We frequently see and hear many different ways and techniques you can use to attempt to get your child to stop sucking their thumb. While we have our own personal favorite method to stop sucking thumbs, some people go different routes. But are some of these methods cruel? Can you go too far and push ethical boundaries when attempting to get your children to stop? You be the judge.
Some people purchase and use foul and disgusting tasting liquid to paint on their children's thumbs. While it may be effective, is getting your child to stop a habit that they are so accustomed to by painting a foreign, horrible tasting substance on their finger fair? Who is to say? They have no say in the decision and now they will be physically punished for continuing a habit that they probably have been comfortable with their whole life.
Maybe some parents don't want to put the terrible tasting substances on their children, so they opt for the second closest thing. They may put spicy or hot sauce on their children's thumbs or fingers. Not only can this get messy, but it also again punishes your child and their taste buds. We even came across one case where an individual refused to eat spicy foods well into their adult life because of the negative memories she had associated with the flavor.
The decision for how to get your child to stop sucking their thumbs is 100% up to the parent or individual encouraging the child to stop. Whatever way you choose, please consider all options and consequences associated with each. Remember, encouragement, not punishment, is the best approach.