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Question
Posted by: LS | 2004/02/16

DUIM SUIG

Ek het 'n 11 jarige seun, wat volgende maand 12 word en hy suig nog duim. Hy suig nie voor maats of vreemdes nie en ook nie in skool. Hy sê ook dat hy wil ophou maar nie kan nie, want in sy slaap suig hy. Dit raak nou 'n baie groot probleem vir hom en ek kan sien dit pla baie. Ek sê aan hom dat hy net vir homself moet sê ek gaan nie meer duim suig nie, maar hy sê hy kan nie, hy raak lus vir duim suig. Hy sal byvoorbeeld skelmpies om die hoek gaan staan en suig. Wat kan ek doen om hom te help. Hy moet nou op 'n kamp gaan en is baie bang dat hy in sy slaap sal suig en die kinders hom sal sien. Gee asb raad as u kan. Dankie

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear LS,
Let's see what our other readers can suggest ( there must be some former thumb-suckers out there !).
And if you check the Archives of our forum, we've discussed this several times before, even in recent months.
A psychologist can help to plan a routine that would greatly help him to give up thumb sucking. Also, he can try dipping his thumb in something that tastes awful ( I beleieve there's something being sold specially for that ) ; or wear gloves for a time ( he can explain it as to help prevent a skin rash ). He needs to recognize that he CAN and does indeed control this bad habit, because he already does so while in school, with friends, etc. So the point is that he is capable of doing so, he just needs to enlarge the control he already has.
Also, it's worth recognizing that thumb-sucking as a habit arises as a way of calming oneself and feeling relaxed and secure. A psychologist can help him to find other ways, in his own thoughts, to achieve that same effect, without needing to use his thumb.

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