View Full Version : Need some motherly advice please

03-31-2005, 07:13 AM
:sad2: My daughter has a nervous problem(or so I think) she has a bad habit of peeling her finger tips, and I mean peeling the skin off all the way around her fingers, and making them raw. Any advice, I have taken away her stuff, said there would not be any summer gymnastics, and told her she could get very sick and not be able to go to dw if she kep it up. I don't know what else to do. Need suggestions please.

03-31-2005, 07:19 AM
Cover her fingertips in bandaids. See if she'll leave those alone long enough to break the habit of picking.

My dd had a problem last year of picking her mosquito bites over and over until they bled, scabbed, bled again, and left scars on her. I ended up covering every bite with bandaids, yep about 25 of them!, and made her leave them on, reapplying fresh ones each night until the scabs healed. She was embarrased by the bandaids so she wore long pants and long sleeve shirts to school, which also helped keep her hands off the scabs. The habit finally got broken.

Good luck!

And, P.S., I'll bet you're right. It's probably a nervous habit that she does without even being aware of it until you catch her in the act. Maybe try giving her something else to keep her hands busy. Or give her gloves to wear in the house so the fingertips aren't accesible.

03-31-2005, 07:42 AM
I don't think the punishments will work because she's probably not even aware she's doing it. The bandaids are a good idea because they will make her aware of what she's doing.

You also need to find out if anything else is bothering her. It may just be a nervous habbit, or it may mean she' anxious about something and this is her way of relieving the stress.

Good luck.

03-31-2005, 07:59 AM
Is something making her nervous? Maybe something is bothering her and you can try to get to the source of the skin peeling if she is willing to talk (or if she even knows why she is anxious). May I ask how old she is? If it is an unconscious habit she doesn't even know she is doing it when she does it so I am not sure punishing her will help. It must be painful to her as well so I can't imagine it being something she actually "wants" to do. Hopefully she can tell you if something is bothering her (school, friends...)and you can help her talk it through. A big hug to you and your daughter! I am sure it will all work out and she will be fine! :flower: :flower:

03-31-2005, 08:02 AM
I don't think punishing her is the way to go & in fact, it just might make it worse... something is causing this behavior, you have to find out what THAT is & work to deal with that problem... The bandaids are a good idea, but, you might have to get help from your family physician in getting down to the underlying issue.... I'm sure she is not doing it on purpose to make you mad, I doubt that she can control the behavior on her own... But, kudo's to you for recognizing the problem & reaching out to find her help...

03-31-2005, 08:17 AM
Please don't punish her.

More than likely it is a subconcious nervous behaivor.
I went to my kids band concert last night and my fingers are peeled raw. I just sat there and peeled at them just like what your daughter is doing.

Its something I have had a problem with since I was a teen. It comes and goes. I'm more stressed out than usual right now which is why it is probably getting bad again.

Bandaids may help. I know when I had on fake nails that worked for me, but I don't have them on anymore (that weekly upkeep money is going to Disney! LOL)
Just be as patient and understanding as you can. More than likely the more you hassle her about it the worse it will probably get.

*****disclaimer**** I used the word hassle not in a mean sense but for lack of a better word. LOL

03-31-2005, 08:30 AM
A lot of these types of habit require phyciatric counciling. Habits like twirling and pulling hair out, biting finger nails and pulling skin off are signs of a deeper problem. Some people even believe if these types of behaviors are not stopped by age 5 they are almost impossible to quit.

See what your doctor says. Some doctors may not think its a big problem. As a parent I do. I would get your child in counciling. Sometimes parents have to be aggressive about the care there children receive.

Something my best friend also told me that has turned out to be true in my case...

Sometimes you have to piss people off to do whats right for your kids!

Im not saying youll have to so this. Just a little footnote, I found to be true!

Good Luck, Im sure your child will be fine! Just do everything you can for them. Counciling never hurt anyone!

