Kids

3 ways to stop nose picking that actually work

Some kids can't seem to quit digging for gold. Follow these steps to keep little fingers out of little noses.

It’s got a fancy name—rhinotillexis—but there’s nothing dignified about nose picking. Sure, it’s kinda cute the first time, but if you’re sick of seeing your kid hunting around up there, try these tips.

1. Scrub up
Teach her about germs, and make her wash her hands every time she picks her nose, keeping your tone very matter-of- fact. Most kids will get tired of having to schlep to the sink every time.

2. Replace the habit
If she’s always picking while watching TV or listening to a story, give her something else to do with her hands during those times. And keep tissues within reaching distance to encourage more appropriate picking.

3. Wait it out
Once she hits elementary school, her classmates will no doubt tease her for the picking, and she’ll be more motivated to finally break the habit (or at least head to a nearby bathroom stall for some privacy).

A version of this article appeared in our December 2016 issue with the headline, “Digging for gold,” p. 37.

Read more:
How to teach your child to blow her nose
10 most common things kids stick up their nose (other than fingers)
How to get your kid to break her bad habits