Certain bad habits are not responsible for bad manners but also leads to bad health. Kids get caught in many bad habits during their early childhood resulting from many underlying factors - boredom, anxiety, attention, etc.
Have a look at the 10 bad habits that can hurt your kid’s health.
1. Sucking Thumb
Kids around the age of 1 to 3 suck their thumb to calm or comfort themselves. Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children. It makes them feel secure, happy and helps them to soothe themselves. But when this habit continues beyond the age of 4, the thumb sucking habit can cause several infections and dental problems in children.
2. Nail Biting
Nail-biting is one of the everyday bad habits in both children and adults. According to the US-based Nemours Foundation, an estimated 30-60% of children and teens bite their nails. The actual reason or cause behind nail-biting is still unknown, it can lead to several infections.
3. Lip Biting/ Sucking
If you see your child’s lower lip dry or chapped in every season, it can be due to lip sucking habits. It is caused due to dry lips, or even anxiety. Persistent lip sucking or biting may result in red, swollen, irritated lips and skin around the mouth. It causes pain and discomfort while eating or chewing food.
To prevent lip sucking, you may apply lip balm regularly on your child’s lips to prevent dryness and chapped lips. Additionally, encourage them to drink more water to prevent dry lips.
4. Nose Picking
One of the common habits in children is nose picking. They develop the habit of nose picking due to mucus build up in their nose, or simply due to boredom.
This habit in children can lead to several infections as germs get easily introduced into the nose.
Tell your child gently that nose picking does not look good in public, hence, they may use tissue. Moreover, ask them to wash their hands after each time they do this activity.
5. Teeth Grinding
According to the Nemours Foundation, two to three children out of ten have the habit of grinding their teeth when they are in deep sleep or under stress. Medically, this habit is called Bruxism. While most of the children outgrow this bad habit, some children continue to their adolescence.
To stop this habit in your child, let your child feel relaxed at the time of sleep. If it is due to stress, talk to your child about the reason for being stressed and help them find a way out.
6. Excessive Screen Time
Children are no more away from the usage of smartphones. Surprisingly, they know lots more feature of any smartphone than their parents. Additionally, smartphones and other technological gadgets have become a way to calm down fussy children, feeding techniques, or keeping them busy.
An excessive amount of screen time disrupts the overall mental growth of children. It distrupts their learning skills including speech. Therefore, to prevent the habit of excessive screen time, ensure your children use smart phones only for educational purposes.
7. Touching Private Parts
Trying to explore body parts, including private parts by touching, rubbing, etc. is common in young children, especially in children aged two to six years. All these acts are just for curiosity and are harmless in most cases.
To prevent children from doing this habit, teach your kids about the good touch and bad touch. For younger children, make sure you dress them appropriately to avoid contact with their private parts.
8. Frequent Lying
According to the Child Mind Institute, children lie for various reasons - it can be for fun, to gain someone’s approval on a certain thing, or for attention gain. Hence, if your child lies to gain attention, simply ignore his/her words. Once you ignore this act of your child, he will understand that this is not correct behaviour.
Alternatively, if your child lies out of fear, make him feel relaxed and out of fear. He will utter the truth.
9. Using Bad Words
Using bad words is a habit that children typically picks up with the external environment. zIt is natural for them to pick these bad words easily as and when they meet new people.
To prevent your child of using bad words, try to ignore them for the first time. If this happens again, stay calm, talk to them, and make them understand that using bad words is not good hence it is not allowed.
10. Bad Table Manners
Bad table manners, such as, stabbing food, chewing food with wide mouth open, speaking with food in the mouth, etc. are something that children display at some point. If you see that your child is indulging in the same just because it seems to be funny, try to control them before it becomes worse.
We hope these tips help you correct your child’s bad habits. Remember that these habits are natural in children, and they usually outgrow most of them. All you need to do is ensure you learn the underlying causes and try to avoid these bad habits in children as much as possible.
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