One of the giveaways Barbara Curtis at Mommy Life was hosting was for a Kid Companion Chewelry necklace. (I'm sorry about the Facebook link, it's the only one I could find. I usually eschew Facebook because I think it's creepy.) Anyway, the idea behind chewelry is that it provides children who are sensory seekers a more appropriate way to find it. Instead of biting nails or fingers or clothing or scratching and picking at skin, the child can use the necklace. I entered the giveaway because I have one son for whom this is a constant problem. I worry about the long-term effects on his nails and skin from constantly being picked at, bitten, and scratched.
And I won! I was completely surprised because I don't seem to ever win anything. The necklace arrived in the mail yesterday and was immediately put to use. It is on a lanyard with a breakaway clasp so the child can safely wear it around the neck. My son was very interested in it and was game to put it on. I have noticed over the past 24 hours, that it is being used in place of the other behaviors we were trying to curb. I have to admit my initial temptation is to say, "Take that out of your mouth!" but so far I have caught myself. I have this little inner-monologue going on:
- He should really take that thing out of his mouth
- But it is far better than chewing on his nails or scratching his skin.
- Yeah, but we don't want him to get too attached to it. Can't you see him standing up in church, waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle, and then take out this thing and chew on it?!
- Well, that's an imminent problem isn't it? It is merely providing a healthy way to get the sensory input he needs right now. It doesn't mean he will be tied to it for life!
The inside of my head is so interesting. Parenting kids from hard places can be, well, hard. It sometimes means putting aside our expectations about what is right and doing what is best instead. I share this with you in case there is a small person in your life who could benefit from one. It seems to be working well for us so far.