nail biting

Nail biting (onychophagia {on-i-ko-FAY-juh, -jee-uh}) is another of the pretty harmless common tension relieving habits that humans adopt and other humans object to. See masturbation, thumb sucking. Theoretically, nail biting can cause problems if the nail biter inhales fragments of fingernail, but in reality it is not a medical issue. It is a social issue. A few things are certain:

  • Nagging doesn't help - it usually makes it worse. This is a feature of the way the brain works and not stubborness on the part of the child.
  • Bitter substances painted on the nails don't work either.
  • It's a stressful world. Maybe the onset of nailbiting is your child's way of telling you that and perhaps you ought to listen harder. What brought this on?

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