Thanks for your replies. I have just tried very hard to not "notice", which seems to help to a degree because at least *I* am not stressing her more. It has been a very busy fall and I think we are all ready for some down time over the Christmas break.
Oh, about tics. I don't think she has a tic because she is able to control it. It is not involuntary. She is also able to change her habits as she wants to. Her habits have also developed from specific situations, like for a while her hair was really tangly until we changed conditioner for her and so she would sit and de-tangle her hair after a shower, then more often, then she discovered she could actually tie her hair in a knot like a shoelace
so she ended up "layering" her hair in the front from it breaking off...SO THEN she had shorter hairs tickling her face, which resulted in a new habit evolving of scratching her face. So now she has two straight lines going down her forehead and down the sides of her nose. It looks rather silly, but I guess one of these days when she is older, she'll look in the mirror and think. "hmmm do I really want red lines on my face?"
Anyway, I guess the whole scenario is comical. I have realized that as I've written things down and watched these habits change and evolve.
I think my task is to learn to not be critical. My mother never let me decide how I wanted my hair or what clothes/shoes I wanted to wear. I have decided to let go of those things as much as possible and let her make those choices for herself, which does matter to her. I think I must also let go in this area to unless she decides she likes to do something harmful...in which case I would run for therapy!
It's interesting....and I ramble.....My mother is very image conscious. She is a performer and her appearance matters for the stage...along comes me, her daughter who doesn't like to be on stage, hates to get manicures and am happy just putting up my hair in a ponytail. Then along comes MY daughter who would prefer to just be naked nature girl and gives no thought to appearances....anyway. I feel much better about the situation and have a much better perspective. Thanks!!