03-31-2005, 09:16 AM
I have a friend who has done this since I have known her(since elem. school) and now she has a 3 yr old daughter who does it. I was talking to her about it the other day and she said she was told by some family members that they also do it. It may be a hereditary thing. I know when I was little I used to get bored and twirl my hair, and I noticed the other day my 4 yr old now does it. My 11 mth old doesn't have any hair but she is constantly rubbing the side of her head..

I REALLY wouldn't punish her for it because I doubt she knows she is doing it. I would do as the previous posters have said and put some neosporin on them and cover them with band-aids but this may be something she will do for the rest of her life.

Good luck to you both

03-31-2005, 09:17 AM
I'm a nail biter. I hate it. I have tried unsuccessfully for years to stop. I don't even know I'm doing it. I can't even remember a time I didn't do it.

I remember trying all sorts of remedies but unfortuantely I was already early teen before trying any. My mom thought I'd outgrow it and never really tried except to yell at me which made it worse.

I agree with others to not punish her. My guess is she isn't aware she is doing it as she does it.

Get her help now. This is something she needs to get control of ASAP. It only gets worse as she grows up. The bandaids idea is good or maybe painting her nails a bright color so it catches her attention when she goes to peel.

Instead of punishing her, reward her little things daily or 1/2 day to start out. Bigger rewards as she goes longer. Set small milestones she can reach.

Good luck to both of you!

03-31-2005, 09:39 AM
My son used to do this. He eventually has grown out of it (I hope). First of all, make your daughter aware that she is doing it if you catch her. The more you get upset with her, the more she will probably do this. Band-aids will help. Gloves at night worked well for us. Some friends recommended putting vinegar on the fingers because it will taste bad. We tried some nail-polish like stuff that had a pepper taste. That didn't work well because he'd rub his eyes and I think he liked the added flavor. Good luck and just be persistent.

03-31-2005, 09:46 AM
Rather than using punishment, try using a reward system. I would first make her aware every time you catch her doing this, because she probably isn't even aware she is. Then I would reward her when you notice she not peeling, and also when you see her skin healing. Just remind her gently to stop peeling when you see her doing it. Good luck. :flower:

Grumpy's Gal
03-31-2005, 09:57 AM
PLEASE don't punish her. I don't think it's something where a punsihment will help. When my daughter was 5, she pulled out all of her eyelashes. It was awful. She's very bright and whenever she was bored, she would just pull them out. When she was laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, she would pull them out. We took her to the dr and he said just ignore it and she will stop. We explained, and he explained, why it was a bad idea to pull them out and eventually, she stopped. Maybe you could buy her a little manicure kit and some "special" lotion and nail polish. Maybe having something else to do with her hands would help. I don't know what other suggestions to offer. Hang in there!

03-31-2005, 10:36 AM
I'm another one in the 'reward, not punish' camp :flower:

DD, now 6, used to twirl her hair when she was younger and pull out great chunks when she was tired :sad2:
She had a v short haircut until she was around 5 on the understanding that, as soon as she stopped twirling and knotting her hair, she could grow it long.
She's still a twirler (as, I've noticed, am I :rolleyes1 ) and still gets upset if she manages to make a big, knotty mess during the night but we deal with it now as and when. All it takes now is a gentle mention as she starts to twirl :rolleyes:
She knows she does it but, as she says, she sometimes can't help it - especially if she's worrying about something.
I have every expectation that, to punish her, would make her even more upset and miserable than she is now when she realises what she's doing :blush:
The very things you are suggesting 'taking away' from your DD might be the ones that can help her to stop this habit - it must be sore and can't be much fun for her :wave2:
The bandaids sound a good idea and I'd go along with the gentle reminders when you catch her doing it :goodvibes

03-31-2005, 11:59 AM
I agree ! But the punishment is only taking stuff she likes away, not spanking I don't believe in that. (no offence to anyone) I am going to try the bandaids(which she is doing some), but doing it more everyday till they heel. Thanks for everyone motherly advice, I sure do apprecaite it so much. Thanks! :) ;)

03-31-2005, 12:11 PM
Kids eh :rolleyes: :rolleyes1
We saw 'big kids' - about 14 / 15 years old - at the skating rink today with dummies (soothers). DD was amazed but said that they must still need them because they were worrying about something! :rotfl2:
I think it's the latest fashion accessory here in the UK - strange ;) :confused3
Good luck.

