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need help getting my 6 year old son to stop bitting his nails
Brandi3184 posted:
My 6 year of son started bitting his nails when he started school last year. His nail bitting has gotten bad. He has ADHD and is on medicine. The kids he makes friends with are mean and make fun of him. He's very shy. He tells me no one plays with him and all they do is pick on him. I keep telling him he's very smart and has nothing wrong with him. That the kids are mean and has something go on in their life that makes them want to make fun of others. Please help me out. If he doesn't stop his fingers will get infected. Thanks
Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
Oh Brandi I"m so sorry you are going through this.

Nail Biting is a sign of stress and I'm sure it is a reaction to that. Is there a School Counselor or teacher you can speak with to address the problem with the other kids. It sounds like a bully situation!

Click below for an article about nail biting. However, I think addressing the social problems at school will be an important start.


Treatment for Nail-Biting
the311boysmom responded:
My son is a 1st grader also in ADHD meds & in the last 2 months (been on meds 5months) he started biting/pulling the skin around his thumb and first 2 fingers on both hands—this is stress. My oldest also has been a nail biter since he was in 1st grade (he's 19). back to my younger one....he also comes home with the people pick on me, mine is also shy & I've read a ton & I really believe this is alot of self esteem issues with ADHD. I frequent the school. He doesn't know it, but I look in the windows, watch from afar on recess, things like that. ALOT. But at home he tries to be a hermit.

I now have him in Soccer & baseball... we play soccer year round, but I see he's board with it(he's an excellent goalie--I'm not just saying that, he made the U8 travel team at 6 yrs old--) but he doesn't love it. SO he's playing baseball. I can see he's good, but doesn't care about it. He'll probly drop soccer come fall & move onto Hockey with his brother as an assistant coach. and I have him in a drama club....he's thriving there.

I decided (with his psychologist's guidance) to find something he's not only good at but loves & see if that helps. and honestly--the 'negative Nelly' is slowly leaving our house.

Before after a game or practice we'd say "so how was it today?"
his response "not so good" & we'd ask a million questions...the therapist thoughts were negative attention is better than no attention....we were giving positive, off his negative...we never leave a practice or game, so we saw him having a great time. No problems. I even recorded them to show him how great he is.

we also stopped responding (so much attention) to his negative comments when we were there & saw nothing negative & I WATCH...I really watch! Because he is sanative. and I have to be sure.

Am I making sense??? All that being said"026"026I also believe my son believes everyone will stare at him in ripped jeans, therefore he can't wear them, he's sure kids make fun of him for his glasses (& that probably has happened—he's had them since kindergarten—now 4 kids have them in his class), and he does say silly things sometimes & when someone calls him out on it I'm sure he thinks they're no longer his friend or they think he's stupid"026.AGAIN"026I think he REALLY THINKS THIS"026"026as a self esteem issue. So finding things he's good at & working on the things he's' not are my goal---to build up his self esteem. My kid lives his life in either BLACK or WHITE--- no GREY area. My oldest--OPPOSITE. You tell him these are the rules, this is what you can't do"026.. (black & white) he bends that so much he solely lives in the grey area. lol

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