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Question
Posted by: Anon Mom | 2011/09/12

6 year-old chewing holes in sleeves

Dear CS

My son is just about 6 years old, and the past year he has started chewing holes in his clothing, mostly the sleeves, and also along the neckline. We are worried that it might be a sign that he is anxious? He is also becoming quite aggressive and has terrible anger bursts. He also sleeps with his arms folded. We are seeing a therapist for marriage problems, so all is not 100% at home, but I also worry that something might be up at school. One of his friends mom''s has complained that he is overly competitive and is one-upping her son all the time (her son is quite timid and very uncompetitive though). Our son is the eldest of 3 brothers. Is this something we need to have checked out?

many thanks!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well, I suppose the sites of the chewed holes relate to where he can reach, so holes in the middle of the back are unlikely....
Doing so might suggest he is anxious about something, or bored. Have you asked your marriage therapist about this ( he/she should know enough about the family set-up to be able to contribute especially usefully on this ) - and maybe there should be some sessions with the boy participating, too ?
Its interesting that he's the eldest of 3 brothers, and apparently the others are fine. As this seems to be a elatively recent problem, what else has changed in his life, lately ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nia | 2011/09/12

My brother used to chew his shirts when he was about 4 - 6 years old. He outgrew it a year or two later. It was merely a habit and he is fine today. But maybe have him see a child psych just to make sure?

Reply to Nia
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/09/12

Well, I suppose the sites of the chewed holes relate to where he can reach, so holes in the middle of the back are unlikely....
Doing so might suggest he is anxious about something, or bored. Have you asked your marriage therapist about this ( he/she should know enough about the family set-up to be able to contribute especially usefully on this ) - and maybe there should be some sessions with the boy participating, too ?
Its interesting that he's the eldest of 3 brothers, and apparently the others are fine. As this seems to be a elatively recent problem, what else has changed in his life, lately ?

Reply to cybershrink

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