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adlink , 28 Feb 2019

Long nails

My daughter who is 10 has been pulling her eyebrows and eyelashes for over a 1 1/2 now. I recently found that press on nails have kept her from the habit. She can't grasp the tiny hairs with the longer nails. So my question to you guys is: Do you think it would be worth getting her nails done professionally? Having acrylic tips and filling them in every two weeks. It seems like a very expensive solution but I am more concerned with the "cleanliness" of her fingers. I know having longer nails and tips can harbor bacteria. Is this something that is too much for a 10 year old? Is there anyone else out there that uses this as a "habit breaker"?
She is starting Middle School in a brand new school system next year and I don't want her teased by kids that don't understand.
I need your thoughts! Please!

1 Answer
May 08, 2019
It might be fun for her to get her nails professionally done. Maybe you and her can even go and get your nails done together as a kind of fun outing (if you like to do your nails).
There are different ways to try to break the habit- wearing gloves or hats, etc.

These can help. But I think the most important part of healing is making sure she knows that she’s okay. For some reason she’s experiencing anxiety or an environment of fear or some kind of traumatic event, maybe even just moving can trigger it. These are all just things I’ve heard. For me, (my hair pulling started when I was 11- I’m 27 now) I believe it may have been some sexual abuse that I itiated the self-loathing or shame that led to trich. I’m not totally sure.

I have made some headway in recent years in dealing with the hair pulling and my hair is starting to look really nice for the first time in a long time. :)

My mom tried to help me and often (by no fault of hers) I would feel further shame from the restrictions she would put on me in the spirit of trying to help- gloves, smacking away my hand from my head, etc. It came from a place of love but I often felt even more shame when this would happen.

If your daughter is like me- she may be a very sensitive individual. Maybe she is more introverted or tends to be. Has trouble concentrating perhaps or is quiet when receiving criticism. If she’s like me, the pulling comes from a place of being very hard on oneself. Feeling guilt or shame; and then the pulling accelerates that- feeds into that even, and it’s a horrible endless cycle.

To battle this monster of a thing- look at the bigger picture- it’s beyond just the action of hand to head- it’s an anxiety issue- so environments of psychological safety need to be sought after. Letting her know it’s okay, that she can talk to you about it. That you want to help because you love her.

Yoga for kids could be a good idea. Breathing techniques have helped me tremendously. So have affirmations- replacing negative self talk with positive. Remembering to tell myself “I love you” “I deserve love” “I am capable/strong”.

My routine for stopping when I’m pulling is this- I take a moment to notice my hands, look at them (this grounds me). Then I place them gently on my head, simultaneously I take three deep breaths (four counts in, four counts out). I use an affirmation- “it’s okay. I can do this. I am strong. I love my hair! And I love myself”.

Maybe when you notice your daughter pulling you can do this short breathing exercise together (it may calm you as well- as I’m sure it’s causing you stress too- and you’re just trying to help her!)

Lots of love

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