For the past week, I took to Twitter to ask parenting experts their tips to distract eczema children from scratching. Why?
Because I realized that close to 2 years after this post – Saying (or Shouting) Stop Scratching to your Eczema Child, communicating effectively (other than shouting stop scratching) remains a difficult task for many families with eczema children, including myself!
So here are the responses, and many other friends around the world on Twitter also chipped in their tips! Add yours to the comment, and also let me know which one works best for you!
Tips from Parenting Experts & Expert Moms
Shara Lawrence-Weis, mother of 4 with background in education, early childhood & nanny work.
“Scratching might hurt your skin. Let’s think of other things you can do to help the itching.”
Dr Lynne Kenney, mom, mother of two, a practicing pediatric psychologist and author of The Family Coach Method.
“Did u know scratching is self-reinforcing cause it can release dopamine? Distraction from scratching is about finding other ways to use ones hands and still release dopamine (link)”
Erika Brodnock, mum of 5 & CEO of Karisma Kids that helps raise happy, confident & creative children.
“Gently patting the itchy areas while singing a song distracts in very itchy moments!!”
Dr Melissa Arca, Pediatrician, mom of two, writer, and blogger at Confessions of a Dr Mom.
“Empathize: “Ooh, I know you’re itchy”. Action: “Let’s put some lotion on instead of scratching.”
Shadra Bruce, creator of MomsGetReal.com and also an author.
“Keep their hands and minds off the itch by keeping then focused on being creative! Arts, crafts, and hands-on helping moms.”
Mary Hartley, RD, Nutritionist, with her own practice
“Time to get moisturized!”
Shonette Bason, mom of 4 children and works full time as an outstanding primary teacher, author and consultant trainer for Early Years Education.
“Dough Disco (practising finger muscle control with dough and music!) is good for hands distraction!”
Ann Wu, MD, MPH, mom to eczema kids, Pediatrician and asthma researcher at Harvard medical school
“I usually say, “I know–it feels so good to itch! But I don’t want you to look like a red bean popsicle.”
Tips from Tweeps (friends who tweet):
I admit I do say Stop Scratching! followed by Put on some lotion! – Maria Wen Adcock, BiculturalMama
Today I fashioned some footed pajamas…using Egyptian magic cream and seeing what happens and it worked great. For the first time in almost a year, he slept without one scratch…I stayed up all night watching tho – Veena Goel Crownholm, Tiarastobabies
Perhaps – “It’ll hurt” – Harleenas
Sitting in a bath with some baking soda – MVOrganics
Depends on itch. if unthinking idle itch can simply put something in child’s hands, or distract non verbally. also need to accept that true burn of ezcema canNOT be ignored. so it depends on the habits and state of eczema flare – SarahJChapman
Depending on age, u could discuss beforehand and have a keyword that u both decide on that you say to remind them to stop. – Michelle Winters, Pediatric Sleep Consultant VASleepCoach
Make it a game: ‘I bet you can’t leave your arm alone’ – Ali_Nguyen
If you reduce the itch then hopefully they will stop scratching! – Dermasilk