Child Psychology and Behaviour

Nail picking and bed wetting

1 to 3 years

Created by
Updated on Sep 17, 2012

Hello,   Am a mother of a 3. 5 year old boy - Rishith.   Rishith has been a very happy and managable child throughout. He loves going to school and is very active and talkative. Off late, we have started to notice that he keeps plucking his nails amidst all his activities. Inspite of us conciously telling him to get out of the habit he seems to be finding it difflcult to come out of the habit. This is not something that he has got into after going to school, but much before that. Also, there are times when he becomes very adament and refuses to stop doing somthing that we have asked him to discontinue. We have started to notice that he doesnt stop unless one of us raise our voice. I heard from someone that he may be doing these as he is insecure. Please advide and help us so that we can help our child have a happy childhood.   Regards.

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| Sep 24, 2012

Thank you Bhavana and Ann for your help. WIll definately try out some of the measures you have suggested. However, i would need your help on how to find out if he is having any anxiety. As far as i have seen, he has been coping really well at school and with his friends. How can i find out from him if there is anything lese thats troubling. He is too small to express his anxiety with us so am a little confused.

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| Sep 19, 2012

Hi ! Archana , Nail-biting is a reflection of nervousness or inability to handle a stressful situation but at the same time sometimes it can also stem from hunger or boredom too but sometimes it is just a habit , like you have mentioned. Nail-biting can be categorized as a nervous habit, other such nervous habits are thumb sucking, Hair twisting, Hair Tugging and tooth grinding . There can be a lot of contributing factors for your child to exhibit a nervous habit and you need to get to the root of it. Address his anxieties: Check if there is a new stress factor in his life. It can be another child in his class or there may be a new thing being taught in his school and he is is finding it difficult to cope with. Nagging or raising your voice will not work as a child does these things on an unconscious level so most of the times he does not know when he is biting his nails. Things you can do:1. Keep his nails neatly trimmed so there is no scope of biting the nails. 2. Let him know that the germs on his hands will go in his system and can be very harmful and cause infection. 3. Reassure him that no matter what, you will always love him and it hurts you to see him bite his nails. If his nail biting is accompanied with not sleeping well, pinching his skin, pulling his eyelashes or biting his nails so much that the skin around the nail has started to bleed then you must get a professional counseling done for him. Hope this helps , more often than not , with time these things have a way of resolving by themselves. Just keep trying and do not loose your temper.

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