03-31-2005, 12:21 PM
PLEASE dont punish her for this!

It is a nervous subconcious habit! She is not doing it on purpose!

Taking away her stuff is only going to make her more nervouse. She will become afraid of confiding in you.

She is not doing this to make you mad or disobey you!

Punishing her is ABSOLUTLY the WRONG way to go here!!!

03-31-2005, 12:34 PM
It is a nervous subconcious habit! She is not doing it on purpose!

She is not doing this to make you mad or disobey you!

Absolutely :sunny:
Unfortunately, even 6 year olds have plenty to worry about now a days :sad2:

03-31-2005, 12:49 PM
Have you tried giving her a substitute behaviour? I agree that you want to talk to your doctor about this, but in the meantime, maybe a rabbit foot or worry stone that she can take everywhere with her might help. It's easier to stop doing something when you've got something else readily available to do.

d-man's mom
03-31-2005, 01:08 PM
Please don't take away things for a subconsicous habit. It's not going to help her break it, and actually gives her a new reason to keep doing it (stress, worry about disappointing you, etc).

I was one of those kids- constantly biting my nails & picking my cuticles. I don't bite my nails now but if yuo take a good look at my hands, you can see the scar tissue around my fingers from when I peeled them as a child. It was actually a bordeom/stress issue. If I was bored, I would bite them, if I was stressed, I would pick/peel the cuticles.

I started carrying a worry stone in my pocket which helped stop the picking/peeling. The nail biting stopped when I was too busy to do it anymore.

I have to carry hand lotion with me all the time now because if my cuticles get dry I will try and pick at them (dry, itchy skin).

Please try another approach to this. Believe me, it takes a lot to break this habit and extra pressure of having fun things taken away doesn't help.

03-31-2005, 03:41 PM
Definitely talk to her doctor. You may want to ask him to send her to a psychologist as well. My best friend has obsessive compulsive disorder. She pulls out her hair. She is a nurse. She knows the health risks, understands the psychological behavior and she can't help it. She has to wear a wig because whenever she is under stress it starts. She's been to psycholgists, but because her parents didn't seek help when the behaviour started as a child, there's not a lot they can do. She's doing some better now, but not as well as she could.

My nephew on the other hand has Tourette's syndrome. Because my sister did take him as soon as she saw the symptoms when he was seven, he is now a much calmer and happier 20 year old. He still shows signs of it when he's under stress, but he's learned to deal with it much better. My sis discovered that it made things worse when she brought a lot of attention to it, but just reminding him seemed to help.

You may want to find out if something has changed in your daughter's life. Is there a teacher who is giving her a hard time? Someone at school who is teasing her? Sometimes O/C behavior is triggered by stressors. Once the person becomes aware of the stressor, they are better able to manage the behavior.

03-31-2005, 04:56 PM
Definitely talk to her doctor. You may want to ask him to send her to a psychologist as well.

My first instict here was , heck, she's only 6 but, and it's a big BUT, I have O/C disorder which I've learnt to deal with over the years :goodvibes .

I'm now 42 but it has taken me many years and still it can sometimes take me half an hour to actually shut up the house at night if I'm feeling under stress about something! :rolleyes:
I too am a nurse and, like Rachael's DF, can't help doing things even when I know they're silly :blush:

When I was a child someone suggested to my parents that I talk to a psychologist but Mum was always for ignoring things and hoping they'd go away :rolleyes:
Of course things are much better understood now a days but,
I don't know, maybe if she'd listened, and acted, I'd have spent less time worrying and more time enjoying myself :flower:
I don't know.
Think I'd give the Bandaids and rewarding behaviour a good shot before going down the route of Doctor and Psychologist but everyone's different :love:

03-31-2005, 06:09 PM
I have severe OCD- I used to rub my hands (thumb rubbing thumb) when I was anxious. I never did it on purpose but my thumbs would become raw and red. To break it I always (and have for nearly 8 years) carry hand lotion with me. If my parents/sister/boyfriend/good friend see me doing it too much they give me a hand massage to calm me down. I tried that and I tried sitting on them or putting them on top of the table or desk. I still do that sometimes. If it becomes a habit to sit on your hands or to put your hands flat on the table then you wont pick at them so much.

