Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes Life Sucks

So a few days ago I took the girls to the Dentist for their regular checkup. (Stay tuned for a hilarious post in August 2008 when Big Man is now scheduled to go for the first time - I seriously cannot imagine). K has lost a few of her baby teeth, and the adult teeth are coming in. Their dentist has been a big obsessed with the fact that K sucks her thumb. She has sucked her thumb since day 1 - actually I have a picture of her in utero sucking her thumb! Since starting Kindergarten she has WAY cut down. She pretty much only sucks at bedtime and when she is really scared or tired. But the Dentist told her she had to stop, as she was starting to hurt her permanent teeth. He then showed her this apparatus that they would recommend using if she didn't stop - it basically looked like a retainer that they would CEMENT into her mouth, and prevents her from sucking. There is no WAY that medieval torture device is going in my baby's mouth. But, for now, I didn't tell her that, I just looked at the pictures with her. She seemed OK, so I figured she was just ignoring him.

As soon as we got to the car she became HYSTERICAL. She was so scared. She said she didn't think she could go to sleep without her thumb, and what was she going to do. I felt so bad. I told her not to worry, we would work it out. But it was fascinating to me that she just decided she couldn't suck it anymore. She wasn't fighting it or anything - just worried about how she would operate without being able to suck her thumb.

When she got home from school, she was still worried. I told her Daddy and I would help her figure it out. So for bedtime last night, we put a glove on her. just a regular princess winter glove. It seemed to work. She didn't take the glove off, and she didn't suck her thumb. Any other suggestions will be appreciated - things to help her with it - not punish her or anything.

It just amazes me how grown-up she is being about this! My little girl is growing up. Good news is - i will have to go through this 2 more times - B sucks her finger and Big Man sucks his thumb.


Justice Fergie said...

wow! good for her. she must have been emotionally and developmentally ready to stop. we are battling thumbsucking right now with Giggles who is 2. hubby is panicked about it and constantly tells her to stop sucking, but I am less strict. any suggestions?

Mordermi said...

First Rule of Discipline: Do what you say. If you say you will do a thing if child's behavior does not change as required, you must be prepared to do that thing.

Second Rule of Discipline: Be Consistent. If one parent lays down a rule, the other parent needs to back up the first parent in enforcing that rule. If the two parents don't agree on the rule, discuss it outside the child's hearing (at another time, ideally). After such a conference, you can modify the rule as needed, but not in the "heat of battle".

In terms of getting a kid to stop sucking their thumb, I'm clueless outside of some bitter stuff that you can put on the thumb to help stop. I didn't stop until much, much later.

Julie said...

My girls aren't thumb suckers so I don't really have any tips. I have heard about people dipping pacifiers and such in hot sauce or bitter sauce - sounds a little harsh to me but maybe you could so something like that with her thumb?

Although it seems like the glove worked great!

dml91hokie said...

She sounds ready. Good for her!Keep up the positive encouragement. It's so much harder if she goes back to sucking her thumb or she feels she has to hide it from you. And shame on the dentist for trying to scare her! You may want to go find another one that is going to work with you. When my kids had to stop sucking their thumbs the dentist worked with me to bribe them along with a little hidden scare - his approach was kind of you know you have to stop because it is starting to hurt your permanent teeth but if you do it now your mom will let you pick out a toy. If you don't stop in 6 months we'll have to talk about other measures to take and you won't get a toy. In six months they had stopped on their own and were proud to go tell him they had stopped.