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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noah has sucked his thumb since he was about 2 months old. He does it when he's uncomfortable, scared or bored. He sucks his thumb and rubs his hair, or my hair, or the hair on a make-up brush, whatever hair he can find. I don't see this as a problem. I think it's great that he's found ways to self-soothe and if sucking his thumb makes him better able to deal with a situation, I have no problem with it at all. Both my husband and I sucked our thumbs until kindergarten, no braces for either of us and it was something we just kind of grew out of. Apparently, everyone *else* seems to think my 2 year old sucking his thumb is a problem. This lady in target the other day started talking to him, and he's kind of shy, so he popped his thumb in his mouth and started rubbing his hair. She proceeded to pretend to put her thumb in her mouth, act goofy and pull his thumb out of his mouth. He thought it was funny, but that's because he didnt' know she was making fun of him. She then started to tell me (I was trying to ignore her hoping she would go away as I didn't want to get combative) that I needed to make fun of him when he sucked his thumb, called "mirroring", to make him see how ridiculous he looked sucking his thumb so he would stop. Is thumb sucking really that bad of a habit? I'm totally not phased by it and would have no problem if he did it clear into kindergarten, but would it be something ya'll would want to "correct"?
 

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If it comforts him and isn't damaging his teeth, I say let him be.<br><br>
I sucked my thumb until I was 12; my father, in his infinite wisdom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: decided to publicly humiliate me into stopping, by 'gifting' me with a pacifier for my 12th birthday and saying that if I wanted to be a baby and suck my thumb, I could be a baby and suck a pacifier.<br><br>
Of course, in my case, I didn't start sucking my thumb until I was 3 and my father gained full physical custody of my brother and me - the thumb sucking was obviously (to everyone BUT my father) an indication of underlying emotional problems that would have been better resolved with therapy than humiliation.<br><br>
If you do ultimately decide to discourage your DS from sucking his thumb, please be gentler about it than my father was. I still harbor a lot of resentment. (Bet you couldn't tell, could you? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> )
 

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Arg! Why do people think they should give unsolicited advice?<br><br>
My DD is a hair petter. I love it. She's so cuddly when she's hair petting. My DP is the same way to this day....he loves playing with hair.<br><br>
JJ- Your mom seems so much better than your dad.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fireant</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8964851"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">JJ- Your mom seems so much better than your dad.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> In a lot of ways, she is...but they both have their really good points and they both have their bad points. My mom is just more emotionally connected to the world around her, and my dad is kind've emotionally stunted.
 

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oh yeah, its totally a good idea for you to try to embarrass or shame or humiliate your child as a method for stopping him from doing something he finds to be emotionally comforting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
honestly, I think there was a very important lesson for you in this encounter:<br>
dont listen to "helpful" people in Target<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
In that situation, I'd look at the woman and say, "gee, you look so silly trying to stop a kid from doing something that makes him comfortable. and dont you think you're too old for thumb-sucking? I know a good therapist if you want a referral"
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>majikfaerie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8965045"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In that situation, I'd look at the woman and say, "gee, you look so silly trying to stop a kid from doing something that makes him comfortable. and dont you think you're too old for thumb-sucking? I know a good therapist if you want a referral"</div>
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oh snap! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I probably would have said something like "well, it's easier to push the cart while he is sucking his thumb as opposed to breastfeeding. But if it you would push my cart for me it would be easier for me to whip out my breast. I'm sure he would accept that as a substitute for his thumb...?"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mommy2abigail</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8965072"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I probably would have said something like "well, it's easier to push the cart while he is sucking his thumb as opposed to breastfeeding. But if it you would push my cart for me it would be easier for me to whip out my breast. I'm sure he would accept that as a substitute for his thumb...?"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: I'd love to see the look on her face when you say "I'll whip out my breast"
 

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So annoying. I certainly don't see thumb sucking at age 2 as a problem. I sucked my finger until I was about 8! And I didn't need braces either.
 

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No matter who you are or where you go there is always going to be that busy body who is intrusive into your life and child rearing. Smile at them and calmly walk away and continue with your life.
 

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Humiliation-What terrific parenting advice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I think her interpretation of "mirroring" is off.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lucyem</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8965329"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No matter who you are or where you go there is always going to be that busy body who is intrusive into your life and child rearing. Smile at them and calmly walk away and continue with your life.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br>
You know better than anyone what's best for your little one. Both of my daughters sucked their thumbs. In the case of my oldest, her doctor put her thumb into her mouth when she was very small. It didn't hurt either of them. You just have to ignore people who think they know better than you, what's good for your baby.
 

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My sister sucked her thumb until elementary school. Neither my brother nor I did, all three of us had braces. My parents tried very hard to break my sister's habit, using all types of stupid ideas and none worked. IMO, nothing wrong with thumb sucking.
 

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well, that lady sounds weird first of all...and its not really her place to tell you what you need to do...<br>
but i sucked my thumb till i was 5 and i messed my bite up BIG TIME...so i wouldn't encourage it, but i don't think you need to necessarily stop it. i was kinda weird<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">, but i think often kids stop thumb sucking on their own, so why traumatize him and force him to stop, when he will most likely do it by himself.<br>
again, what a weird lady.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wasn't actually going to follow her advice, I mean, shaming and humiliation really go against our parenting philosophies. But she did get me thinking maybe it might be something that we might need to discourage other ways. Glad to know my mama instinct was right on. Thanks for the replies.
 

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I am 28 years old and I STILL suck my thumb. I have never had to have any dental work done with the exception of a cavity or two. Let him suck away!
 

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Better a thumb than a pacifier! Sorry, I hope that doesn't offend anyone.<br><br>
If some lady came up to in Target or anywhere else trying to tell me how to raise my children, there is a very good chance I'd end up being kicked out!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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My daughter (now 3) sucks her thumb. Always has...I've received alot of advice...<br><br>
some even suggested putting tabasco sauce on her thumb!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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I thumb sucked until first grade. My parents tried everything to make me stop, hot pepper juice on my thumb included.<br><br>
I sucked through it all and stopped on my own in first grade. I decided I was old enough to stop.<br><br>
It does say a lot for my parents though that eleven years later, when my brother sucked his finger, they didn't try to stop him.<br><br>
Having been through it myself, I would never interfere with a thumb sucking child of mine.<br><br>
I was reading a book recently that said to put a rubber band around your arm and every time you get the urge to interfere with your child's thumbsucking you should snap the rubber band on YOUR arm hard. Cracked me up. Good advice though.
 
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