Why does the child bite his nails all the time and what to do about it: the reasons, means and advice of a psychologist


  • 1. Some statistics
  • 2. The reasons for the habit
    • 2.1. Physiological
    • 2.2. Psychological
  • 3. So what could be wrong: a summary of the reasons
  • 4. How to help your child: folk methods
  • 5. Recommendations psychologist
  • 6. Additional recommendations when other tips do not work

desire to bite his nails most parentsConsiders it a terrible habit, but doctors are of a different opinion. Especially for these purposes, the term "onychophagia" was developed, that is an irresistible urge to gnaw their nails for no apparent reason. By the way, adults also suffer from such an affliction, so that the disease can not be called exclusively childish. A similar problem is dermatophagia, when the baby wants to gnaw the cuticle or pluck it.

Some statistics

Doctors even conducted a large-scale study, and were able to find out: more than one-third of children aged 6 to 9 years of constantly biting their nails. Boys are prone to addi

ction more often than girls. It is curious that with age the number of children increases, in the group from 10 to 17 gnaw nails already 50% of children. This behavior is caused by difficulties in school, changes, moving, problems in the family, quarrels with friends, parents.

The baby gnaws at the nails The habit of gnawing nails is not only in children, but also in adults. Parents do not need to panic - the problem amenable to correction

Leave addiction should not be overlooked, nor should count on the fact that with age, it will pass. Shouts, reproaches and abuse only worsen the relationship with your child, you need to look for good reasons, work on the psychology and behavior of the child. The reasons for


reasons Onychophagia usually hard to find - the answer to the question why a child bites his nails, not on the surface, it is necessary to detect in the analysis of physiological, emotional spheres of life baby. Most often, there are several starting points, since problems accumulate gradually, leading to serious consequences.


  • The cuticle is not properly maintained, the child himself wants to eliminate the deficiencies.
  • The kid gets physical pleasure, in such an unusual way tries to replace eating sweet.
  • He suffers from heart and vascular disease. Can be: arrhythmia, tachycardia, congenital malformation, the child always gnaws the nails, the causes are hidden from the eyes.
  • The body lacks vitamins and useful elements, in particular - E, B, magnesium. A bad habit is accompanied by psychosis, anxiety, high fatigue.
Vitamins for the baby Children's body should receive many vitamins with food, during the cold season it is possible to connect special nutritional supplements developed for children


  • Heavy adaptation and social problems. If your child went to the garden in 3 years, there may be difficulties in the new team, as well as experiences due to a short-term separation from the parents. At 7 years old the kid goes to school, where he also has to get used to the new situation. A child gnaws nails inadvertently, but because of constant stress.
  • Breaking a baby too early, you also run the risk of encountering an unpleasant habit. This way the nipple will be replaced.
  • Complex relationships in the family provoke the desire to chew on the nails. Parents' quarrels, conflicts over other occasions, non-receipt of love from one of the parents - all this affects negatively the nature and habits. Perhaps a hostile attitude, the child simply gnaws at the nails to calm down a little.
  • If the environment affects - it can be peers in kindergarten and school, the example at this age is contagious.
  • The habit can be a manifestation of perfectionism, when the kid strives to achieve perfect harmony in everything, tries subconsciously to eliminate flaws.
  • If earlier he had another addiction, a child can nail his nails, trying to get rid of it.
  • The increased load also affects the psyche. Children get tired at school when they visit additional circles and sections - it's impossible to remove fatigue, you have to save it in yourself, which subsequently leads to nerves and babies gnaw their nails.
  • Lack of sleep also affects negatively - this is another reason for stress. When the regime of the day is broken, anxiety appears, the baby is nervous, starts to gnaw on the fingernails.
  • Influences long-term viewing of movies and videos, games on the computer. So, you can sit at the computer for up to 2 hours a day, and games in general should be about 0.5 hours, otherwise loud music and frequent shots will lead to irritation of the child's psyche. Select the right movies, too, should parents.
DETAILS: how to wean the child from the computer?
Problems at school If a child has recently gone to school or is experiencing certain problems, his nervous system will relieve tension in the form of bodily reactions, one of which is nail choking

So what could be the case: a summary of the causes of

The main reason that a baby gnaws nails, Becomes stress and moral overstrain. Bites activate pain centers in the brain, which drown out other experiences and problems. The kid is distracted from the experience, concentrating on the other. According to pediatrician Evgeny Komarovsky, the habit should not be left without attention - parents, caring for the child, are obliged to eliminate it, otherwise in the adult state it will be much more difficult. You can not shout at the kid, the main thing is to understand why this is happening.

