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How can we possibly get our 4-year-old to stop picking his nose?
by Jodie Lynn

Do you have other standards of behavior in your home like not tripping the dog, or picking up their toys, or saying thank you and please? We told our children things in the context of "in our family we don't?., we do?" They still believe that together, we can do anything as a family and love the results of how well they are received everywhere. Decide on this and other standards and love the great feeling of being special, together. - Joyce in TX

I noticed that my 5-year-old daughter's cousin wrapped his fingers in athletic tape when he played volleyball. She noticed this too and asked me about it. Since he is one of her favorite people, I asked him if he would explain it to her and make it a very positive explanation. She thought it was so cool that the big kids did it, she asked if I would let her do it. We let her wrap her fingers it tape every day until she got tired of it. She even wanted me to color the white tape with different colored markers. It worked; she no longer picks her nose and couldn't while the tape was on. - Patti in MO

We came up with the idea of letting our 4-year-old wear his Halloween mask while playing. He is so thrilled to be dressed in his costume or even for being allowed to wear his mask in public places that he no longer thinks of picking his nose. Not only that, but he can't reach it when he has the mask on and I think this has helped too. - Amie in Georgia Add a Cajun based hot sauce to the tip of his finger. Dilute the sauce quit a bit with water so it hardly tingles. It will provide a warm sensation which is not particularly a good feeling inside the nose and especially for a 4-year-old. The habit should stop in about a week. - John in NY


From Jodie: More likely than not, it has become a nervous habit. The odd part about it is that he doesn't have to be "nervous" to do it. For example, he may do it when he is watching one of his favorite programs? Why? Oftentimes when young children begin to think about something, they will resort to a habit: twisting hair, sucking thumb, picking nose, etc. Sometimes these will simply go away with time but the more he sees that it grosses you out, the more satisfaction he may get out of doing it?

A couple of other things to take into consideration is that the heating system and dryness in your home may be a culprit in making his nose dry to where it has an itching sensation. Maybe consider a humidifier for your home or his sleeping area? Or, he may be allergic to a pet. Ask the pediatrician which over-the-counter nose sprays might help to alleviate this problem or simply ask the pharmacist which one most families seem to buy.



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