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‘My son chews his nails. I tell him it’s a bad habit. I stop him, but he continues to do it. Why doesn’t he listen?”
The more you stop him, the more he will do so. Sharing with you some replies that you may use while you see your child biting his nails. You may reply:
(i) By giving your example, say, “why do you chew your nails?” He says nothing. Further add on, “When I was of your age, I used to chew my nails, and I got a sour stomach ache one day. He will ask you further questions, and the conversation will begin.
(ii) By giving a choice, say, “Either you follow this unhealthy temptation or use a nail cutter and stay healthy.”
(iii) By simply observing and passing a remark, i.e. say, “Hmmm. I can see someone is on the road to sickness.” Walk away as you say this. Let the child brainstorm.
(iv) By explaining the pros and cons. Say, “Bad habits make one lose friends. Suppose if someone sees you chewing nails. Will they do shake their hands with you?”. End the conversation by asking him a question. Again, let him brainstorm.
You may follow the above options by reframing the sentences if he indulges in smoking, drinking or any habit that you disapprove of.
“My 4-year-old cries frantically at 5 am and early morning sleep is so precious to me. I pat him while walking around, singing a lullaby, giving him body contact; nothing helps. What to do?”
Nightmares are common in babies. I’ve had the same experience; therefore, I completely understand how you feel. My child and I share a bed. I refuse to pick her up. When I pat her, she yells even louder. As a result, I adopted a different strategy of accepting feelings. In my half-asleep state, I say things to her like, “Oh, no! It was terrifying; was it a monster or a dinosaur?” she nods her head and falls a sleep.
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