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ADisneyQueen
09-03-2007, 07:38 AM
DD6 is a thumb sucker. When she
s nervous, hungry or thirsty. She's been in school for 3 days and already the 1st grade teacher is trying to work on her thumb sucking. DD told me that a few times a day the teacher will set a timer for 5 minutes and DD gets a prize when it beeps if she has not sucked her thumb. Then on day 3 we get a short note from teacher ( all the kids get them) about how teacher is glad to meet DD, how she is doing, and that she is working on the thumb sucking.
I've tried to get her to stop for a few years and I give up. She'll quit when she's ready. DD likes to get the prizes, but I'm worried about the timer. All the other kids are going to associate DD with having a problem and always getting prizes. DD has no speech problems from the t.sucking and is one of the smarter children at school.
I know I need to go in and talk to teacher. I'm concerned she won't like DD or me for the rest of the year if I complain. Also, I'm surprised she has time to focus on a habit that is not disrupting the class. Aren't the first few days crazy for teachers? How should I approach her?

nuzmom
09-03-2007, 08:16 AM
Wow, I would be upset that she didn't send the note before doing the timer thing. I also think that having a timer go off every 5 minutes would be very disrupting. Maybe talking with your pediatrician and having another solution would be the thing to do prior to talking with the teacher.

MSSANDRA
09-03-2007, 08:18 AM
I would kindly and softly tell the teacher that you do not want her to adress the issue in class. PERIOD. You are right that she is going to call more attention to the problem rather than less. I think that you need to talk to your dentist and together the two of you can decide if more aggressive steps need to be taken to reduce the thumb sucking. Depending on the amount of time and the aggressiveness of the sucking, it may be time to make some changes but that is your call and not her teacher. My friends son sucked his thumb past age 7 and damage was done to his jaws, teeth etc.That they thought they were going to have to do surgery on. His braces are not working as well as they should because there has been bone movement. It MIGHT be time to take action but that should be your call.

Sinderelli
09-03-2007, 08:26 AM
I am a 1st grade teacher, and I have quite a few thumb suckers in my class this year. I would NEVER address the issue unless the parents brought it to me first (which 2 of them did). I have a silent signal for these 2 students when they suck their thumb in class- I tug on my ear. It does not draw attention to them- the other kids don't even know what I'm doing or why.

And, yes, having a timer go off in the classroom would be torture for those with inattention problems. I would never do this.

karliebug
09-03-2007, 08:27 AM
I agree that the teacher should have contacted you before doing the timer thing but I am sure that she has your daughter's best interest at heart. I teach first grade and can tell you that the other children will tease or at the very least, consider her to be a "baby". Besides the social ramifications, it is very difficult for a child to participate fully in class with her thumb in her mouth. She will be doing lots of reading,completing worksheets, writing on the board and in workbooks,etc. When do think is "the right time" to deal with it? The first few days of school are very hectic for a teacher and I think that the fact that she is taking extra time and making a special effort with your daughter is commendable.

Mouse House Mama
09-03-2007, 08:36 AM
The teacher should mind her business on this one. If you had asked for her help then that's one thing but you didn't. My DS used to suck his thumb. He stopped on his own. We never made a big deal of it. I also made sure to tell his pre-school teachers that we are fine with it as well and do not want it addressed. Kids tease? Well having a timer go off every 5 minutes will certainly point out the problem to those who may not have given it a second thought. I also don't agree with her rewarding your child with prizes. Yes she is doing great and it is hard to stop but why shouldn't every child get a prize for whatever good behavior they display? Sorry but I think the teacher may have had good intentions but mostly I feel like she wanted to take control of the situation. Her system is flawed. I would talk to the teacher and let her know what you think. Having an adult conversation with her should not result in her hating you and your child. She should understand that she overstepped here. JMHO.

ADisneyQueen
09-03-2007, 09:27 AM
I guess I should have clarified that she does the timer a few times a day, not every 5 minutes all day.

Schmeck
09-03-2007, 08:52 PM
Does the teacher have your daughter wash her hands before touching any of the classroom equipment? Does she wash her thumb before she puts it in her mouth? I'd be concerned about all kinds of issues with a thumb sucker - passing on germs, etc. What if there's a studnet with a peanut allergy and your daughter had peanut butter for breakfast, didn't get it all brushed out of her mouth, and now it's on her thumb, and she touches stuff in the classroom...

K and K's Mommy
09-03-2007, 09:11 PM
I taught for 8 years and each year had at least one thumb or fingers sucking child. (Now my own DD does it, but I am told not at school.) Anyway, I personally do not like the timer. It draws too much attention to her. In my classroom I had a silent signal like someone else mentioned.

As far as talking to the teacher, e-mail or call her voice mail and tell her you would like a few minutes to discuss your DD. When you talk to her, start with a few positives about first grade, and then tell her you know she is concerned about the thumb sucking, but you believe ....Most teachers love having good parent relationships so hopefully she'll work with you. Good luck!

SavvyMom
09-03-2007, 09:49 PM
Does the teacher have your daughter wash her hands before touching any of the classroom equipment? Does she wash her thumb before she puts it in her mouth? I'd be concerned about all kinds of issues with a thumb sucker - passing on germs, etc. What if there's a studnet with a peanut allergy and your daughter had peanut butter for breakfast, didn't get it all brushed out of her mouth, and now it's on her thumb, and she touches stuff in the classroom...

