2012/06/08 4:53 pm

My son sucks his thumb

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Creative solution

The youngest of my kids began to suck his thumb since baby, I thought that over time he would stop, but the latter never happened. When my child turned three years he was no longer a baby and there was no way to get his thumb out of his mouth, both during the day and night. I put him a sock in hand, but he took it off, I gave him toys to entertain but it seems they were not as fun as sucking his thumb. I was wondering how much it was going to cost me to fix his teeth?

But one day something amazing happened. My three kids were playing with the markers in the room. Those special markers for kids and of course non-toxic. My oldest son was drawing a happy face in his middle brother’s hand. In the  game somehow I get one of the markers.

The youngest of my sons asks me to draw him a happy face in the same hand that he suck his finger. At that time I came up with the idea to draw him a sad face, instead of a happy face, as close as possible the thumb. Then I told him: “The face is sad because you suck your finger.”

Since that moment and for that day only, whenever he suck his thumb, I told him “the face is sad.” He look the drawing on his hand and said ‘no sad, happy.’ “To which I I replied “if you suck your thumb is sad.”

The next day, I change the strategy because my son was getting a little sad. This time I draw a smiley face and told him “if you suck your thumb the smiley face is going to get sad,” so whenever he suck his thumb, I kept saying the same. Sometimes my son pulled out his finger of the mouth saying, “the face is happy not sad.”

Every day during that week after washing his teeth, I  draw him a happy face on his hand and repeat the same. At bedtime I said the same thing, so he attempted to sleep without sucking his finger. Every night, when I was going to rest, I enter my kids’ room, and if my little son was sucking this thumb, I take his thumb out.

As parents, we can turn a task into play most of the time.

Deepak Chopra (Author of  The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents)

I did that for about a week, and magically, my child stopped, his thumb was out of his mouth. At times, my son start to sucks his thumbs all over again, then I just told him, “the smiley face is going to get sad.” Right away he take his thumb out of his mouth and said, ‘happy face’. Although this was a week of repeating the same thing many times, I felt very relieved to realize that my little son didn’t suck his thumb anymore.

When this idea occurred to me, my child had around two years and several months. After a while he began to bite his nails and when I draw the sad face my son went into the bathroom and washed it, he knew a lot by that time. Then I just told him that if he bit his fingernails I was going to draw a sad face, but it turned out the best to draw a smiley face and told him that the smiley face was going to get sad if it continued biting his nails.

For me this was a different and funny way to solve a problem. Instead of feeling the nagging mom, I felt that we can make things differently and have fun while we do it. For this reason, I wanted to share this story with all of you. I hope you have fun trying it and tell me your outcomes.

Imagination is the beginning of creation.

George Bernard Shaw

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