Stop It Early: Bad Habits To Break In Your Children

child with mom

Children develop bad habits because they don’t know better. They start biting their nails or even suck their thumbs. Curbing these bad habits is very important because they have negative effects on your child’s health. For example, if your child has gotten into the habit of snacking too much, your children may need dental care pretty fast. Here are some bad habits you should be breaking early so that your children can live a healthy life.

Biting Their Nails

Children often learn to bite their nails when they are nervous or afraid. They are fine most of the time, so you probably won’t notice them doing it. But the next time you cut their nails for them, check their hands. You’ll see if they have chewed on them. This can be bad since they can chew into the nail bed and start bleeding. It can also be bad on their teeth. Positive reinforcement can be a great way to stop this. Just praise them whenever you check and find they did not chew on their nails. If they really can’t break it, then sour-tasting nail polishes and band-aids over their fingers can help in breaking them of their habit.

Picking Their Nose

It can be very aggravating to see your child pick their nose in public. Since this is not very socially acceptable behavior, you should be doing your best to curb it. It also has some very tangible effects on young children. They often start picking their nose because of the crusting inside their nostrils. This crusting is usually from a disease or irritation. When children pick their noses, they start a cycle of the crusting coming back as they irritate their nostrils. Too much nose-picking can result in children’s noses bleeding, so you need to be careful. Curbing this habit should take some explanation. Tell them that using a tissue or a handkerchief to pick their nose is allowable but not their bare hands. This is because of the germs on their hands. It would be best if you also considered spraying some saline in their nose to help ease the irritation they are experiencing.

Thumb Sucking

Most children find it relaxing to suck on their thumbs. This is something that goes back to their days as a baby. This is very natural, but at a certain age should not be allowed. Once they start growing permanent teeth, they should not be sucking their thumbs, or they will experience problems with their teeth development. It could also affect their speech. Constant thumb sucking also makes them develop calluses on their fingers. Like all bad habits, the best way to break them of this habit is to encourage them to do it themselves. This makes it easier and is good for your child’s self-esteem. You can also help by having them mittens or gloves when they usually suck their thumbs. The taste should be enough to discourage the natural reflex of thumb sucking.

Grinding Their Teeth

grinding teeth image

Grinding teeth is something that children don’t know that they are doing. They usually do it in their sleep, and it is another reflexive behavior from when children are babies. When the teeth are coming in, the grinding happens in response. But it can start up again when children are five. If your child complains of pain in their jaw when they wake up, it is usually because of teeth grinding. Leaving it alone can cause problems for them as they grow to adulthood. You’ll need to consult with a dentist to help break this habit.


Children eat a lot. This comes with the territory, and they usually do this to fuel their daily activities. But sometimes, children overeat to feel good about themselves. There is nothing like sugar and sweets to help boost the mood. However, leaving this alone can allow them to grow up obese. You need to help control their portions and provide a good example to them. Start serving them healthier snacks and be a good role model when it comes to eating. It would be best if you also forgot about the clean-plate rule. Children should eat until they are full, even if there is still food on the plate.

Children can be stubborn about their bad habits, so you’ll need to be strict about it. It may seem like you are too harsh on them, but these habits will stick longer the more you leave them be. If you want to deal with them with minimum fuss, then you need to do it when they are still young. They will thank you for this tough love later.

About Faye Gonzales 1650 Articles
Meet our chief explorer, Faye Gonzales. With over a decade of travel experience, Faye is not only a passionate globetrotter but also a loving mom who understands the unique needs of family travelers. Her insights into family-friendly destinations and travel tips make her a trusted guide for parents seeking memorable adventures with their children.