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Old 02-17-2011, 05:03 AM
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mickey2 mickey2 is offline
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Default 2 Year Old Won't Play...........Sucks Thumb All Day

I have a 2 year old dcg who will not play, just basically walks around sucking her thumb. In fact all she does ALL day is suck her thumb. Even when she is supposed be eating that thumb is in her mouth.

I have tried for weeks to encourage her to play but still she just aimlessly walks around or lies on the floor or flops back against the couch sucking her thumb.

If I do table time activities with the other children she will play. She will paint, she will play with playdoh, she will do a puzzle, she will color and table top manipulative toys she will do but when down on the floor with the others she just will not play.

if I put her in a pnp with blocks or dolls or toys she will play as well.

I am sure this child would be content to sit in a highchair all day and suck her thumb.

I know at home she is always played with. All her dad does is play with her and spend time with her when she is home and he is not working. It is his first child and his little princess.
She also has an older brother who is 12 who just adores her and plays with her a lot so she just has not learned to play by herself unless she is made to sit still.

She is a sweet, very quiet, very good little girl. She has been in my care now for over a year and this is getting worse as she gets older. When she was younger and not moving around so much she would sit in one spot and play. (While sucking her thumb of course)

Any advice? I am at a loss for ideas. I really want her to learn to play rather than just watch and suck that thumb..
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:20 AM
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countrymom countrymom is offline
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hmm the thumb sucking would concern me. I know a girl who is now 12 and still sucks her thumb, you should see her front teeth. How about putting gloves on that hand or wrapping a bandage gauze around her thumb. Also, start taking her thumb out of her mouth, maybe nannyde can give you a better idea like a phrase for you to say everytime you see her with it.
I think maybe once you get the thumb habit under control she may play with other things. Sounds like maybe she is being ignored at home so this is her comfort method.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:27 AM
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I don't know if she is old enough, but when I have had constant thumb suckers I send them the bathroom to wash their hands each and every time I see their thumb in their mouth. They get tired of it pretty soon and stop.

I'm not sure about the not playing though. Maybe she just doesn't know how to play with kids her age and is taking a while to warm up to it. I have an only child (almost 2) that took forever to figure out how to play with the other kids. She still can't figure out how to join in the outdoor play and just stands and watches the whole time we are outside. I figure she will pick it up when she is ready, I hope!
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:33 AM
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I have removed her thumb from her mouth and I tell her "Thumb out!" Now I say thumb out and she does take it out however I am sure I say this a hundred times a day. (at least) 10 seconds later it is back in.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:37 AM
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A two year old sucking her thumb doesn't seem too old to me--I don't think you have to worry until she's a bit older and by then, she'll be better able to understand.

You say that she is willing to play some things...they all sounds like very solitary things she likes to do. Is your concern that she won't play "with" the other kids?

If that's the case, remember that she's still VERY young and kids don't learn cooperative play until 3 or 4. She's still strongly into solo play and parallel play. If she prefers to do things on her own, that's fine, she'll figure it out eventually!

What you described doesn't sound concerning to me at all. She does do some things, she doesn't get upset when she's not playing, she might just be a personality that doesn't need a lot of interpersonal interaction.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
A two year old sucking her thumb doesn't seem too old to me--I don't think you have to worry until she's a bit older and by then, she'll be better able to understand.

You say that she is willing to play some things...they all sounds like very solitary things she likes to do. Is your concern that she won't play "with" the other kids?

If that's the case, remember that she's still VERY young and kids don't learn cooperative play until 3 or 4. She's still strongly into solo play and parallel play. If she prefers to do things on her own, that's fine, she'll figure it out eventually!

What you described doesn't sound concerning to me at all. She does do some things, she doesn't get upset when she's not playing, she might just be a personality that doesn't need a lot of interpersonal interaction.
I agree 100% with SilverSabre
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:26 AM
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I have several children and they all "play"

14 month old and 18 month old both go from toy, to toy, to toy playing with several. The two 2 year olds will play with the kitchen set, the cars, the dolls, the blocks etc. and I have even taught them to pick up and put away before they get a new activity. The 3 and 4 year old of course play for hours with the same thing. You can give them ANYTHING and they will play for an hour. Its only this one little girl who just seems lost!

I am not concerned about the thumb thing. I just thought if I could get her to "forget" about her thumb maybe she would play but not working.

I read the comment above about putting a glove on her hand but it is not my place to do that. I don't think mom would appreciate it either.

The only thing I would do is say ***x "no thumb" in a nice gentle way hoping to take her mind of her thumb sucking to play.

And yes, she is till young so the thumb sucking thing will go probably go away on its own.

