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Making It Through Your Child's Nose-Picking Phase

Nose picking; you may find it a disgusting behavior but your child doesn't. There are many children who have the bad habit of picking their nose, whether they're in public or not. Your first reaction may be to yell and tell your child how disgusting their habit is. This reaction is unwarranted and you won't get you the result you're looking for.

Why Nose Picking?

Children usually pick their nose because something in it just doesn't feel right or they're bored. If your child is an avid nose picker it might be because they have allergies. The weighty feeling of mucus inside their nose is enough to drive them crazy. Also, certain environmental factors could be contributing to your child picking their nose, such as heat or air conditioning. These factors can dry out your child's nose and also cause them to feel discomfort. You can try to kick the nose picking habit with a variety of resources.

  • Keep your child hydrated. This will help clear up dry nasal passages and allow children to breathe easier. You can also try a humidifier to clear nasal passages.
  • Teach your child the importance of using a tissue. Tell him/her that anytime they feel the urge to pick their nose instead they should blow their nose on a tissue. You can also get tissues with cool designs that might excite them and spur their interest in using a tissue.
  • Encourage germ prevention. One of the major reasons we find picking our nose so repulsive is because it transmits germs. You want to explain to your child the importance of washing their hands and possibly teach them a fun song to sing while they're washing up.
  • Keep their hands busy. Remember, nose picking can be a result of boredom. Provide your children with products that will keep their hands busy. When it's movie watching time break out the coloring books and crayons to keep their attention.
  • Don't nag. You don't want to incessantly nag your children about how they shouldn't pick their nose. This actually may result in them picking their nose more often to get a rise out of you or others.

No parent wants their child to be an enthusiastic nose picker but you should also realize it can sometimes be part of growing up and the need to satisfy their curiosity. The "nose picking phase" is something your child surely will grow out of and by following the steps above you can limit the time he/she may spend in that phase.