Posted on November 21 2012
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As a parent, there's so much I'm thankful for, but I feel compelled to dedicate this blog post to thanking our dentist for giving us a copy of Thumbingo.
When I was a child, I was a serious thumb-sucker. I must've sucked my thumb till I was seven-years-old. My mother finally broke the habit by dousing my thumb in a bitter concoction that was housed in a little, black vial. Although, this quickly broke the habit, I ended up having braces for 3 years in my teens and my right thumb is still a bit misshapen.
I now have 2 daughters who both began sucking their thumb at 3-months-old. My husband and I used to say that their thumbs were a god-send, because they would soothe themselves to sleep so easily. At my older daughter's 4-year-old dental check-up, however, the dentist recommended I break the habit soon and handed me a Thumbingo chart and some stickers. Of course, I waited 11 more months after that visit, and a month before she turned five, I brought out the Thumbingo.
I honestly had very low expectations that this would actually work. The dentist told me that it's imperative I choose a "Bonus Prize" that is extraordinary. I talked it over with my daughter and we agreed that on "Free" days she would get ice cream, and the "Bonus Prize" would be a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and a day spent at Disneyland.
Every night that she was able to fall asleep without sucking her thumb, she woke up and put a sticker on her Thumbingo chart. We went a few days without having a single sticker on the board, but then something clicked and she was so motivated by the stickers and prizes that she broke the habit within a week. It was a very pleasant way of breaking a habit, and we had a blast at Disneyland last week!
I have to say that I'm not sure this will work for my younger daughter, but perhaps with time and maturity? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I, for one, am looking forward to spending quality time with my loved ones.