Thumb suckers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Hoot Owl, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    I have one this year and it just grosses me out to no end. I've verbally chastised the girl and told her how nasty it was for her to put her dirty thumb in her mouth and how she spreads germs everywhere she touches afterward. I get the sheebie weebies just thinking about grading her papers. And, I have a touch of germaphobia to start with!

    Knowing the H1N1 is going around doesn't help either.

    I can deal with a lot of issues but this is just one makes my skin crawl.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2.  
  3. Securis

    Securis Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    I can tell you from experience, negative reinforcement will not work and actually only ingrains the thumb sucking. You are going to have to find something positive to replace it, something the child will want more and therefore try for. I've seen a friend on mine and his wife working with their son and he gets weekly rewards for not sucking his thumb as well as wearing thumb socks to bed. I've watched them doing it for two.......YEARS....now and he's still sucking his thumb but not as much.

    Good luck breaking a comfort habit that started in the womb.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Sep 4, 2009

    In school-aged children, thumb-sucking can be a sign of emotional distress or anxiety-Chastising is only going to make such a situation even more stressful for the child.

    Talk to the parents about your student's thumb sucking behavior. They could seek help from their pediatrician. Also setting up a positive reinforcement system for her could be helpful-especially if it is reinforced at home.

    Show patience and understanding. :love:
     
  5. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    My own daughter sucked her thumb. I hated it but she was a twin (I have 4 children with a 4 year age gap so they are all close in age) but her thumb was her comfort and she went to sleep very quickly. To stop her from sucking her thumb (at about 2 and a half years old) we used the stuff you paint on fingernails to stop you biting your nails. it tastes disgusting and it worked. Talk to the parents to see if they think it's an issue and have all your arguments in place as to why thumb sucking is not good for the teeth and palate.

    If the parents aren't bothered about it, then try and let it go. I would be more concerned if it were a pacifier or she were still having baby bottles of formula at night (which I have had in my class!).
     
  6. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    29

    Sep 4, 2009

    I totally understand what you are saying, one of my students sucks tow of her fingers and it really gets on my nerves.
     
  7. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    218

    Sep 4, 2009

    Umm, nitpicking, but I think you mean punishment, not negative reinforcement. And I suspect punishment can work when correctly implemented (e.g., the extreme bitter flavor painted on the nails sounds promising), at least in the short term. Positive reinforcement is better for longer-term change and when there are difficulties in implementation.
     
  8. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    I agree. Thumb-sucking can be related to stress. I had a child in K who would suck his thumb constantly in class. Turned out he was a very young K-er, had been through some big changes at home, and just wasn't ready for the academic pressure in K. We discussed it with the grandparents and decided to have him do PreK again. Within a week, the thumb-sucking had stopped.
     
  9. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    Hooters.....tell her it will DROP OFF ,tends to do the trick !
     
  10. Terri in CA

    Terri in CA Rookie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    As a child woh was a thumb sucker her self (and yea i really didnt totally stop until i was married!) It was something i out grew when i was ready. I did stop doing it at school when i was in 3rd grade, but i still used it to help me fall asleep well into adulthood. My son sucks his 2 fingers and i know that he will stop doing it when he is ready, he doesnt do it at school though and he is 5. Positive reinforcement is the way not the yucky polish (my parents tried that too, i got used to the taste!) Support this child and try not to get so grosed out,
     
  11. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    No....get grosed out !
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Sep 4, 2009

    Not the best way to 'connect' with a kid. "Try a little tenderness".
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    Thank you all for your posts. It just surprised me and grossed me out when I saw her sucking her thumb. Her situation is pitiful, single house hold mom, very, very poor, but smart as a whip. To me sucking your thumb should be a personal thing you don't do around any one else.
     
  14. MissR

    MissR Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    I had a thumb-sucker. I dealt with it very matter-of-factly. I told her it spreads germs and so every time I caught her I said, "Go wash your hands." I said it nicely, but she did it each time and I think it got so annoying that she stopped! She still does it every once in a while I think, and she is in 3rd grade now, but she definitely has underlying anxiety issues. Washing her hands made me feel better and definitely reduced the problem. I have a sink in my room though, so she didn't miss too much class time.
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 4, 2009

    This is what I've done as well.
     
  16. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 4, 2009

    I made my thumb-sucker use hand sanitizer (nasty aftertaste). It is horribly disgusting and spreads way too many germs. If the child wants to do it at night, fine. But in the classroom with others, no way.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    1,403

    Sep 6, 2009

    I had a thumb-sucker a few years ago. He was 13, and he only sucked his thumb when he was concentrating really, really hard on something. When I'd notice, I'd slip a peppermint onto his desk. It worked like a charm.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. AmberP
Total: 293 (members: 1, guests: 264, robots: 28)
test