREMELY sure your daughter won't also put her hands in her eyes (or any other sensitive parts).

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter would always have her fingers in her mouth, biting her nails, feeding herself all kinds of germs. She was always getting strep infections. We had some success using a scented nailpolish (Grape worked for her). She'd notice the scent, and take her fingers out of her mouth. The bitter stuff didn't really help--she'd lick it off and continue to bite the nails. Good Luck!!

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