I have had many, many children in my care over the past 25 years and I have had several who did not know how to play when they first came to me but after a few months of working with them and encouraging them they did learn. This one just won't.


Oh and another thing she does a lot of is going in circles. She walks and walks in circles often on her tip toes.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:27 AM
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The thumb sucking, while a germ spreader, isn't too concerning at her age... its soothing and comforting to her.

I would keep an eye on her social abilities... sounds like she needs lots of structure and direction in order to play successfully. Some kids do really need to be taught how to play as it doesn't come naturally to every child.

Does she have language and good communication skills??
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The thumb sucking, while a germ spreader, isn't too concerning at her age... its soothing and comforting to her.

I would keep an eye on her social abilities... sounds like she needs lots of structure and direction in order to play successfully. Some kids do really need to be taught how to play as it doesn't come naturally to every child.

Does she have language and good communication skills??
Yes to all of the above.

The thumb sucking is soothing for her.

She is just played with ALL the time at home!

The time spent with her at home is so much! You can tell. She knows how to count says her abcs! Speaks super clearly in sentences. She can do a puzzle for a 3-5 year old. Just won't play alone. Stands and watches and that's it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
A two year old sucking her thumb doesn't seem too old to me--I don't think you have to worry until she's a bit older and by then, she'll be better able to understand.

You say that she is willing to play some things...they all sounds like very solitary things she likes to do. Is your concern that she won't play "with" the other kids?

If that's the case, remember that she's still VERY young and kids don't learn cooperative play until 3 or 4. She's still strongly into solo play and parallel play. If she prefers to do things on her own, that's fine, she'll figure it out eventually!

What you described doesn't sound concerning to me at all. She does do some things, she doesn't get upset when she's not playing, she might just be a personality that doesn't need a lot of interpersonal interaction.
I agree and was going to mention the same thing regarding the child's age.
I have some 3's in my class who are still into parallel play. Some are just late bloomers.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by momatheart View Post
I agree and was going to mention the same thing regarding the child's age.
I have some 3's in my class who are still into parallel play. Some are just late bloomers.

But she doesn't parallel play. Parallel play is still playing and is normal for kids these ages. She just stands or sits and watches while sucking her thumb and this is all she does.

Really its not a problem for me as she is so good and so quiet, I would just like to get ideas on how to teach her to play as I feel badly watching her just sit or stand there. Maybe there is something I have not tried but I don't know what.


She loves it here! Mom says when they get close to my home in the am she starts to squeal gets very excited. Mom brings her inside and the child doesn't even stop to give mom a kiss in the morning. She just motors on in every single morning so excited to be here so I know she is happy here.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:43 AM
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nannyde nannyde is offline
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Hi Childrens

There are some really easy fixes for this. If you would like you can call me and I'll walk you thru them. PM me your number or I can PM you mine and I can help you maybe during nap time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:26 AM
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Default How to stop thumb sucking

I would not worry about it if your child is under 3 but at around age 3, thumb sucking effects the teeth and changes the palate of the mouth. I would try the positive appraoch when it comes to helping your child stop. There is a great product called Thumbuddy To Love and you can get it online or at your dentist office. Kids love it because it comes with a thumb puppet, book and success chart. The kids dont get shamed into quitting, rather, they get motivated to stop and they can take the thump puppet to school or bed time. Google "Thumbuddy To Love".

Here is a link:
stop thumb sucking
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:55 AM
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I didn't have this exact problem, but I did have a similar problem with a 3 year old boy. He was only here 2 days a week, and would just stand and watch everyone play. He NEVER picked up a toy. NEVER. He didn't suck his thumb, he just stood there and watched. If you told him to go play, he cried, so we just ignored him and thought he'd eventually go on his own...NOT.

When it was time to clean up, he wouldn't move. He said, "But I didn't play." True...So I let him stand there. Then I got smart and realized he wasn't playing because he didn't want to clean up!!

I finally made him start cleaning up whether he played or not, so he started playing, but very rarely. Then, his mom's job changed and he had to go to full time.

He is a TOTALLY different kid now. Still 3 years old, won't be 4 until June, and as soon as he walks in the door, he goes straight to the playroom and plays as hard as any other kid.

I say this to ask, is this child a full time child or a part time child? I never ever had a problem with part time kids not seeming to want to play until this one. I wonder if he just wasn't used to us since he was here only 2 days a week?

Anyway, I am sure it's frustrating...Maybe you could sit him/her (sorry forgot which) in the floor and put age appropriate toys around him/her. MAYBE that would encourage the kid to play with something besides a thumb! Just a thought...
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