My son Glenn, is 9 years old and has been biting his nails for his entire life. A few years ago I bought him a furniture set and he chewed that all up. He has chewed wooden mini blinds, as well as his braand new expensive bedroom set that we just got him last Christmas. I am married for 2 years to Dave, who has a daughter that is also 9. Dave and I have 2 children together as well.
Glenns Father past away in the war almost 2 years ago. He barely knew him (his father's lack of communication) and now his grandparent's are fighting me for visitation rights. Glenn would like to see them and I have never said that they couldn't, in fact my husband and I have been the ones encouraging them to be involved in his life. He has seen them maybe a dozen times his entire life. Just before our first court date last week I noticed Glenn has been wetting his pants. This only happens during the day. This problem was also present about a year ago, but has been fine ever since.
Glenn will never say that anything bothers him or hurts his feelings. He is a great child and seems happy all the time. He likes to exclude himself and spend a lot of time in his room.
My main concern is for Glenn. I am initiating counseling for him again. In the meantime can you help me with the biting on furniture? Is this normal? Can it be stopped? How?
It's good that you are providing the counseling for him. The daytime enuresis is a symptom of the stress he is under (provided he is medically well). The biting of furniture is not within the bounds of normal for his age, and is likely a tension-reducing behavior. Be sure to tell his pediatrician about it. There are situations when such behavior is symptomatic of nutritional deficiency, and you'll want to check that out. In the meantime, talk about this with him and give him an alternative to employ, such as a squeeze ball or worry beads. These, too, can be employed to reduce tension in a non-destructive fashion.
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