Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pick and Chews

(This was written before Jack's tonsillectomy but I'm posting it now anyway!)

Jack has recently picked up a bad habit - literally!

My son is a nose picker.

I've noticed his fingers rammed up his nose more and more lately. As gross as that is, it's not the worst part. It's what comes after. (Sorry, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth!) Nuff said!

I've looked at a bunch of parenting sites on how to stop this bad habit. One of the main things they suggest is that it could be related to allergies. I'm not sure that Jack has allergies but he's definitely a congested little man. I'm hoping that once he gets his tonsils and adenoids out this week that his nose won't be so plugged. Unfortunately, he has been doing it enough lately that it seems to have started to become an unconscious thing. So, even if his nose clears up I'm worried that may not stop him from drilling for nose candy!

Before you suggest it, I have given Jack tissues to carry with him. The problem with that is he's kind of a wild blower. It goes everywhere. And then, he leaves Kleenex in all of his pockets. Not good if you miss one and it goes through the wash. I may have to resort to the old fashioned hanky (though that in itself kind of grosses me out too).

So, I've decided to try some of the other suggested strategies. The first is a reward system. Stickers instead of boogers. After so many pick free days he'll get a little reward. He seems interested. We'll see how that pans out.

I've also put plan two into action. We covered a few of his fingers with bandaids. The bandages make his fingers too big and scratchy to fit into his nose. However, I forgot to tell him to keep the reason for his "plasters" (as they call them here) on the down low, so he wouldn't feel embarrassed. Well, I needn't have worried. Jack doesn't do embarrassed. That morning he sat down and started reading for one of the moms before class. Before he got through the second page he felt the need to stop and tell her exactly what his new bandaids were for. Repeating several times, he demonstrated how they were on his "picky" fingers! She smiled at me and laughed, I laughed and blushed, and got out of there before Jack revealed any other family secrets.

As a parent you have to pick and choose your battles. I just hope we can win the battle of the pick and chews! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)


  1. Ooooh very nice play on words with the whole pick and chews thing, of course, I was expecting a sarcastic indictement of the Japanese critters but I digress. Great post about a super gross topic, however, I seriously challenge you to find one kid in the 5-10 age bracket who hasn't gone through this, ahem practice. Good luck, would love to know if your strategies work Jen!

  2. Hi Jen, can you send me your e-mail address? Looking like Brisbane is increasingly serious as next posting; may need to chat. You can reach me at

  3. We did a process with thumb-sucking that could be transferrable. First of all, Madelaine said she wanted to quit. We made up the following plan. For the first week, she could do it only at home and in her room. That way, if she felt she needed to, she had an appropriate place to do it. For the second week, she could do it only at night. For the last two weeks, she had to stop all together. If caught, she would be pleasantly reminded. As long as she stopped immediately and pleasantly, it didn't count against her. I kept gum handy, too, as a replacement behavior. Gum was bottomless and used less often as I thought it would be. She amassed stickers for each successful day. At the end there was a reward of a Webkinz of choice. She chose a 'Signature' Cocker Spaniel. She named it Ginny after Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter. She still sneaks her thumb at night a little, but it's a HUGE improvement. Good Luck!