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It appears that my 4.5yo has some issues with anxiety. She started biting her finger nails about 4 months ago, but I didn't think too much of it.
Ya know what got me to stop biting my nails finally as an adult? Finding a hobby that required nails. i wanted to play my banjo without fingerpicks, and the nail biting didn't help. It finally gave me a REASON to want a bit of nail.
Just a thought, is there any activity you can find that interests your child where having nails would help?
You've probably already thought of this but when my son was that age he was very sensitive to stories where the children are w/o parents, a plot device that is very common in children's books. He remained like that for a long time, in fact he was turned off to the Harry Potter books and didn't read them until he was much older. Most the kids we knew weren't at all bothered by the fact that Harry's parents were killed. I think some kids think deeply about such things. Now that he is almost 15 he loves stuff that I find slightly morbid.
Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.
Thanks for all the thoughts! We read a huge variety of stories, so I will keep an eye out for her reaction to orphaned characters. She heard me tapping my nails on the counter yesterday and decided she'd like to be able to do that. I told her we could even paint her nails if they're long enough. So we'll see whether providing motivation to get them long will help. I've offered the nail polish before to no avail. She's backed off of the morbid talk lately and is sleeping okay at night, so I guess I'll just keep an eye on her.