What do you do with a kid who picks at everything? My four year old picks at nail polish, stickers, temporary tattoos, band aids, and most worrisome, scabs. Most of those things I can just not do for her, but recently she hit her head and has a pretty good cut on her forehead (not requiring stitches). Now, she’s pulled the scab off almost every day. What on earth can I do about that? I don’t want her to have a scar…
I’m sorry I don’t have advice to help stop the picking, but if you put a little vitamin e oil on the cut a few times a day it should prevent a scar and speed healing. You can get it at most pharmacies.
That’s good to know! Thanks!
When my kids have a bad habit, I give them a physical reminder when they perform that unwanted behavior. For example: we were struggling with a lot of double negatives in speech, so I told them when I caught it, they were required to do 10 jumping jacks. It is not really a “punishment,” because 10 jumping jacks is easy, but it made them notice what they were doing and the behavior is gone in about a week.
UUUhhhhh! My son has a scar on his cheek from picking at a scab… for over a year. (Yes, I said over a year!) We tried everything, absolutely everything and nothing worked. He would leave it alone in the daytime and then in the morning the scab would be off! I didn’t have his pictures taken that year because I was waiting for him to stop picking and heal up. He also sucked his thumb until he was FOUR! We also tried everything for that. It helped some to keep on top of his finger nails and keep them very trimmed. (Like every other day or so.) Every time I saw him picking I would put his hand in his lap and tell him to stop so his beautiful face would get better. I would say it like it made me very sad to see him picking his face and eventually, just a look would make him stop. Like I said, he did eventually stop but we tried time out, (some frustrated yelling), talking to him about it, band-aids, fun band-aids, liquid band-aids, and nothing helped! I would say just be consistent with telling her to stop and why you want her to stop, keep her nails trimmed short, and try to distract her with a new task when shes picking.
Dawn Hubner, Ph.D. Has written several “What to Do Guides” for children ages 6-12. My friend has successfully worked through one with her son and he has stopped putting his fingers in his mouth! I am working through a different one of my kiddos. Her books offer practical help in simple and engaging words for the children. We signed them out of our local library.
This is the description for What to Do When Bad Habits Take Hold from Dr. Dawn Hubner’s web-site:
“Nail biting. Thumb sucking. Hair twirling. Scab picking. Shirt chewing. Do you have a habit that’s hard to stop? A habit that embarrasses you or gets you in trouble? If so, you’re not alone. Lots of kids have habits they wish they could lose. But habits are stronger than wishes. They lock on, holding you tight. Even if you want to break free, you can’t. Unless you have the keys.”