As parents, one of the most concerns that are really happening is when your kids stick to their thumb sucking habit. For most parents, it is a wacky habit that needs to be fixed. Before you decide to alter it for your kids’ sake, you’ll need to know why they do that.

Kids suck their thumbs as the way of comforting and calming themselves. Your kids might have been doing this since they were an infant. They will turn to their thumb whenever they feel discomfort when they are tired, sick, anxious, or bored. Some kids also go for their thumbs to beat their nervousness when they experience the first day of the preschool. They may also suck their thumb to help them to fall asleep in the night. You know, it is the best way they can do to make them more comfortable.

Thumb sucking is not a taboo thing. On the contrary, it is a gift. After all, who can’t be amazed at such cute self-soothing method? When they learn to use their thumbs for calming themselves, you can call it as a natural talent that only kids have. Most children will do this between the ages of 2 and 4. And they will eventually leave their habit due to parents’ diplomatic corrections. So, what to do about thumbs sucking? These are what you need to know.

It is not a dreadful thing

So, don’t worry too much. Thumb sucking is safe until your kids’ permanent teeth begin to grow. Kids under 6 are safe to do this without damaging the teeth or jaws. Kids who place their thumbs in their mouths are less likely to have dental problems. There is a common misconception about thumbs sucking in deteriorating the teeth. In reality, the main factor of unhealthy teeth is sweet treats that you give to your children on regular basis.

See how they do it

You could see how your kids play with their thumbs. If they suck fiercely, you may want to slow them down and slowly curb their habits. If you are not really sure that your kid’s habits affect their teeth, contact your dentist to do further check.

Don’t punish your kids

If you notice your kids are blended with this habit, don’t bother to scold them. Just let it go. Punishing them will just make them more depressed since they don’t know the reasons why they are doing it. Plus, forcing them to stop will only make them justify their habits. And they will do it more often.

It is their reflect

Thumb sucking is theirs reflect. They will eventually stop it when they find other ways to calm and soothe themselves. For instance, your kids may suck their thumb when they have no companion. While giving them younger brother may not be possible at this moment, you could find another way to distract them. As busy parents, you might want to consider adopting a dog as your pet. In many ways, the dog can be the best companion for your kids. The dog will keep your kids occupied so that they will leave their thumb sucking habit.

Sometimes they suck their thumb while doing other things

Besides sleeping, your kids may do this while they are watching TV, lying around on the daybed, or waiting for you to come out from the bathroom. In some occasions, you can alter this with other things such as playing with some toys, playing with pets, and so on. Just make sure that they will do it voluntarily, without any force.

If they tend to suck their thumb while sleeping, you could let them nap and enjoy their time. Perhaps they do it because of stress. If that’s the case, you could make them speak about the problems. Be a good listener. You’ll be surprised when they tell you a thing or two. Bet you will laugh since they are funny when put their feelings into words. The point is that you need to know what triggers them to suck their thumbs so that you can determine which solution you can offer.

It is not a violation

Therefore, you don’t have any obligation to feel guilty. If your justice sense dictates you to punish your kids because of their habit, you may question what is the evidence that it is a violation. In fact, there is no evidence to be related to thumb sucking. If you are feeling guilty, then you could just let go. You are not responsible for it. Instead, you accompany them and correct them if they do it vigorously.

Thumb sucking is necessity

For most kids, thumb sucking is a necessity for them. It is addictive so that they can’t leave it for a minute when they need it. As mentioned, it is the way they calm and comfort themselves. Types of addictions can happen to children. Thumb sucking is one of them. Thumb sucking can easily be categorized as other types of additions such as alcohol, cigarettes, and much more. Even such habits like shaking legs, scratching hair, biting nails are just the same as thumb sucking. So you will need to be open-minded in this case. Give your children time to do and patiently encourage them to lessen the frequency of it.

Propose fun activities other than thumb sucking

You can think around hundreds of ideas of what fun activities that you can do with your kids so that they will leave thumb sucking habits eventually. You know that it is highly addictive. That’s why you can’t rely on one setup and go. You need to provide more alternatives to your kids. It can be toys, DIY decoration projects, shopping projectors, outdoor activities, some games, party, and many more. Make sure that you can do it with your family. In some cases, you can also offer their favorite treats in exchange for they leave the thumb sucking habit. For instance, if your kids like chocolate, you can ask them to stop their habit for certain period of time in exchange for the item.

Make your kids happy

You could give important information about the disadvantages of thumb sucking to your kids all you want, but they won’t leave it if you don’t mind about your tone and language. It is just the same as trying to stop your dad from his smoking habit. Without proper encouragement, your kids will ignore you. In worst cases, they tend to be rebellious. It is the last thing that you want. Instead, make them happy and motivated. Keep them busy with fun things. You’ll notice slight changes on daily basis. And you will see the good result in no time.