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Nail biting

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive March 2007: Nail biting
By Anonymous on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 07:46 pm:

My DDs (10)teacher commented at Parent-Teacher Conferences last night that her nail biting is distracting her in class. I think it is because she is so stressed out that her teacher hates her. Regardless, however, any ideas on how to stop a nail biter.

By Tripletmom on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 07:56 pm:

I told my dd that little bugs live under her nails and everytime she puts her finger in her mouth,she was eating them ewwwwww-...it worked:)

By Nicki on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 08:32 pm:

Bless her heart. Do you think her teacher really dislikes her? I guess I'd be more inclined to work on that issue, and then hopefully she wouldn't feel so stressed.

By Anonymous on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 09:20 pm:

Actually, yes, I really do feel that her teacher dislikes her but there's not much more we can do about it. We told the teacher that dd thinks she hates her and although she didn't confirm it, she certainly didn't deny it either. We'll just hang tough for a few more months.

I can honesty say that she has been biting her nails for many years so the bad experience she is having at school this year isn't really the cause. I just think that it certainly can't be helping.

I don't think that telling her about bugs will do the trick. Maybe I could bribe her. :)

By Tink on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 09:39 pm:

I was a bit older when my parents offered this strategy to get me to stop biting my nails but it might work for your dd. I bit my nails when I was bored so I never noticed that I was biting them at all. My mom finally took me to a nail salon and had the acrylic gel painted over my natural nails. It's impossible to bite through, didn't really show up since I didn't have the extensions added, and got me out of the habit. I have very thin nails so I continued to have it done through high school but that was just my personal preference. If you think this is just a mindless habit, you might try the gel for a few months to break the habit. HTH:)

By Dawnk777 on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 09:39 pm:

For me, I just got old enough to finally stop doing it. I don't think the "bug" threat would have stopped me.

By Cat on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 09:46 pm:

As a former nail biter (who's still known to bite them, just not bite them OFF anymore!), if it's a habit, there probably won't be much of anything that will get her to stop. How old is she? What finally got me to stop actually chewing them off was acryilic nails. I even busted one of those off biting them! lol That really isn't an option for a young child. I had one teacher in high school (all four years--choir director) that would yell at me in front of the whole class every time he saw me biting. All that did was embarrass the heck out of me. It didn't even come close to helping me stop. If your dd's been biting for years, the stress of having this teacher probably doesn't have anything to do with the biting. It could be making it worse, though. *Who* is being distracted in class? Your dd, the other students or the teacher? Is the teacher bringing it up? If she is, I'd ask her to not mention it to your dd again. Imho, it's not the teacher's problem. She's made you aware (you already knew anyway) and that should be the end of it. Is she on the hair chewers/twirlers, foot tappers, shirt chewers, pencil chewers, etc, too? Sounds like the teacher has more problems than the kids. Sorry your dd has to deal with this for three more months. Hugs to you both.

By Cocoabutter on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 09:51 pm:

If it is something that your dd does without thinking about it, then how could it be a distraction? She isn't thinking about the nail biting. She is thinking about how much this teacher hates her.

I think that the nail biting is secondary to the fact that the teacher isn't fond of your dd so she is just nit picking her to find fault.

I think that's despicable. I sincerely hope that your dd's self esteem isn't damaged by this woman. If she must endure the remainder of the school year with her for a teacher, I hope that you are doing everything you can to reassure your dd that she is smart and likeable.

If this teacher wants to make an issue of nail biting after she has shown such contempt for your dd, I would tell her to stick it.

By Anonymous on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 10:35 pm:

Lisa, I'm in a difficult position. As much as I would like to tell the teacher to stick it...that is NOT an option due to my employment status (also the reason why I have gone anon. I also agree that the nail biting issue is probably just the teacher being nit picky...afterall, she's been doing it for a while and none of the other teachers have ever complained. She even has other teachers this year for some subjects and noone has mentioned a thing.

You're also right Cat, that the teacher didn't bring on the nail biting (she was a finger sucker and then turned to nail biting). However, I agree that this teacher certainly isn't making things any better. She says DD is distracted in class, which she very well may be but the humilation she gets isn't helping. I'm not sure if she gets pointed out for the biting (I'll have to ask DD) but I know she has been asked to stand in the corner during instruction b/c she is distracted. She doesn't face the wall, just stands in the corner.

I talked to the salon and they won't do the gel nails until she is 15. She is only 10, almost 11.

By Breann on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 11:44 pm:

My dd bites her nails and I can't get her to quit. I'm going to try the bug thing tomorrow.
Actually, it could be true. Under your fingernails is one of the dirtiest places, and a great place for germs to hide.

By Crystal915 on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 07:51 am:

You can easily buy the acrylic stuff to put overlays on her nails at home. They sell the supplies at any drugstore or beauty supply shop, and since you're not doing actual tips it's fairly easy. If you don't want to do that, just take her for a manicure, sometimes having their nails painted and pretty helps them resist the urge. Of course, there are the bitter polishes, but most kids get used to them. I've never been a nailbiter, but my ex was, and after 20+ years of biting his nails the only reason I got him to quit was because I told him he couldn't touch me if his hands were all nasty. Of course, that won't work on your DD, but better to break the habit now than her trying to break it as an adult.

By Anonymous on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 10:27 pm:

We bought some nice polish and some nail biting stuff today. Maybe that will help.

By Tripletmom on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 09:29 am:

Oh,come on.Why is she putting a 10yr old girl in the corner!!!! She's to old for that.If your dd is easily distracted can you give her a piece of playdoh to squeeze? I think if the teacher really cared and it helped with less distractions and helped with concentration than it shouldln't be a problem.I'm sorry your dd is going through this:( It only takes one teacher who is an idiot to totally change a childs view of school.I hope the teacher can act like an adult here and stop picking on your dd.((HUGS))

By Tripletmom on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 09:30 am:

BTW, Breann.Your right there are microscopic bugs underneath our nails.

By Sandysmom on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 09:41 am:

Ditto Sherri all the way! She's a - well - you know the word.

By Debbie on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 09:36 pm:

{{{hugs}}} I am so sorry your dd is going through this. Gosh, some teachers just don't get it!!

My youngest ds is a nail bitter. He has gotten better lately(he is almost 7) I notice he does it when he is nervous or uncomfortable. He always bites his nails at the beginning of the school year. Usually, within a month, or so, he stops. I just gently remind him to stop, when I see him doing it. I think a lot of time, he doesn't even realize it.

By Anonymous on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 11:13 pm:

I was thinking gum too but I know the teacher won't allow it.

She's going to try to stop biting on her own. Hoepfully the nail polish will help. I really believe it's not the nail biting that is the issue...the teacher just doesn't like her. Yes, she does get easily distracted but she's not the only child to ever go through the school system who distracts easily and I'm certain she won't be the last.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 11:22 pm:

Or the last for this teacher... What a jerk.. I have seen some bad kids in my time and nail biting would be a relief for some of the teachers I know..

Best of luck to DD and you both..

By Tsa on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 07:32 am:

My DD is very "financially motivated" LOL. I tried bribing her $40 plus a manicure at the salon. It only worked for a week. No money was exchanged :(. She won on this one. I just hope that some day she will want pretty nails and stop on her own. I also figure in the grand scheme of life nail biting isn't so bad. That doesn't stop me from trying every now and then but I basically gave up.


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