Thumb Sucking

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by monsieurteacher, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 29, 2005

    Ok, I have to say this has been driving me crazy all summer. I have been working with a daycare with school-aged kids all summer, and will continue with many of the same kids with the After School centre once school starts... and I have one child who is going into grade one (6 years old) and is constantly sucking his thumb. I have no clue what to do, and it's driving me crazy. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 29, 2005

    It's probably a source of comfort for this child. Let the child know that you care about him and that you want to help him break this habit. Set up a hand signal that you will use to remind him. You could also give him some kind of hand 'fidget' to hold and squeeze instead of sucking on thumb (like those squishy balls...) Remind him he needs to WASH his hands whenever he removes thumb from mouth and that people might not understand what he is saying if he talks with thumb in mouth. :eek:
     
  4. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Aug 29, 2005

    I had that concern with my youngest..........my only thumb sucker! He was that age and still sucking his thumb.........but only when he went to bed. He had quit, and then started again after becoming seriously ill. I spoke to his pediatrician about it and she said he'll outgrow it and not to worry. She said a lot of times peer pressure from other kids who see it and say that is for babies, will make him quit. Thankfully no one made fun of him (I would have felt terrible). He finally outgrew it on his own, but with gentle reminders from mom and dad. You may want to speak to his parents too......so you are both working together on it at home and school. It was a definite source of comfort for him, it made him feel better when he was so sick.....and then he just got stuck with it. I wouldn't make too big of a deal, and I like czacza's ideas, I think that is a great, non threatening way to handle it.
     
  5. teach2004

    teach2004 Companion

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    Aug 29, 2005

    I have a child who constantly sucks his thumb as well. (I teach 1st.) In fact, today I gave them some Germex to clean their hands and he said "Man, now I can't suck my thumb!" It drives me crazy!
     
  6. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Aug 29, 2005

    I once had a fifth grader who sucked her thumb. It usually occured during movies or when I was teaching a lesson and she had to sit quietly. At first it really bothered me and I felt that she would be in for such ridicule from the other students but there was absolutely none. I finally realized that the kids were so used to seeing the thumb sucking that they just took it for granted. By the beginning of the year she had basically stopped sucking her thumb. I, personally, did not ask the parents about this. I felt it was reallly none of my concern. She was not hurting anyone nor was anyone hurting her in my room. Both of my sons sucked their thumbs but did not do it in the classroom. (I asked)
     
  7. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    Aug 29, 2005

    I agree with the ones who say give them fidgit toys. Anything that they can put in their hands to keep them out of their mouth *this could work with the nose pickers too*. I do have to put in my 2 cents to say that it's not a huge deal though. I am 22 years old and sucked my thumb for one reason or another all the way through middle school. If I'm alone or with really close friends and scared or worried to this day I'll still find myself doing it. It's pretty much a comfort thing or even habit. I do understand how it can get annoying though.
     
  8. CRD3

    CRD3 Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2005

    I have a thumb sucker at home--going into 4th grade! He does it only at night or when he is tired. His pediatrician stated the same thing as others, not to worry about it as it will stop when he it ridiculed by others. Ha-none of his friends say ANYTHING! I have chose not to fight this battle and deal with other bigger issues. He does fine in school and has many friends. My husband and I are just going to let it be for now. But it does get hard at times not to say anything. Good luck but I would try and not worry about it too much.(which is easier said than done)
     

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