Habit reversal training is a way to help children deal with unhealthy habits. It is based on the theory that children are often not aware of habits they have to relieve urges or feelings. For example, they may have a habit of pulling their hair when they feel stressed. Training helps your child be aware of what she is doing and to do something different.
This method can be used to help with habits like hair pulling, nail biting, or thumbsucking.
Help your child be aware of the habit.
Practice a competing response.
Because many habits are more common when your child is tense or under stress, it’s helpful for your child to learn relaxation skills. Relaxation skills include:
Help your child find other ways to relax. For example, your child might be able to relax by taking up a hobby, listening to music, watching movies, or taking walks.