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Hey Mom! I hear your concerns about the finger sucking and, you’re in luck! My daughter did the exact same thing! Let me assure you that she is now 15-years-old and the peer pressure thing keeps her from sucking on her fingers – leaving them free for texting!
All kidding aside, the bigger deal you make of it, then the bigger deal it will be. Let’s consider the underlying issue – anxiety. You state that she uses the finger sucking as a coping mechanism – so let’s put some routines, rituals and safety nets in place to help ease her transitions. If she is tired, maybe a short nap or cuddle with mom after school…if she is anxious or afraid, maybe a hug or a nose-to-nose kiss to remind her that she is safe…and if it is overwhelmed (who isn’t), turn down the noise, activity, visual stimulation as much as possible. Share these ideas and your concerns with her teachers to so that they don’t make a big deal out of it but help her feel safe, successful and happy in school! She might still need braces, but she’ll have fingers free for texting!! Hooray!! Be Wise!
Amy Fortney Parks, Doctoral Candidate, LPC
Child & Adolescent Psychologist