Sucking on her Arm?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allhaileris, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Is sucking on one own's arm a sensory seeking thing or something else? I've seen Eris sucking on her knuckle a bit lately, and last night she was sucking on her arm, I had to check her for hickies because I didn't know how hard she was sucking (no hickies, so not too hard). I know she was stressed because we were doing homework.

    She is way behind in homework, and I pulled out three sheets for her to do that I figured she could do. The first was adding and subtracting and a dot to dot of a chinese dragon around the math. She got two problems done and was frustrated. Once she slapped herself in the face I stopped, played a game of dominos to distract her (and work on numbers while playing), and was able to do the two other sheets that had time and theories of 10s, she got both done without issue except she sucked on her arm most of the time. She switched arms at times. I didn't want to make a big deal of it because I wanted her homework done.

    She never sucked her thumb as a baby, used a pacifier for only a short time until like 9 mo, did breast feed until 10 months and used a bottle way too long, until age 3. Her two top front teeth are coming in right now, and one is really crooked because she has an extra tooth on that side. (She's getting braces as soon as they'll let me put them on her.)

    Do I ignore it and let her "stimulant"? Do I give her something else to chew on? I think it's gross to **** on one's arm and want to redirect her but don't know how.
  2. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Hey moderators - why is S*u*c*k starred out but sucking isn't? In what language is s*uck a bad word?
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It could be sensory but it may also be from teething. Her primary teeth are probably starting to come out and her adult teeth are starting to emerge. I'd try to find something acceptable she can **** or chew on.
  4. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    my sister sucked on her arm growing up and she turned out just fine. I will ask her about it and get back to you as she has the inside story of arm sucking.
    I imagin if this first started with the front teeth teething thing that they are related.
    It is probably soothing in some way. If you or she can think of other means to soothe the teething discomfort all the better, but personally I would not add to her stress by making her wrong for coping with the teeth this way.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My now 19dd svcked on her arm and knuckles a bit till about age 9/10. They said it was related to her tourette syndrome, but many brain disorders do have some cross over symptoms.

    Anyway, I pretty much would try and distract her with simple things rather than finding obvious replacements for the svcking. For instance if it was during homework, I might call a snack break. Many times her svcking brought along with it some fidgeting, so if that was the case I might do some jumping jacks with her - just to kind of burn off that energy so she can re-focus.

    Other than giving her a 3-5 minute break from whatever she is doing, usually HW it sounds like, ignoring is a good idea. I always found that the more I tried to get my daughter to stop doing something, the more she was drawn to it. And really, what's the big harm in svcking her arm/knuckle?

    I'm sure others will be along soon with their own stories or advice.
  6. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Mine s*ucked his thumbs until he was 10. His Dr. said that some kids need the oral stimulation and that it was comforting for him. He also said if the teasing at school did not get him to stop there was nothing I could do and not to make it into another battle.
  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    D never su*cked on his body parts, but clothing - and alot. Typically anxiety. If you were working on homework with her, she's behind, and probably anxious, that could have something to do with it.

    Yeah, try giving her something else to put in her mouth and see how that does. I dunno what you could use - maybe gum? I'm sure if you do a search online, they have tons of stuff!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One of my kids did this and even sniffed it after he sucked on it. I thought that was really odd. psychiatrist said "sensory." He would do it when he was tense. Yes, there were hickeys.
  9. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    my difficult child is 11 (almost 12) and still svckes her thumb. She also chews gum ALOT. At least now we're not finding the chewed gum on the floor.....We've tried to get her to stop but nothing works. She still does it in school too. The teachers don't complain any longer (but one did LOUDLY saying it was just too GERMY for the classroom :confused:) When we see her doing it, we just remind her to take it out (or just a "look").

    We won't do braces on my difficult child until she stops with- the thumb (and starts brushing teeth on a more regular basis!!). No use spending the money....
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    If it makes you feel any better, my difficult child 2 age 12 su cked his lower lip when he's tired or anxious. Been doing it since we took his pacifier away when he was 2. (He constantly reminds me that this is the reason why ;) ) And yes, it's given him a huge overbite which we are now trying to correct rather expensively with braces (ouch!)

    I vote for gum or something else to distract her if you can. Does she realize she's doing this?
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If she's not leaving hickeys, I wouldn't make a fuss. With stims, you can't eliminate them. In fact, trying to eliminate them can cause a lot of trouble. Instead, deal with the more socially unacceptable ones but ignore the ones you can tolerate.

    When difficult child 3 was chewing everything in sight (like a puppy) including the furniture and his own clothes, I bought him a teething ring. We'd tried gum (which he then left all round the house) but he would chew clothes with gum in his mouth which made an even worse mess.

    I'd be a bit worried she could get a bit too enthusiastic and leave bruises eventually.

  12. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Thanks all. I'm going to let the issue lie unless I see her leaving hickeys or she starts doing it more often. Last night she didn't do it at all, and I'm hoping a lot of it *does* have to do with her teething.

    She can't have food dye, meaning she can't have most gum. I'll have to find some she can have because I know she'd love it. I don't keep gum in the house because she chews it all, so I'll have to hide it and give her a piece at a time when she needs it.
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    My son used to chew on his shirt. It was one of his anxiety symptoms.