Please please please please dont take things away from her that she enjoys. Eliminating the good things in her life will make her more upset. She doesn't do it on purpose and taking things away from her wont remind her not to do it. Try a sticker chart. Make it small enough that she can carry it around with her. For every hour she doesnt do it (or half hour at first) she gets a sticker. When she has x amount of stickers you take her out someplace special or maybe do a mother daughter manicure day- that would definitely be rewarding.

03-31-2005, 06:47 PM
I used to do that. Once in a while I catch myself doing it. I used to pull on my ear lobes. The ears were a nervous thing. I hated school and being called on and I think that contributed to that. I couldn't eat because I would get sick at school. I was a good student, just hated having people look at me when called on. I would pick at the fingers or tear off my nails. I never chewed them. Once in a while I would go into the quick, ouch.
I would try to stop and catch myself doing it without realizing it. I doubt she will be able to quit just by being told to. Like others said, try getting her to find other things to do. I took up cross stitch. It kept my hands busy and like I said I pretty much outgrew it. I have neat projects I did too.

03-31-2005, 07:15 PM
Cross stich is a great idea. Crocheting or kniting might also work.

03-31-2005, 07:40 PM
Are her fingertips chapped? If there is even one rough "scrap" of skin, that's enough to get started peeling. Then the peeling acquires a life of its own. You and she together might look over her hands and see where they are rough (any litttle loose piece). Then take a nail clippers and carefully clip the piece down level with the rest of her skin. It will feel smooth and she might not want to pick at it then. If this is the case, and clipping the loose pieces works, encourage her to come to you immediately when she has a rough spot so you can fix it.

03-31-2005, 10:40 PM
My daughter has a learning disability and when she is working hard, she has this nervous energy. The doctor and therapists have recommended she have something to hold in her hands to help relieve the stress. Sometimes it is a very small squishy ball, sometimes it is a rubber wristband. "Playing" with something actually helps her focus and she has stopped biting her nails. Maybe something like that would work for your daughter.

04-01-2005, 09:08 AM
I'm just going to say what others already have, please don't punish her in any way for this. It is not her fault, and punishment is not going to help. I would suggest you speak to her Dr. about a referral. Good luck.

04-01-2005, 03:20 PM
I agree that punishment is NOT the way to go. In addition to the tips others have given, I would consider asking family members about this. It may very well be that someone else in the family has a nervous habit of some kind (though they may not realize it.) The best thing to do, aside from getting professional help, is find out the things that are causing her stress, and to try to control her stress level, or to teach her ways to cope better with stress. Ultimately though, there may be little that can be done to eliminate this completely - but she CAN learn to mange it. It is possible, if the damage/bleeding is bad enough, that some type of behavior modification meds might help, but I would not say that this should be a first course of action to consider.
Things that help:
1. Healthy nutrition and enough rest are very important. If your daughter isn't getting enough vitamins and/or enough rest, these can be factors. Your daughter may need a little extra rest, and be certain that she gets enough calcium in her diet. I have chewed my nails and cuticles for all of my life. Improving my diet really helped. I'm not just talking about taking vitamins, but actually eating fresh veggies, drinking milk, and eating more protein (eggs are an inexpensive, quality source of protein). This is something no doctor ever told me!
2. Physical contact with another person helps! Hug your daughter frequently. Isolation tends to make nervous conditions worse.
3. Your daughter should be able, over time, to learn ways to mentally help herself. Keeping busy with positive hobbies can help - like sports, acting, writing, crafts, etc. Exercise definitely helps!!!!!!
4. The time of year also matters, for me. For some reason, the condition is worse for me in the winter, when my nails are dryer. Getting a manicure helps. Having the fake nails also helped me too, but i also gave them up after a while.
On the downside, it is likely that this is a condition which will plague her for all of her life. It is likely that she will have good times, and bad times. Don't be surpirsd if she has other symptoms over time as well.
5. Give her unconditional love, and don't ever put her down for her condition. Encourage her to share her feelings with you - without you bringing up her condition. Let her be the one to bring it into the discussion. People with nervous conditions tend to hide them for fear of being called weird. As you can see from the number of posts though, these conditions are actually quite common!
6. Last, I hate to say it, but do look to yourself. This is very hard to do. As her mother, you are a BIG influence in her life. I'm not saying her condition is anyone's fault, but If there is a lot of stress in your life, some of that could be rubbing off on your daughter. If you have recently gone through a divorce, or if you frequently yell or use punishment with your daughter, these could be factors. Many parents put things onto their kids with out realizing it. It is much better to praise the things your daughter does well than to criticise the things she does wrong.

