My 6-year-old daughter bites her nails constantly. How can I get her to stop? – Colette
Nail biting is one of the most common childhood habits. Some studies estimate that
45–60% of kids chew on their nails!
Nail biting, like most habits, often disappears on its own as kids outgrow the
urge to do it. In the meantime, avoid threatening or punishing your child —
these tactics tend to backfire. Instead, tell her why you don't like the behavior
and offer her rewards for self-control.
You can also try having her wiggle her fingers for 30 seconds before she bites
her nails — it may become too tedious of an activity for her to continue. Your
child may bite her nails when she's under stress, so try to see if there's a pattern
to her biting or if something is bothering her.