Polk Moms

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My three-year-old son is a nose picker. We just can't seem to break him from this habit and it's embarrassing when he does it in public. It's to the point now that we think he may be doing it on purpose because he laughs and runs away when we tell him to stop. What should we do?

When I was a kid, my grandmother put a little dab of hot sauce on the finger I used for picking my nose. It was the last straw when I just wouldn't stop. The hot sauce worked but it left me screaming as well. If you're at home and he does it, put a tiny drop of pickle juice on the finger he uses. It won't burn but he'll smell vinegar for a while and kids that age usually don't like the smell. - W. N. in Pittsburgh, PA


This is a common problem for kids of this age, but also for older kids as well, and even adults. There are a lot of reasons why he may be doing this, one of which is that it is just a habit. It could also be that his nose is dry due to allergies, allergy medicine or some other type of medicine he takes or perhaps he's not getting enough water or liquids on a daily basis. Try to watch what's going on around him when he does it. For example, maybe he's tired, in a stressful situation, watching TV, etc. If so, try to eliminate that specific reason or move it to a different time of the day or night. Additionally, each time you see him do it, offer a tissue and/or put something in his hands to keep them occupied without saying anything about the nose picking. It's best not to bring attention to it if you're going to try to divert his focus to something else. Also, before you put anything in his nose that might be recommended by anyone, consult with his pediatrician. Something I can't leave out in your situation, especially if he's laughing and running away, is that he may actually be interacting with you in some type of a power struggle. In this case, he's winning and he knows it. If this may ring true, it's probably best to ignore him, at least for now. Sooner or later, when he goes to preschool or kindergarten on a regular schedule, his classmates will begin to notice and they will let him know about it. The kidding will come down full force as he gets older as well (if he is still doing it).


Our son is a sophomore in high school and makes pretty good grades. However, if he wants a big ticket item, we tell him he can get a job and pay for it or make a straight A report card. We're kinda of hoping he'll get a part-time job. Instead, he makes the straight A's even though he has to wait on the item until after we see his grades. We were wondering if this “sometimes” good grade situation will be looked at by colleges and will it keep him out of the better universities?

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