Nail biting...how can I get her to stop!?!

Pretty Nails - hand with polished nails
@nelltx (277)
United States
April 4, 2007 7:35am CST
My daughter has a horrible habit of biting her nails, she always has since she was little. Now that she is getting older, she wants longer, pretty nails. The problem is that she won't quit biting her nails. I have even tried letting her get acrylic nails, but she is only 9 so they only lasted about a week. I just can't afford to keep doing that. Does anyone know a tried & true way of getting a kid to stop biting her nails?
4 responses
@nietske (199)
• Belgium
4 Apr 07
I know the situation. I was a severe nail biter myself ever since i was little. My mom tried the same remedies, even down to the vile tasting nailpolishes. ALl these remedies didn't work I'm sorry to say. now that I'm in my twenties I just suddenly stopped doing it. I do know that there are some therapies out there that seem to work, maybe you should lok into one of those?
1 person likes this
@nelltx (277)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Acupuncture, massage therapy, hypnosis? I am will to try just about anything as long as it doesn't hurt her. It is just heart breaking to her, she wants nails like mom & I am one of those weird people whose nails grow really fast & strong. I will figure something out, thanks for the input!
@nietske (199)
• Belgium
5 Apr 07
thank you for the BR! I do hope you can sort it out, it is indeed a severe problem. I do know for sure that a cognitive behavioural therapy could work out (I am a cognitive behavioural therapist myself so I speak from experience). This means that your daughter will become more aware of her own behaviour, i.e. the nailbiting and that the therapist will try to teach her a different substitute behaviour that is healthy (maybe humming a song or whatever, depends on the therapist and your daughter). Over time this substitute won't be needed anymore and she will stop biting her nails as such. Of course you could try any other therapy , mine is just a suggestion :)
@prestocaro (1254)
• United States
4 Apr 07
As a former nail biter myself, I applaud your patience! My parents tried all the bad tasting remedies -- hot sauce, vinegar, bitter nail polish. I just kept chewing on them, even though it tasted bad! I think it was my nervous habit. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and I was never really sure of the social circle I was in since we moved so much. Many children bite their nails from stress, and adults do as well. You could try to give her a new habit, like doodling or knitting or something. Orgami? 9 years old is a difficult time for any kid, because being "grown up" seems really far away and yet really near. I looked up a website that might help you: http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/50/78.cfm although they list a manicure among one of the solutions, and you said that it didn't really last, there are other solutions you might not have thought of. GOOD LUCK!! what a thoughtful mom :)
@nelltx (277)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Thanks for the site, I will check it out. I know that she is ashamed of the way her hands look because of her biting her nails, so I am just trying to find a plausable solution for her. I have just started trying to teach her to crochet, maybe I can step that up a notch & get her to do that. Thanks again!
• Philippines
4 Apr 07
Some of my friends have the same problem as yours. What they did is they put chili on their child fingers, so that when they can feel the hot from the chili they will not bite their fingers anymore.
1 person likes this
@nelltx (277)
• United States
4 Apr 07
That may work, but I am afraid that it would either get into her eyes or on he little sister that is a toddler. But thanks for the advice, I will keep it in mind.
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
4 Apr 07
There is a nail product out there called bitter nails.It helps you from biting your nails because you get a bitter taste in your mouth. She would need to apply this several times a day but it does work.
1 person likes this
@nelltx (277)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Thanks for the information, I will definatly try & find some at the store. It drives me crazy that she does this!