Can ongoing nervous habits potentially be harmful to children? How to break the habit? This article focuses on the homeopathy approach to the same.
Nail biting, thumb sucking, nose picking, twirling hair, pulling hair, and grinding teeth are some nervous habits commonly present in children. These are caused by a mental disorder. Children's nervous habits may be their way of relaxing or retreating momentarily from pressures and expectations into their world. It can be due to a mini time-out, a chance to do their own thing. Habits that are repeated over and over again can become a nervous habit in children. Eventually, the child will perform these actions without their knowledge. You have to put a roadblock in the nerve pathway where the habit is stored to break the habit.
1. Nail Biting:
The other name for nail biting is onychophagia. Those who feel compelled to bite nails and fingertips can vary in severity from mild and occasional to persistent nail-biting. Severe nail-biting is a long-term problem that causes nail deformity and infections around the nail bed.
It is common in all age groups, and the exact cause is unknown. It may be due to a troubled relationship with a mother during childhood.
Nail-biting is a symptom of anxiety or a nervous habit. It is induced by nervousness, stress, or boredom and can be associated with an emotional and psychological problem.
Long-term Goal: To stop this behavior, our initial response should be to remove the worries; that is, before dealing with this problem, know the underlying cause for worry.
Do Not Punish the Child: Motivation is important to stop nail-biting.
Boredom: When a child is bored or listless, engaging in this habit can help stimulate and keep them alert.
Remove the stress.
Help the child whenever they want to stop because if a child's friends are teasing them, they need your help.
Cut the nails short.
Coat the fingers with neem oil or something that has a bad taste.
Keep your hands busy.
For irritability under the nails causing nail bite: Ammonium Bromate.
Nail-biting in children: Natrum Muraticum.
Nail-biting and enuresis in children: Sanicula.
2. Thumb Sucking:
When children are tired, bored, or feel discomfort, they show the habit of thumb sucking. It makes the child feel comforted, stimulated, or put to sleep.
Naturally, babies have a sucking reflex that makes them put the thumb into the mouth.
Thumb-sucking babies feel more secure.
The Effects of Thumb Sucking:
Make them feel comfortable.
Sucking causes the baby to be calm.
During infancy, thumb sucking is not a problem, but it may cause some speech disability. But, when a child continues this habit after his or her milk teeth have fallen, it can interrupt the normal alignment of the teeth.
In later stages or in the adult stage, there is a high chance of replacing the thumb with cigarettes, alcohol, or binge eating.
Usually, children 2 to 4 years of age have coping skills like the development of language skills. But, in some kids, thumbsucking is harder to kick, which leads to problems for their growing months.
Try to limit the time that the child sucks his thumb.
Talk to the child about the demerits of his or her thumbsucking habit.
Do not prohibit the child if he tries to suck his thumb after being hurt or injured.
Homeopathic Treatment For Thumb Sucking:
Calcarea Oxalica, Calcarea Phos, Chamomilla, Nat Mur, Theridium, Sulphur, and Veratrum alb are indicated according to the overall mental and physical symptoms.
3. Nose Picking:
Medically it is called rhinotillexomania. The common cause for nose picking is when a person is lost in thoughts or out of sheer boredom. This action is comparable to biting the nails or cuticles or picking at a scab absentmindedly. A bored office worker is often caught picking his nose. People who are caught picking their noses are usually embarrassed. So some pick their noses privately.
Causes for Nose Picking:
Curious or bored, which relieves stress or passes the time. It is not present in over anxious children.
In children with allergies, there is a flow of mucus and crusting. This gives them the feeling that it is difficult for them to leave their noses alone.
Most children give up the habit on their own due to losing interest or because other kids tease them enough to make them stop.
Nagging or punishment will not help.
Keeping fingers occupied: Give the child a substitute like a rubber ball to squeeze or finger puppets to play with. Teaching the child to blow their nose may also help.
If the child picks the nose until it bleeds and has trouble sleeping, better consult a pediatrician.
4. Hair Twirling and Pulling:
Twirling and pulling hair is a nervous habit and self-soothing behavior. In some cases, hair pulling becomes severe and can cause trichotillomania, the urge to pull hair constantly until it breaks.
Some children eat the hair; this behavior is called trichophagia. This may appear in early childhood as a precursor to hair pulling, with or without hair loss. This habit will stop as they get older. For those who do not, behavior modification helps break the habit. Here, the treatment is usually a type of behavior therapy called habit reversal training. Relaxation of mind and medicines may be part of the treatment.
Infection, skin damage, permanent hair loss, and sometimes due to loss of hair, there can be a problem with self-esteem and body image.
Argentum Nitricum, Lycopodium, Calcarea Carb, Thuja, Natrum Mur, and Arnica.
5. Grinding the Teeth:
Teeth grinding is medically called bruxism. Kids with bruxism grind and clench their teeth occasionally, causing the teeth to get damaged and other oral health complications.
Chronic teeth grinding causes fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. Grinding teeth is usually caused by stress and anxiety. This can lead to an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. People with sleep disorders like sleep apnea can also have the habit of grinding teeth.
If stress is causing it, they need a stress counseling program, and relaxation therapy is also required.
Mouthguards and mouth splints can be custom-made to protect the teeth.
It is important to treat and prevent dental problems.
Phytolacca decandra 12c, Melissa officinalis 12c, and Cina.
Last reviewed at:
28 Jan 2022 - 5 min read
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