I really do hope that your daughter gets better! :wizard:

04-01-2005, 07:21 PM
One of my friends' daughters used to pull out her hair. She would walk around with huge bald spots on her head and look like a real mess. My girlfriend is a nurse and right away knew it was a problem that had to be dealt with. She asked some of her doctor friends (different types of doctors, she works in a hospital) and co-workers. They suggested that she shave her daughter's head (I think she was 4 and not yet in kindergarten), so she did shave all her hair off. This happened in the late winter, early spring. I think she kept it shaved for 4 months and by that time she "grew out of it" and stopped touching her head. She started kindergarten with a short hair-do and now she is 8 and has a beautiful head of hair.
My girlfriend is married and her husband is a workaholic but she is a great mother and provides her girls with a very stable homelife. She is also great with her finances and does well for herself, but every one has different stress factors. I've seen her under pressure (I've known her 13 years) and never seen her flip out. She has a problem with her voice so she is physically unable to yell. Her kids are also good kids that listen when she talks. I do not think it was anything that she did or didn't do as a mother.

You should take your daughter to a regular physician and let him recommend the appropriate doctor for your daughter.

God bless her and you and good luck :flower:

"Playing" with something actually helps her focus
Holy cow - Whenever I am nervous or trying to concentrate on something, I HAVE to have something in my hand to fidgit! I always said to myself that I have to keep my hands occupied while my brain tries to work. Every day at work I have to have a pencil in my hand or my hands need something to do in order for me to concentrate on my work. I'm sure my students just think I have adult ADD or something ;)
I guess that also applies to us crazy ladies who, when they are stressed out or trying to figure something out, we have to clean. That is my way of "thinking".

These boards are great. They really cause you to think!

04-02-2005, 04:05 AM
One of my friends' daughters used to pull out her hair. She would walk around with huge bald spots on her head and look like a real mess. .......and by that time she "grew out of it" and stopped touching her head. She started kindergarten with a short hair-do and now she is 8 and has a beautiful head of hair.

This was like my DD. Some children, like adults, are more nervous than others and most nervous habits have absolutely nothing to do with good or bad parenting skills :goodvibes


04-02-2005, 05:21 AM
Kids eh :rolleyes: :rolleyes1
We saw 'big kids' - about 14 / 15 years old - at the skating rink today with dummies (soothers). DD was amazed but said that they must still need them because they were worrying about something! :rotfl2:
I think it's the latest fashion accessory here in the UK - strange ;) :confused3
Good luck.

I remember when about 7-8 years ago this was a BIG trend in Toronto.Canada...I never understood it but a lot of my friends would have them....but I digress

My cousin used to peel her fingers and her mom got her a pair of thin cotton like material gloves to wear. She made her wear them most of the time and after about 2 or 3 weeks she had cut down on the motion and so she would only wear the gloves around the house (unless mom noticed her doing it) and she no longer peels at all...

I am a nail biter and I also peel the skin around my nails....Cant break the habit but it isn't as severe...Also even less severe I HAVE to tilt my head to the right or left when i am concentrating....I used to get in trouble at school for "spacing out" :rotfl: and not paying attention when really I was just concentrating...Mom came in and solved that problem.

