Habit is basically a routine behavior that tends to occur subconsciously. This can also go unnoticed by the person exhibiting it as he might be too used to it. It’s primarily because the person does not do self-analysis when engaging in a routine work. It is only when others point out to him that the person grows conscious of the behavior and may or may not choose to change it. New habits are also formed in the same way through doing the same thing repeatedly. However, old habits can be very difficult to break as they get printed in the neural pathways but forming new ones is not that difficult.

Some of the common habits that children have are:

  • Sucking a finger or thumb
  • Chewing a pencil or clothes
  • Biting nails
  • Picking nose
  • Grinding teeth

Why do children pick up these habits? The top reasons for this are:

It is comforting

They might be comfortable doing the work like sucking a thumb and this sense of enjoyment makes them stick to the habit. When toddlers grow up and leave the babe stage, sucking the thumb makes them reduce the stress and anxiety.

They are bored

Kids keep them engaged in this way when they feel bored. To fill the gaps in their activity, they start chewing nails or sucking a thumb.

Very unusual habits like rocking or rolling the head disappear after they are 18 months old.

Whenever you see you kid having a particular habit, first check if you to do this or not. More often than not, kids pick habits from parents as they are their role model. These habits in kids go away as they grow up but you might still want to keep a watchful eye on it. If the habits become embarrassing or too frequent or even unhygienic you might need to correct them.

You can remove the bad habits below ways:

Gentle Reminder

Every time you see that collar in your kid’s mouth, simply remind him that it is a bad habit and looks awful. Keep repeating this in a gentle way and soon the habit will go away.

Keep them engaged

If you feel that the kid is following a habit just because he is idle and getting bored, engage him in some interesting activity like playing, drawing or any such type of work. Toys with movable parts keep them engaged for long and you could also participate in it.

Look for alternatives

Kids sometimes express themselves through the habits instead of speaking up. Ask them to communicate instead of chewing on the collar if they are hungry.

Habits are a strong factor in kids with disability and more pronounced than a normally developing kid. You might need the help of a specialist in some cases. Focus on good habits will go a long way in shaping the personality of kids and needs to be taken seriously.

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