How to stop Biting Nails

5 replies, Page 1

Deepasri 2010-09-07 10:33:39


hi folks. i am a mother of an eight year old boy. he is our only child and both of us r working. My mom is staying with us and takes care of him at home.  he is a left hander and is now into the habit of severe biting nails. don't know how to stop this habit. now beyond nails he started biting the tip skin of the fingers also. really worried. tried all stories, threatening, gifts etc. nothing is working out. please help me. this habit disturbs his attention in class also. Please help me.

RoshMom 2010-09-08 19:12:43


Hi Deepasri,

Does your son bite unconsiously?  some kids bite b'cos of anxiety or due to some change in their routine. Now that you have mentioined that he bites to the extent of hurting himself, i feel he is under some stress or tension. It could be b'cos of his exam or has difficulty in learning or has trouble with his friends in classroom or he needs more of your attention in his studies or his other needs.  talk to him and try to find out what is really troubling him. Punishment or pressurization will add more to his anxiety. So say it lightly and remind him that he is biting his nails. For now you can cut his nails short and put a bandaid or any plaster to remind him not to bite.   if he is constantly biting, everyday you can have some time together when you can restrict him from biting nails for a specific duartion. If he has the urge to bite, divert him by giving something to do like working with rubik cube.  slowly try to increase the time duration. 


roses 2010-09-09 02:05:04


RoshMom you said it! Keep the child distracted by rubix cube or something. My little one at 18 months started to do this and despite my trimming his nails to the very edge he would bite past them.

I actually keep a set of toys that he can constantly hook/unhook and keep his hands busy with (in the car as well). I've had to actually use mittens to keep himself from biting and just so he remembers. He is 21 months old now and I still have to constantly remind him.


Deepasri 2010-09-09 16:45:11


hi Roshmom & Roses,

Thank you so much for your concern. i will think in your line and try to solve the issue at the earliest. When he is into some activity which he is not interested like writing, eating, may be during school hours he is into this habit. Please give me some tips to make him do his actiivities by himself like eating, getting ready for school etc. though he does them on his own i have to keep telling him to do it fast, or do it myself.

Thanks, stay in touch




RoshMom 2010-09-09 18:23:08


Hi Deepasri,

If he doesn't show interest in writing or going to school, start reinforcing the positive things about going to school or eating or writing like he can meet his friends, his friends will miss him if he doesn't go to school, can do a lot of fun things etc. not only just before going to school or at meal time. whenever you get an oppurtunity, talk or read books abt them.  Give him lot of encouragement when he writes and finishes the work faster.  Even my son makes a lot of fuss to write. But I ask him when he wants to wirte instead of asking him to write at my convenient time . I usually give him an option like "do you want to write at 5 pm or 5.30 pm". but i never ask whether he wants to write.   if he gives me a time, he has to finish the work at that time. If he refuses i tell him that he has to keep his words as he already gave me a time when he feels he is comfortable writing. 

another issue we all face is getting them ready for school. Instead of rushing up in the morning, help him pack his bag and get his uniform ready the previous evening itself. in the morning you plan and follow a routine based on how much time he would take to finish his chores and let the sequence be consistent. give him a very specific instruction like brush your teeth and take bath etc. stick to a specific time and follow it consistently.  If he gets up at 7, finish brushing and bath by 7.20, finish drinking milk at 7.45 and shd be ready for breakfast at 7.45 etc.   Consistency is the key. after a while he himself will know what he has to do next... Give him enough time but never get yourself into doing his work though you are tempted to do so. otherwise he will not learn to do by himself.. you can always offer to help. If he takes more time to do, wake him up early so that he can do it on his own pace but for this you have to alter his bedtime too.  


RoshMom 2010-09-10 04:13:59


Hi Deepasri,

When i wrote the above comment i had my 5 yr old in mind. Just now I realized that some of them may not work for you.  I totally forgot that your son is 8 yrs old. sorry dear. Moms of 8 yr old shd be able to help you..



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