This is exactly why I discourage thumb/finger sucking in my 2nd grade classroom. Classrooms and schools in general are loaded with germs. I don't make a big deal about it, I just 'remind' the child to take the finger out of his/her mouth. Usually after the first week a look is all it takes. I discourage putting anything in their mouths. It seems that your child's teacher was trying to find a pleasant way to help your child break the habit. JMHO of course.

WildGrits
09-04-2007, 02:02 AM
I don't think I would be too happy with a teacher taking this upon themself.

My youngest just stopped sucking her fingers this year. At nine years old. I actually found out from her dentist way back in 1st grade that this was very common for kids with a narrow palette. Pushing on the roof of the mouth causes the nostrils to take in more air.

This January my DD got her Palatal Expanders. Of course with all that metal there is no place for a finger in her mouth.

I would also like to add that my youngest has HFA. She had a teacher picking on her so much in 3rd grade that she took to chewing on her shirt. :sad2:

disneyjunkie
09-04-2007, 07:51 AM
This is exactly why I discourage thumb/finger sucking in my 2nd grade classroom. Classrooms and schools in general are loaded with germs. I don't make a big deal about it, I just 'remind' the child to take the finger out of his/her mouth. Usually after the first week a look is all it takes. I discourage putting anything in their mouths. It seems that your child's teacher was trying to find a pleasant way to help your child break the habit. JMHO of course.

I handle it the same way.:thumbsup2

It's hard to ignore thumb sucking when the other students refuse to touch anything the child's hand came in contact with.:sad2:

rbork
09-04-2007, 09:06 AM
Hunh???
Teacher working on thumbsucking???
I thought it was the teachers job to teach academics and keep a safe environment for the kid's? I didn't know they had time for addressing a thumbsucking issue unless it is interfearing with learning or safety.
As far as the sucking thumb and touching things in class or others that might have allergies...well maybe.
Just think of the 'nose picker' or 'sneezer' or the 'cruddy kid' (hey, there's always 1. lol) that never washes their hands/selves before coming to school...
IMO I'd leave the weaning to the parents. Teachers seem overwelmed already. :confused3
Kuddos to those teachers who gently remind the children to take their fingers out of their mounths. Reinerating good habits is a good thing. This thread was enlightening.
Good Luck and Do what's right for you.

dcforbreakfast
09-04-2007, 09:20 AM
I'm surprised you guys are so hostile toward the teacher who is clearly just trying to help. Jeez. I have a thumbsucker myself, he's almost six. Fortunately he doesn't do it in school, however he seems to have no problem doing it in front of his friends (but only if he has his special blanket, which I try to keep away from him unless he's going to sleep! :) )

He comes from a long line of thumbsuckers...hee hee..me! Until I was 9! My jaw is fine, I did have braces, but just because my mom wanted me to. My teeth weren't very bad and I only needed them for less than a year. Once the kids tease her a bit she'll likely stop doing it at school.

Anway, yes talk to the teacher, but be nice, she's got a lot on her shoulders trying to teach these littles ones as it is and I'm sure she was just trying to help...

Mouse House Mama
09-04-2007, 09:45 AM
I'm surprised you guys are so hostile toward the teacher who is clearly just trying to help. Jeez. I have a thumbsucker myself, he's almost six. Fortunately he doesn't do it in school, however he seems to have no problem doing it in front of his friends (but only if he has his special blanket, which I try to keep away from him unless he's going to sleep! :) )

He comes from a long line of thumbsuckers...hee hee..me! Until I was 9! My jaw is fine, I did have braces, but just because my mom wanted me to. My teeth weren't very bad and I only needed them for less than a year. Once the kids tease her a bit she'll likely stop doing it at school.

Anway, yes talk to the teacher, but be nice, she's got a lot on her shoulders trying to teach these littles ones as it is and I'm sure she was just trying to help...


Okay but nobody asked for her help. Maybe her intentions are good but I don't agree with her. My DS was a thumbsucker and we had no problem with it. If he had a problem learning then maybe we might have enlisted his teacher's help. I don't see this as a school issue. I also agree with the poster who mentioned all the sneezing, non washers and cruddy kids. Germs are everywhere, not just on someone's thumb.

disneyjunkie
09-04-2007, 09:58 AM
I'm surprised you guys are so hostile toward the teacher who is clearly just trying to help. Jeez. I have a thumbsucker myself, he's almost six. Fortunately he doesn't do it in school, however he seems to have no problem doing it in front of his friends (but only if he has his special blanket, which I try to keep away from him unless he's going to sleep! :) )

He comes from a long line of thumbsuckers...hee hee..me! Until I was 9! My jaw is fine, I did have braces, but just because my mom wanted me to. My teeth weren't very bad and I only needed them for less than a year. Once the kids tease her a bit she'll likely stop doing it at school.

Anway, yes talk to the teacher, but be nice, she's got a lot on her shoulders trying to teach these littles ones as it is and I'm sure she was just trying to help...

I have to agree with you.

Whenever I've had a thumb sucker (or a nose picker), the other students make a huge deal about having to touch anything after them. God forbid if they had to sit next to the child.:rolleyes:

The child may not have a problem learning, but socializing MAY become an issue.

digman6
09-04-2007, 12:38 PM
I don't know if this will work or not but my dd used to bite her nails and when I painted them they grew and looked nice she did not want the paint to chip off!

maybe paint her nails and then remind her if she puts the thumb in the paint will start to wear off . or use that stuff that taste bad not sure if it even works but its a idea. she may be doing it and not even realize it at times too.

Just some ideas, my kiddos used a pacifier or nothing . MIL said they should use there thumb but this a perfect reason why we would discourage it you can not take it away.
GOOD LUCK