Here you are, you have told your child or student to stop chewing on their clothes for the fifth time today. Do you work with or have a child that tends to chew snowflake patterns in their sleeves and neck holes of their shirts? This is really concerning to the people connected to these kids. And frankly, as a child gets older, they appear to be bothered by it as well. They are told not to do it, but they do it anyway.
Why Children Chew on Clothes
Kids chew on their clothing on a regular basis are doing this to meet a sensory processing need. There are some children that chew on their clothes to calm themselves down when they are anxious. Children who chew on their clothes could also be trying to move a developmental process within their mouth along. In my experience, they want to stop chewing too. They are drawn to chew from a subconscious safety and security system called the sensory processing system.
A Solution to Stop Kids from Chewing on their Clothes
The best solution I can give you is to suggest an alternative item for chewing. In the video, I demonstrate how to make an easy chewing bracelet. You can also purchase chewelry. It’s made for children to chew on and wear as jewelry. Gum is also helpful, but not always welcomed in all settings or ages.
So let you children chew. It’s what their sensory system is requiring them to do to increase their sensory development. And if the child is chewing to calm themselves, these same tools could be helpful. The sensory system is complex, which is why I offer a day training called Sensory Processing: It Does Make Sense. This is a good training for teachers in Head Start Programs and other preschool programs as well. Click here if you’re interested in learning what I provide in this training.