Thumb Sucking in Children

If thumb sucking returns to normal after a certain age, it may cause it to become a habit. Habits are behaviors that begin in the womb. Babies sucking milk and sucking their thumbs and toes are the strongest natural reflexes they have. Sometimes, it may be related to the fact that the sucking instinct is not sufficiently satisfied as a result of early weaning, using a bottle or false breast. Sucking provides a pleasurable action and psychological satisfaction for the baby. Therefore, it is not seen as a harmful behavior. It is seen as a normal behavior until the age of three. Families often see it as a sign of hunger, but it is not related to hunger.

Psychological Causes of Thumb Sucking

If children continue to suck their thumb after age 4, they may have trouble controlling their emotions. Children who are not approved by their parents, feel indifferent, feel unloved, feel lonely, feel insecure, embarrassment, sibling jealousy, communication disorders with parents and witness arguments may also exhibit regressive behaviors. This can cause children to want to stay in the oral period.

If the thumb sucking behavior does not stop after the age of 4, psychological reasons should be considered. It is very important for the family to be calm and patient. He should know that the change will not happen all at once, but gradually and gradually. In this case, the first thing the family should do: give affection, be understanding, not be oppressive, talk to the child and look for the underlying causes of the behavior. Small rewards (stickers) and mouth-watering snacks can be given for this. Alternative activities can be created or verbal cues can be given to keep the finger busy (finger sucking-don’t-thumb).

What should the family do?

The family should never scold or criticize the child, and refrain from hitting his hand, rubbing something painful on his finger, and trying to tie his hand.

Things to note: no tape or cloth should be attached to the finger. It may cause the child to swallow while trying to suck his finger.

The Harms of Thumb Sucking
When we look at the harms of thumb sucking, it can cause problems in the teeth and jaw skeleton and deformations and speech disorders (stuttering) in the finger over time.

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