How To Deal With The Children Behavior Problems

Nail biting and finger picking

There is a very simple reason why children bite and pick their nails, they enjoy it. When parents see the raw sores they wonder about pleasure, but humans do many things we don’t understand. Grown-ups light their first morning cigarette, convulse with coughing and say, ‘Gosh, which was good.’ Though I can’t understand this, it must give pleasure or they wouldn’t do it.

Nail biting is probably an extension of the preschooler’s thumb sucking or twiddling the tag on a security blanket. It is unusual under the age I five years. It occurs in about one in three eight-year-olds, one in two fifteen-year-olds and one in four at the age of twenty.

Children Behavior

Biting is worse when tense, bored or watching television. There are many recommended remedies, though none are very successful. Whatever happens, don’t nag, nitpick and create a battle. The best results come with gentle reminders and noting the good.

Find the peak times for biting and picking. Keep your child better occupied during these times. Let them hold a little toy, a smooth comfort stone or a stress ball.

  • When tempted to bite, they could try clenching both hands super tight for fifteen seconds, then relax and move on.
  • Give a simple sign or gentle touch to alert them to biting.
  • Compare their nails against other unbitten nails.
  • Let them bite their fingers while in front of the mirror. This is not a pretty sight.
  • When enough nail appears, manicure and make this special.
  • With girls, use nail polish to draw attention to intact nails.
  • With the older child encourage them to preserve one nail, and then build on this quota.
  • Use skin softeners and encourage hand care.
  • Prepare a star chart to focus on each two hours without a pick or bite.

Consider your chemist’s best anti-bite nail paint. This may tip the balance but only when there is motivation.


All children have dreams, but not all of these have happy endings. A nightmare is an unsettling dream that leaves a child upset and semi-awake. They respond to our comfort, drift back to sleep and are aware of what happened the next day. Children have their most disturbed dreams when sick and almost hallucinating with fever.

Dreams were once seen as the window to our inner emotional state, but nowadays dreams are seen as nothing more than a normal part of sleep. Though daytime stress, heavy television and scary stories will upset children, there is uncertainty that these cause a child’s nightmares.

What we do know is that children sleep best when we put them to bed calm and relaxed.

There is no place for stress, arguments and heavy exercise before their head hits the pillow.

Distressed children need cuddles and comfort, but there is one trap for parents. Young children may pretend they are frightened just to attract an audience. Bad dreams occur occasionally, while regular call outs are probably an attention-seeking hoax.

  • Come to the child, hold, stroke, comfort, soothe.
  • Emphasize that this was a dream and the bad people won’t come back.
  • Turn over the pillow. The cool side has special properties that prevent bad dreams!
  • Place a dim light in the room.
  • When ghosts and monsters cause fear, explain they have gone; even do a joint search behind the curtains and under the bed. One boy said he couldn’t sleep as his bed was full of insects. His mother got the dust buster and after a whirr of vacuuming he was assured they were all gone.
  • Creative parents use ghost repellent spray. This is a simple water spray with glitter particles in the bottom. Spray around doors and windows for guaranteed security.
  • Talk about dreams by day to emphasize what is real and what is pretend.
  • When they are distressed with fever give them paracetamol.
  • Allow frightened children to come to your bed.
  • Beware the child who repeatedly cries wolf, using fear as a way to attract attention. When attention seeking is the aim, gradually lengthen the response time until the reward is not worth the effort.

Night terrors

Night terrors are different from nightmares. They are not a dream, just an uncomfortable move through the deepest part of sleep. The child cries, apparently frightened, yet totally switched off, open-eyed and aware. Nothing seems to soothe; all we can do is to stay close, talk gently and wait until they settle. In the morning they have no recollection any disturbance.

Night terrors are more common in the preschool and younger school ages. They occur in the early part of the night and, if regular, can be avoided by waking the child half an hour before the usual time of terror.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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