I have no idea how to help a young child stop bad habits. My daughter has two. The first is pretty common. She's always asking "why?" I don't mean when she wants to know why. I mean that it has now become a habit. She used to ask why when she wanted to know. Now it's her automatic reaction to every single thing a person says. She doesn't even realize she's saying it. Every sentence uttered is punctuated with her "why?" I have tried ignoring her, but because it's such an ingrained habit for her now, she still automatically does it, even if she doesn't get an answer.
Also, she has started putting her hands in her mouth all the time. She never did this when she was younger. This past month, her hands are ALWAYS in her mouth. Every second. If there isn't food going in or words coming out, her hands are in there. She wipes spit all over everyone and everything. She's not chewing, she's licking. Her hands are always soaked. It's pretty gross. :P I'm taking her to a dentist, but I don't suspect there's a problem and she says that her mouth and teeth are not hurting. She has never sucked her thumb. She has all 20 baby teeth and isn't teething.
Any ideas? I talk to her about it all the time and tell her to stop each time she does it, but it has no effect at all. The why comes again five minutes later and the hands are back in the mouth the second she forgets about it.