Many children have some usual annoying Child habits in the developmental process. You may be worried about it, but these are not harmful. Mainly these habits include; thumb-sucking, nail-biting, nose picking, and hair twirling. 

You do not want your child to indulge in such habits while to change them, you would first need to know why he is doing it. Kids usually adopt such habits to cope with stressful, unwanted, confusing, unhappy, tiring, or boring situations. 

Managing such behaviors can be tricky and difficult, but when you know the reason and basics of Child habits, you can manage your child’s behavior easily. You may find it helpful to know some basics to deal with the aforementioned habits of your child.

Know what is a Child Habits and its Causes 

A repeated pattern of behaviors is called a habit that a child does not know while doing it. Sometimes Child habits may appear in clusters that can be annoying. Experts also suggest that there is not always a fixed cause of habits, but the outcome of it may be positive sometimes.

Commonly, habits are a means of releasing anxiety, while it can be entertaining for a child when he is bored. When a child bites nails or twirls hair, just recall if he had been in a stressful situation recently. If so, then it can be a coping mechanism for your child to get relief from tension in the same way you might do by working out at the gym. Or possibly the nail-biting can be inherited to a child from a parent. Researchers suggest that it may be a hereditary element.

Conversely, some children have habits in calm and relaxing situations like before sleeping or listening to music quietly. Others may result from infancy, for example, thumb-sucking for self-comfort and distract hunger. Such habits may remain to their childhood because of their positive associations. 

Moreover, some children are attention seekers so, they may engage in habits to have their parents’ attention or for manipulating them. In addition, the negligence of parents is also one of the reasons that children engage in annoying habits to get attention.

Annoying Child Habits

How to cope with such habits? 

Most of the Child habits usually disappear by the time the child grows and reaches school age. As the child outgrows, he develops different interests and activities. So, when the habits become concerning, and you might want to break them, try these simple steps; 

Point out Politely

For a 3–4-year child, you can calmly point out why the habit he indulged in is not good. Awareness about the problem effectively may work, for example, “mommy does not like it when you bite your nails, and it does not look good as well”

Moreover, when you see a child repeating the same, do not scold, criticize, mock or punish him, as this may worsen the habit. 

Ask your child if he faces criticism

When children complain about the criticism they receive, they indirectly ask for help. So, if your child comes home in a bad mood or crying and making complaints about the mockery from his class fellows, it is time you involve him in a discussion to come up with a solution of breaking a habit. Or even if he does not tell you about it, you can discuss what challenges he faces, respective to his personality. 

Try to occupy the attention of your child

Whenever you see your child repeating an annoying Child habits, suggest to him some alternative behavior. If your child bites nail instead of forbidding him directly, engage him in some activity or play with his hands or fingers, for instance, Finger faces, wiggle your fingers, or any other fingerplay with rhyme. You can also distract him by engaging in work with you. 

Praising and Rewards

When you praise and reward the little efforts of a child, he approaches to improve it further. Similarly, you can offer rewards when they try to control their Child habits. For a little girl, you can promise a nail paint or other thing that interests her in return for stopping nail-biting. Or if your boy has a thumb-sucking habit, you can promise small prizes like toy cars, stickers, or sports goods in return for holding back his habit. 

 In all cases, you have to be patient to see results habits take time to develop, and so does the disappearance of them. Therefore, motivation with a positive strategy is always needed to replace bad habits.

Worrying conditions 

A habit is no longer just a habit when it starts creating medical issues and affects the social interactions and daily working of a child. Like nose bleeds due to excessive nose picking, ingrown nails or wounds due to nail-biting, infections in the thumb or fingers because of thumb sucking, trichotillomania due to pulling hair out, and other associated problems.

Mostly little Child habits do not cause serious problems, and may disappear or improve, but in unavoidable cases, you should consult a doctor about your child.