to all the thumb sucking haters

18 Jun

Yiannis will be 6 in August.

Shocking fact no 1: He STILL sucks his thumb.

Oh, come on, stop with the eye rolling. You mean to tell me that your child has NO annoying habit whatsoever?? Good for her/him/even you (although I seriously doubt that is the fact).

For the last two and a half years I tried everything in the book to stop this habit. I completely and utterly failed. You know what I regret most from this time?? That I was influenced by all the negative criticism over that period which made me feel like I failed as a mom for letting this go on.

I tried talking to him and he always told me the same thing: Mom, I like it and I need it. I don’t want to stop.

I tried forbidding it – he hid behind the couch and sucked his thumb.

I bought this nasty tasting stuff and put it on his thumb – he cried, run off and washed his thumb.

I told him that by sucking his thumb he will get more often sick as he is contracting the germs from other kids easier – the pediatrician never confirmed this, he told me that all children get sick no matter if they suck their thumb or not.

I even played the dentist card but this didn’t work either. She told me that his teeth look fine and he has probably inherited his mom’s good teeth.

N. didn’t help in this department either. He was probably the main reason why I became so stressed about the whole cutting the nasty habit thing. It was his phrase that was stuck in my mind for a while: I am not paying for his braces. I know, N. is human and makes mistakes. Like everyone else. I still love him truly, although he behaved like an eleventeen* (perfect word invented by my best friend Panayiotis)

I tried everything. And nothing worked. You know why? Because Yiannis doesn’t want to stop sucking his thumb and there is nothing I can really do about it.

And the worst of all?

Shocking fact no 2: I sucked  my thumb for 12 years. And no, I have no crooked teeth nor did I ever have to endure braces.


I am not saying that one excludes the other. I was lucky. I am aware of that. Yes, thumb sucking can alter your teeth and it might be the culprit for braces. However, there are lucky kids and my son might even be one of them.

My son sucks his thumb and I am finally OK with that.  So next time you stand in the line at the grocery store and see an older kid sucking his thumb, do the kid (and his/her mom) a favor and keep your critical comment to yourself.

until next time



* an adult who behaves like a teenager

19 Responses to “to all the thumb sucking haters”

  1. Elina Zambounis June 18, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Have you ever watched Madagaskar? If yes, I’m sure you can recall Marty’s surprise when he witnessed Alex sucking his thumb! So funny!

    Well, what can I say…the fact that those two facts were in the same post must surely mean something to you. And since you sucked your thumb until you were 12, well then this is so helpful for you to place yourself into Yannis’s shoes and just let him outgrow it at his own pace.
    Oh and give a break to anyone commenting on this…as if it is the only thing they will ever find to comment about you or your children…
    (I should one day tell you what I was faced with for breastfeeding Artemis for 2,5 years…)


    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      Madagaskar, no. Now, I must.
      I give them a break, on a daily basis, although I would love to come up with the perfect catch phrase 😉

      • Elina Zambounis June 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

        How about “I’m sure there’s nothing your own children would make you feel embarrassed for…Well, guess what, mine neither!” 🙂

  2. Miss Fanny P June 18, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Fact number 1 – my son sucked his Dummy (well, he had 3 in his bed with him every night – and for calming down moments) until about 1 month ago. He will turn 6 in 3 months. he would have happily continued sucking them until 16 (longer actually).
    I had no issue with it and did NOT care who knew and happily admitted it (portraying myself as a bit of a dumb dumb loon – “really? is it bad for his teeth? no. Really??? Are you sure??? and messing with them. I honestly do not care what people think. As far as i was concerened my Son is a Sucky child having really needed his dummy when he suffereed with bad reflux and later on, it was the only way he knew how to calm down)
    The dummy only got taken away because we have to see an orthodontist in a few weeks and i know he will tell us to get rid f it and i wanted the Getting Rid of them procedure to feel like it was OUR decision not a dentists. I think that was/is important to my son – that he knows he agreed to it and that he wasn’t forced.
    We did it – but he still wants his dummies and i think he always will because at the end of the day, it’s like this:
    You have Sucky children and you have Non-Sucky children.
    Sucky children ROCK!
    i was a sucky child and sucked my thumb till 14 years old.
    What the parents of NON thumb suckers don’t tell you – and few know this – is that NON thumb suckers are actually a little bit boring. Zzzzzzzz 😉
    Long live the thumb suckers 😀

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 8:19 am #

      WOW Miss Fanny P. you certainly know how to make my day!
      Sucky children definitely ROCK (myself included) 😉

