Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thumbs Up or Down??

This week Daesha had her habit reminder put in. It's complete torture for a child who sucks her thumb constantly. Not just at night but all day long. I know personally the difficulty of trying to stop sucking, only I didn't suck my thumb I sucked my two middle fingers until I was 10 years old. Daesha has always sucked her thumb since she was a baby. But with lots of help from me she stopped when she was 4. Then we moved here and the little girl across the street who is the same age as Daesha sucks her thumb. Slowly Daesha picked up the habit again.
Thumb sucking is pretty controversial. I think It's true that it is a comfort habit. In my experience and others who went through the same thing it has nothing to do with self esteem or emotions. In fact some studies show that thumb suckers are more independent and aren't looking for the attention of others. Due to the fact that they are able to relax and comfort themselves instead of relying on others. I can testify, too, that the people I've known who were thumb-suckers are among the most emotionally solid, emotionally mature, children/people there could be. On the flip side some say that emotional instability can increase thumb sucking. Those who know what our last 2 years have been like may wonder if this has contributed to the habit. I've wondered. Either way in Daesha's case it's been going on for a year and I finally decided that it was time to get serious about getting her to stop. Not because I felt she had to for acceptance of her peers but because I have a career in the dental field. I know the permanent damage thumb sucking brings. Even braces can't correct severe cases. So before this is even an issue I have taken it upon myself to get her to stop. It hasn't been easy for either one of us. Poor girl had a horrible first night and then the next day she had a hard time eating because the food would get lodged on the roof of her mouth and gag her. She has had it in for 3 days and yet I find myself wondering if this is worth all the crying and whining.

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