What Parents Can Do To Stop Bad Habits?

What you can do to stop nail biting?

Nail biting is habit that can be very hard to stop. It might help to:

  • give your child something to do with their hands when watching TV or relaxing
  • give your older children special nail care, maybe nail polish and manicured nails may motivate them to stop biting
  • for changing the habit, praise them for small gains

Some parents use bitter paint on nails but it often doesn’t work because this can be very unpleasant.

What you can do stop pulling out hair?

  • Most children will stop pulling out their hair in time, if you ignore it.
  • Drawing your attention to it can make them feel embarrassed, without helping them to stop.
  • Try to help your child relax using a gentle scalp massage.
  • For older children provide special hair care also think about hair styles, for example short hair is harder to pull out than long hair.

What you can do stop touching genitals?

  • It is not usually a sign of problem, because that it’s normal for children to be curious about their body.
  • Talk with them about and help them understand how some things are only to be done in private.
  • Respond calmly and choose to either divert their attention to something else or ignore the behavior.
  • Read them a book or talk with them to help them learn more about their body.
  • Talk to your counselor or doctor, if your child is engaging in any sexual behavior that worries you.

What you can do stop breath-holding?

  • Keep them lying down until they recover, if your child passes out during a breath-holding spell. You don’t have to slap them or shake to get them to ‘come out of it’.
  • Reassure others that your child is not in danger and that it is OK.
  • It’s important to treat children normally after the event and not to reward or punish the behavior.
  • Stop the car to ensure you’re both safe, if it happens when you’re driving.
  • You may not be able to prevent it every time, but if you learn what triggers the breath-holding you can take steps to avoid it.

What you can do stop nose picking?

It can be helpful to:

  • try to teach your child to use a tissue to clean their nose. Make sure there is always one around them.
  • try to interrupt the behavior by quickly asking them to do something, for example to get something for you
  • teach them to rub rather than pick their nose
  • with older child have a ‘secret signal’ you use as a reminder to not pick.

What you can do stop head banging?

  • Children don’t seem to hurt themselves or get upset by any pain or hurt themselves, even when they bang their head quite hard.
  • Teach them how to express their love of rhythm in different ways, for example clapping hands to music, marching or dancing.
  • Similar to head banging is body rolling and rocking and it will usually go away in time.

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