Bad Habits In Children

How To Stop Bad Habits In Children

Updated on July 5, 2024

Are you a parent worried about how to stop bad habits in children? All the parents want to raise their kids absolutely well-mannered and disciplined. Parents want their children will have only good habits and respect everyone around them. This is a great expectation of parents, but the reality can be quite different. No parent teaches bad habits to their children. But that doesn’t mean your children will have no bad habits.

How To Stop Bad Habits In Children

When you find bad habits in your child, what do you do? The normal reaction would be to scold them and tell them to stop immediately. This is not the correct method to make the child stop the bad habit. Many times your child may not know it is a bad habit. What should you do? Identify the reasons behind the bad habit, and make the child realise the adverse effects and how to stop it.

A few common bad habits in children

Bad Habits In Children
Bad Habits In Children
  1. Thumb Sucking
  2. Chewing Lips
  3. Nail Biting
  4. Nose Picking
  5. Pulling The Hair
  6. Whole Day Snacking
  7. Lying Often
  8. Using foul language

1. Thumb Sucking – Bad Habits In Children

You might have noticed many children have the bad habit of thumb sucking. Some parents use pacifiers to keep their children calm. If your child is used to a pacifier and you are trying to stop this, chances are your child will take to thumb sucking in its place.

You can keep your child engaged in other activities and this way, the child will grow out of this bad habit. Another option is you can let the child use the pacifier for slightly longer and slowly wean off the habit.

2. Chewing Lips – Bad Habits In Children

Many children and even some adults chew their lips when it is dry. As mentioned, the primary reason for chewing lips is dry and chapped lips. This makes the child chew on the dry skin to take it off and sometimes this may even lead to bleeding of the lips.

You can control it by keeping your child’s lips always moisturised to avoid drying or chipping. Explain to them this bad habit can end up hurting them and also how bad it looks when they do so in public.

3. Nail biting – Bad Habits In Children

Nail-biting is a very common bad habit that is seen not only just in children but also in some adults. There can be several reasons for this, including absent-mindedness, fear, or anxiety.

When you find this bad habit, rather than scolding them every time they bite their nails, it is always better to talk to them and make them understand why it is bad. You can also keep their nails and cuticles moisturised so that the child is not prone to chewing them. When you find them not chewing or biting their nails for some time, appreciate their effort and reward them with small gifts.

4. Nose Picking – Bad Habits In Children

Nose picking is the most irritating and possibly the most socially awkward habit that your child can get into. Not only children but also some adults have this bad habit of nose picking even in public places. Simply telling your child to stop nose picking may not help. Usually, children start nose-picking when their nose feels irritated because of pollution, dryness, mucus or any other such reason.

First, find out the root cause of the irritation. In case of dryness, make them moisturise the nose. Teach your child how to handle if they feel irritation in the nose in public, like using a tissue or handkerchief. Teach them to wash their hands properly every time they pick their nose. This bad habit of nose picking can get over quickly with peer pressure.

5. Pulling The Hair – Bad Habits In Children

Pulling the hair is another bad habit many children start mostly out of boredom. You need to understand why the child is doing this. If you find the child is pulling the hair out of boredom, you can get the child engaged in another activity to divert the mind. This way, the child will quickly get out of this bad habit.

When you notice your child is pulling the hair, do not build any negativity around it or scold the child incessantly about this bad habit. If you do any such wrong method, that will make it very difficult for the child to overcome the bad habit. If your child is under four years of age, let them grow out of it naturally, because it can be part of toddler tantrums.

6. Whole Day Snacking

Some children have this bad habit of the whole day snacking. Of course, some parents ignore this or promote this because they feel it is good for the health of the child. Actually, this is not a good habit and can be a sign of boredom as well as not having proper meals timely. Find out why your child is snacking through the day. Avoid indulging them, ensure giving healthy meals at proper times and keep them engaged at other times.

Remember, growing children are extremely sensitive, especially to the words of their parents. Hence, avoid scolding them unnecessarily, especially in front of their friends and others, because that will hurt their self-esteem.

7. Lying Often – Bad Habits In Children

Amongst many children, lying often is another common bad habit that many parents have faced some time or the other. Mostly, children lie to get out of a situation or to hide something out of fear. Parents should speak to their children nicely and explain lying cannot save them from any trouble, instead put them into more trouble, eventually. Make them understand the consequences of lying.

If you find your child is fearful about something and lying, make your child feel you are there to help no matter what it is. Make your children realise need not be afraid even if they have made a mistake. Give your children the comfort that you are always on their back and motivate them to speak the truth at all times. This will help them grow self-confident and get rid of the bad habit of lying.

Read How To Handle A Kid Who Lies?

8. Using foul language – Bad Habits In Children

Learning and using foul language is common as your child interacts with others outside the confines of the family. When you find this bad habit of using foul language in their talk, call them to your side and talk in a friendly manner and explain why this is not acceptable.

Many times, the child may not be aware it is foul language. Avoid giving extra attention to foul language because that may indulge your child to repeat the same. Instead, explain why it is bad to use such foul language and the effect it can have on their social life.


Hope you found the above-mentioned tips useful to stop bad habits in your children. If you find any bad habits in your children, call them and help them to understand the consequences of the same. Control your temper, call your children to your side and teach them about the bad habits and how they can stop them. Avoid getting angry or punishing them. That will only hurt their mind, but will not help them to break the bad habits.

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