Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

April 18, 2024

End Nail Biting Now!

Do you have a nail biter at your house?  Some kids are unaware that they bite their nails, while others know exactly what they are doing but can’t stop. Some bite out of boredom, others because they are anxious about something. Make a conscious effort to help your child stop biting his nails by:

Tip#1: Keep his hands busy all time

Simply telling your child not to bite his nails won’t be enough, but you can encourage him to stop by giving him something to do instead.  Whether it’s because he’s bored, or anxious, tell him to hold something in his hands that he can squeeze or manipulate instead, like a squishy stress ball.  Keeping his hands busy will help keep the nails out of his mouth.

Tip#2: Flavor his nails with something yucky

This might not be the nicest tactic, but rubbing the nails with something bitter can turn your child off from biting.

Tip#3: Keep his nails short

This takes time on YOUR part and keeping up with, too.  One of the best ways to keep your child from biting his nails is for YOU to trim them for him frequently.  Most kids dislike this enough that if you keep after them, eventually they’ll stop biting their nails just so you won’t be coming after them with the nail clippers anymore!


If you REALLY want your child to stop biting his nails, he CAN, but you have to keep after him and wear him down on the activity!

About the Author

Susan Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.