Mom's are the greatest! :goodvibes

04-02-2005, 08:28 AM
You don't say how old DD is but I would certainly try to find out if something is going on at school or with friends. I'm a teacher and a mom and I wouldn't punish her. That could just upset her further. In fact, being involved in an activity she loves could really help with confidence, etc. The gloves and band aids are good ideas but I would try to get to the root of the problem. Maybe consult with the school guidance counselor or nurse.

Good luck!

04-04-2005, 12:07 AM
Are her fingertips chapped? If there is even one rough "scrap" of skin, that's enough to get started peeling. Then the peeling acquires a life of its own. You and she together might look over her hands and see where they are rough (any litttle loose piece). Then take a nail clippers and carefully clip the piece down level with the rest of her skin. It will feel smooth and she might not want to pick at it then. If this is the case, and clipping the loose pieces works, encourage her to come to you immediately when she has a rough spot so you can fix it.

Wow!! My husband is a picker- He does it when he's bored, nervous, or when there is any rough or loose pieces. He does clip them with clippers and I thought that was the same as picking them till I read your post!!! I notice his sister is a picker too!! We have been married 10 years and I fianlly realized that he does not choose to do this. I mean- why would you want to walk around with crappy looking hands?

04-04-2005, 12:49 AM
I'm a nail biter too and have been all my life. It's not anything stress related, it's just a habit. Mostly I don't notice until I say something to my kids about biting their nails and I'm sitting there biting mine:blush: If I do things with my hands I'm less prone to do it. I usually cross stitch or knit. See if you can either teach her to knit, crochet, or quilt, or find someone who can. Your local craft store can probably point you in the right direction. Hopefully redirecting her focus can help her break the habit. Also try taking her to the salon once a month for a manicure or do it yourself(girls night out or in) this may also help if there are problems at school or with friends. She may be more open to talk. My friend did the manicure with her daughter to get her to stop biting her nails and picking her skin, of course it helped that she was really girlie. I however was not so short nails didn't bother me. Unfortunately the longer it goes on, the harder it is to break.

04-04-2005, 01:03 AM
I'm guilty of it too, my DR actually got me putty (mine is therapy putty because I have muscle problems but you can use silly putty with DD) to occupy my hands. Now I bite my lip and chew through it, but that's easy to fix with chewing gum.

Good luck!

04-04-2005, 08:50 AM
I've done this on and off all of my life. It's habit just like biting you're nails really, even though some might feel it's a form of self punishment.

I don't think counseling would do a darn thing and neither would punishment.

Also, putting bandaids all over her finger tips will only make the open skin much sorer than it usually is. You know when you stay in the water too long you get pruny and wrinkly? Well, that would happen but it would hurt. I couldn't do dishes or keep my hands in water for a long time because it would just aggravate me.

Hopefully she'll get bored with that and when her fingers get real raw, remind her she's open to infection and pain, this may help.

If you don't make a huge deal over it, she might stop on her own. I'm not saying you are, but like someone else mentioned, just a gentle reminder now and then will help.

04-04-2005, 09:53 AM
I agree- please don't punish her. She is not trying to be bad. Call her pediatrician.

04-04-2005, 10:30 AM
I've found with my dd's habits and mine that if I just find something less self-destructive to do it will occupy us enough that we stop doing it, like she chews her hair and I used to, also, so I started chewing gum instead. I would try giving her something else to do with her fingers like squeezing one of those stress balls (I think you can get them on keychains) or play-doh, something along those lines to keep her hands busy, if she has something in them to mess with she may leave her skin alone.

04-04-2005, 10:41 AM
Also, putting bandaids all over her finger tips will only make the open skin much sorer than it usually is.