A good conversation with the child is very helpful - it will be better if the parent in this case can act as a friend, not as a tutor. Try to solve the problems of the child with him.

How to help a child: folk methods

In search of an answer to the question how to wean a child to gnaw nails, tips that are successfully used by other parents will help:

  • Buy a special nail varnish on your hands from bites, it has a bitter aftertaste, it is easily applied to nails. The varnish helps you quickly forget about the habit without consequences. We must not forget that the kid must understand - it's not bitter for him at all because of the varnish, but because of the wrong behavior.
  • Relieve tension and teach your child to do it themselves with breathing exercises or proper breathing. It is good to disaccustom the clamping and unclenching of the jaws, 4-8 minutes of exercise lead to a significant decrease in nervousness.
  • Try to do your daughter's manicure. No girl of 5 years will not bite her beautiful marigolds on her hands. Teach her to look after them, buy a special manicure set, admire the well-groomed hands, do yourself a manicure.

Recommendations of the psychologist

When you do not know what to do, if the child gnaws the nails, ask for help from a psychologist:

  • Communicate more often with the child, trying to determine the reasons for the behavior. Ask to draw different colors of the sphere of life, the choice of dark tones - a sign that in this area is not all right, you need to carefully work on the problem.
  • Increase the amount of time spent with the baby, this will allow you to feel the caress and care. Listen to stories about the school, friends, new hobbies, hug, caress, do a light hand massage before bed. Protect the child from negativity: quarrels, companies of smokers and drinkers. Life should be filled with only positive emotions.
  • Take care that in the presence of the baby in the house no one gnaws nails, such a remedy will save from a contagious example.
  • Aim the hostility in another direction - for example, in the gaming sphere. Write the child in a sports club, where you can throw out your emotions, without harming yourself.
  • For girls, drawing or handicrafts are suitable. Your baby will like mosaic, applique, coloring. The creative channel is one of the best ways to relieve emotions for good. For children from 11 months and older help toys: balls, stones, transformers - everything that produces fine motor skills.
Girl drawing Creativity has a huge healing and corrective power - if a child finds a "niche" where he can apply fantasy and talents, a bad habit will quickly leave

Additional recommendations when other tips do not work

  • Revise the daily routine. Why does a nasty habit of gnawing occur? The child just does not walk very much in the open air, plays a little, the dense regime affects negatively. A day should be at least a couple of hours for sleep, to improve mood and normalize psychological balance. The abundance of sections can also affect negatively, the kid does not cope, it is necessary to remove something.
  • Teach the child to be independent, even a short separation from the mother should not knock him out of the rut. Let him learn to make his own decisions, do not be bored without you, because there are plenty of decent hobbies around. To the process was not painful, even during the holidays, take the baby to the grandmother or to the kindergarten for an hour or two, constantly increasing the period. Over time, the child will get used to, and you can look back and do your work without looking back.
  • Visit a psychologist or neurologist - these experts will help to find out why the baby bites the skin, fingernails or legs. In serious disorders, home methods are simply ineffective, they require sedatives, teas, and vitamin remedies. If suspected of physiological abnormalities, a helminth examination, a cardiogram, and other tests will be assigned.
Very rarely the cause of bad habits are disorders in the functioning of the baby's body. In most cases, it is necessary to consider the psychological and social spheres.

Onychophagy is not just a bad habit when a child gnaws nails, but calls to pay attention to physiological and psychological problems. To dismiss it in this case it is impossible, as well as to wait, that the problem will leave with the age. The launched form will become an obstacle to family happiness, communication with friends and full-time work. Do not spoil the life of your baby, refusing to do people's or professional treatment.


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