  3. sakuraandme June 18, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Haha! Go you. 🙂
    Parenting is hard enough without outside criticism. You don’t need it! Hope you have a great day..hugs Paula xxx

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      thanks Paula.
      If parenting doesn’t break you, it will make you stronger (twisted a bit around to fit the needs)!
      xxx hugs, hugs & some more hugs to you my dear

      • sakuraandme June 19, 2013 at 2:59 am #

        Haha, thank you! Xx

  4. Despina Georgosopoulou June 18, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Let him be, and my advice read between the lines.
    Κι εγώ το έκανα τουλάχιστον μέχρι τα 13 και είχα και μία κουβερτούλα το νάλι μου που το έσερνα παντού μαζί μου μέσα στο σπίτι. Νομίζω ότι τα παιδάκια το κάνουν αυτό για να νιώθουν ασφάλεια, είναι μία παλινδρόμηση στη βρεφική ηλικία και στη γαλήνη που τους προσέφερε ο θηλασμός. Οκ, εμένα στράβωσαν τα δόντια μου κι έβαλα σιδεράκια…αλλά το θέμα είναι πως ένα παιδάκι που το κάνει αυτό είναι ίσως λέω λίγο περισσότερο ευαίσθητο από κάποια άλλα κι εκεί χρειάζεται να επικεντρωθείς. Φιλιά πολλά!

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      κάπως έτσι κατέληξα να το βλέπω κι εγώ. Στο κάτω κάτω προτιμώ να βάλει σιδεράκια παρά να του δημιουργήσουμε κανένα ψυχολογικό και να τρέχουμε για άλλα αργότερα.
      Χαίρομαι πολύ Δεσποινα που πέρασες μια βόλτα απο εδώ. Μόλις χαλαρώσεις λίγο περιμένω επίσκεψη, οκ?
      Σε φιλώ

  5. ramblingsfromamum June 18, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Both my girls sucked on their index fingers and held their ‘cuddly’ blanket up to the chins at the same time, both stopped around 5 with the fingers,the youngest then went to a dummy and discarded it before she started school. No harm done, comfort when they needed it. xx

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      yes, exactly, comfort when he needs it.
      Society can be harsh.
      As a mom you have to learn to let go and focus on what is important to you and to your family.
      thank you my dear MM for yet more encouraging words of wisdom

  6. expatsincebirth June 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I had three dummy sucking children and I was told everything from family, “friends” etc. about how terrible this is for their teeths etc. (in Switzerland people really seem to care very much about their teeth… more than anywhere else I’ve lived…) ramblingsfromamum is right: our children do this when they need comfort and we should allow them to do so. Isn’t it amazing (no: scaring!) how much comments from other people can ruin our lifes? When I realized that I spent more time worrying about the teeth of my kids than enjoying the moments with them I decided to turn down the volume of people commenting on anything regarding my kids, the way I raise them etc. My usual reaction is: “sorry, what did you just say?” so that they have to repeat it and then add my sarcastic laugh: “don’t you worry about this” – Tatu, enjoy your kids. You don’t want them to remember you as “the mum who stressed me for years because I was sucking my thumb” 🙂

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      definitely NOT. This would be my nightmare.
      Now, I just have to come up with the perfect line to ‘shut’ them up. Something in the lines of: oh, would you like to share your nasty annoying habit with us?? 😉
      Any ideas??

  7. June 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Yes, my children have NO annoying habits whatsoever. I beleive that is due to yours truly. Yes, they use me as a model and simply perfect. Ain’t life grand?
    Btw, I never sucked my thumb and my teeth are not perfect and I should have gotten braces.
    I’m sorry that Yannis’ thumb sucking has caused you stress. I think your new found attitude about not worrying what others say about it is the way to go.

    • wonderlandbytatu June 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      I am still working on it (the letting go of what people think). It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Life is too short to dwell on trivial things. Right?

      • June 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

        I know what you mean – I am often better at telling people to let go than I am at doing it.
        To answer your question – right!

  8. meditatingmummy June 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Oh T, these people who are so quick to pass judgement are often the ones who have something going on themselves. Your teeth are perfect btw 🙂 and Yannis will be fine once he figures out something else to give him comfort. My girls had dolls which were ragged and one had a dummy for the longest time. It is very difficult to let go of what people say isn’t it? I’ve become better at just dealing with what is best for my children. You are a fantastic mum. That’s all that matters

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