Ouch, yes, hadn't thought on that one :sad2:

04-04-2005, 10:41 AM
I'm with the group, please dont punish her, and dont threaten to take DW away unless you will follow thru on it - I know that was hard for us dd was acting out so horribly it was tempting, but I finally told her I loved her no matter how naughty she was, and that we'd go to Disney... but.... and then we went into consequences, but it was her behavior, not a "habit"

Count me in on the school group. We had 2 kids that pulled out their hair, again, I know this has a documented name, and what I learned is you need to replace a habit for her... so if she is a picker, maybe she'll wear a rubber band or a bracelet, at home, if you can find something for her to "pick at", I have to say those bubble wraps are really entertaining for kids, but probably not practical, the bandaids probably wont work, but she may be able to "pick it" but please dont get in a power struggle with her over the band aids...

good luck, and do ask your pediatrician for help or advice...

04-04-2005, 11:51 AM
Thanks for everyones advice!! :listen: I have kinda just acted like shes not doing it and I have her wash her hands alot now and at night she puts on neosporin and bandaids about every night, I can't stand the thoughts of her getting some kind of a disease over this. Maybe she wont but shes already been sick this week, 5th disease and a major cold. :cold:
I think I will talk to her teacher about this and she what he says too.
Keep the advice coming!!!Thanks :grouphug:

04-04-2005, 12:06 PM
please remember that the bandaids will keep the skin moist with or without neosporin and it will make it worse. Her skin will get soft and painful in the spots that she bites. I know you are trying to help her, but this won't, trust me, I've done it to myself.

04-04-2005, 12:39 PM
No offense, but the punishment is probably just adding to the problem. She's probably so upset and nervous about you finding her doing it that she does it more, because it's more likely a nervous condition. I have one too, pulling my hair out, and most of the time I don't even KNOW I'm doing it. My boyfriend and mother are aware of it so when they see me doing it they tell me to stop. I'm 25 and have been doing this since I was about 12. I can remember the first time my mother found out she was furious with me, I had pulled out all of my eye lashes and she didn't realize that it was a problem, she thought I did it because it looked cool or something! I was SO upset and nervous about her being upset about it, that's when I started pulling from my head instead of my eyes. You can't tell nearly as easily on my head. Anyway my point is your punishing her is probably just making her feel worse. She probably doesn't want to do it any more than I don't want to pull out my hair. No I don't like having a big bald spot in the back of my head, and I don't like people asking what's wrong with my head. I'm sure she doesn't like it either (people constantly commenting on her fingers). And she may just learn to take her nervous habit out somewhere other than her fingers so you leave her alone about it.


04-08-2005, 12:12 PM
Thanks everyone but as i had stated before I am not punishing her!!!!!!!!! :headache: Trying not to be ugly but I am tired of people telling me don't punish her. :) but everyone else thanks again you gave me great insight on how to deal with her.

04-08-2005, 01:13 PM
The last thing I want to do is come across hateful, but I think the reason people are saying "Don't punish her!!" is because in your first post you stated that you have taken or threatened to take things away if she keeps peeling the skin off of her fingers. In my home that is considered punishment. I don't think that anyone thinks that you are physically punishing her in any way shape or form. I can't remember how old you said that your daughter is, but if she is old enough I would definately sugest fake nails wether they are press on's or whatever. That will keep her from chewing or peeling at the skin, and will give her real nails a chance to grow out. Then all you have to worry about are keeping them filed regularly because if there are any chips or cracks or uneven areas it can lead back to the chewing and peeling. I used to do the same thing, and until I got fake nails I couldn't stop myself. Now I only chew in the very stressful times, and can usually stop myself of the habit once things have calmed down.

Take Care,

04-08-2005, 05:03 PM
Sorry if this is a repeat --I sort of skimmed over page 2! :blush: My son sucked his thumb up to second grade. At this point, he was starting to get teased & other solutions had not worked--it was a totally unconscious thing he did when he was tired or bored, or llstening to someone. I spoke to this teacher & she was wonderful & came up with a "secret sign" that she would do when she saw him sucking his thumb. This way he would be aware of the action & stop, even if it was just for a few minutes. She repeated this many times during the day, until the times between events was less & less. We did the same sign at home if other people were around or we didn't want to say something out loud. It worked great for us. It may work for you. Good Luck!! Deb