Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Message to Toddlers: Nose Picking Is Very Unpatriotic!


Can somebody please tell me why toddlers are so obsessed with picking their nose? Because I’ve been trying to figure it out since my daughter mysteriously figured out she can shove her fingers up there at the most undesirable times, like when I’m eating pea soup or guacamole.

And trust me, this is not good dining entertainment.

So far, I’ve come up with a few theories that might have caused this behavior:
  1. She’s watched seniors do it. Which only proves my theory that seniors are bad influences on children!
  2. Elmo probably sang about it. That’s what I get for trusting a puppet that speaks about himself in the third person.
  3. Rap music. I’m pretty sure they glorify nosepickin’ along with pimpin’.

Now I’m not on a mission to stop this behavior.

The wife has her own methods to stop the digging – which is just to gently move her hand and telling her to stop. I’ve taken it a step further, reinforcing my parenting technique of giving an explanation of consequences along with the discipline.

What to tell a nose picking toddler:
  1. If you keep picking your nose, you’ll eventually pick your brain out.
  2. Stop picking your nose or nobody will be your friend, even Elmo.
  3. Every time you pick your nose, a Fairy dies.
  4. Snow White isn’t coming over to play; she doesn’t want your boogers all over her pretty dress.
  5. Picking your nose produces harmful emissions that contribute to global warming and rising sea levels that will make millions of polar bears instantly homeless and eventually die. I don’t think you want start kindergarten with that kind of baggage.
And to help the cause, here’s a nose picking coloring page. Because everybody knows kids learn better when they color pictures of animals.

Please Stop Picking Your Nose. I Don’t Want To Die.
And Don’t Forget To Empty The Gas from Mommy’s Minivan.

51 comments:

Holly said...

Or you could just not say anything. It is HER nose, after all.

Rima said...

Good luck there, Creative Type-Dad. Those are some brilliant ideas but (from what I'm told), the nose picking compulsion is even stronger than fairies.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Let me know if any of those ideas work. So far the fairy dying hasn't produced the desired results.

Beck said...

We just say "Nose picking is nasty. If you have to do that, go to the bathroom."
And if that doesn't work, we make dire predictions for nose bleeds. I do find that nose picking calms WAY down once they get to school and the other kids pounce mercilessly upon wee nose pickers....

Anonymous said...

I think number five is the way to go!
At my house we listen to rap records that put down nose picking. Good influence there...LOL!

Seriously, I tell my son to stop and he goes into the other room to continue. Hey, if mommy doesn't see it it isn't happening right?
~Diana @ Stuck in Elmo's World

Awesome Mom said...

I use to pick and lick when I was a kid until the mom of one of my friends told me that I would get worms in my stomach if I kept doing that. I stopped the picking right then and there. Hey it can't hurt to try.

painted maypole said...

my brother picked his nose and wiped it on the couch. He learned this from the kids on Sesame Street. Truly.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

As soon as you figure out how to stop the nose picking, you can also figure out how to get my little man to leave his penis alone!

Oh, wait. I guess that obsession never ends. DANG!

Roth Family Adventures said...

My grandmother always said "don't pick your nose or you'll stretch the you nostril holes out and your nose will be big and you'll be ugly."

Also, there's always that one kids that eats it.

Dan said...

On the bright side there is evidence to show that nose pickers and eaters are much less likely to become ill due to ingesting a steady diet of bacteria.

Maureen said...

Ewwww... and I thought the story was gross enough BEFORE I read the comments...

Good luck there, CTD. You'll need it.

creative-type dad said...

Holly -- That's true. But it starts with nose-picking and then tomorrow it'll be underage drinking.

Chicky Chicky Baby -- Obviously the Fairies around your neighborhood don't scream as loud...

Diana @ Stuck in Elmo's World -- I would be very weary about entering a room your son was just in...

Coal Miner's Granddaughter -- Nope, I'm afraid not.

Roth Family Adventures -- Eat it!? I think that guacamole I had isn't sitting so well...

andi said...

I think I'll try #4. My daughter wouldn't dream of offending Snow White, but maybe she would betray her bestest princess friend for her favorite past time. We shall see.

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

Maybe someone told her there is a booger fairy. Have you tried checking under her pillow?

mama speak said...

I've found that the bigger deal you make of these things the longer they seem to last. Just saying...
Of course, maybe a ban on any princesses visiting as long as the gold mining continues might work. Just a thought.

Danielle said...

Can I post these at my sons' school? Hysterical!!! I especially love the one about Snow White, although I will be modifying it to Spiderman.

Jeremy said...

We too faced the issue of nose picking with our son.

After the wife tried (and failed) with traditional methods, ie. moving the hand away repeatedly, I decided it was time to use Dad wisdom and came up with the following:

"Hey, son. Listen, I have to tell you something. First of all, picking your nose is dirty. There are lots of nasty germs in there and you don't want those to get everywhere, do you?"

[blank stare]

"Well, ya know, if you pick your nose, you'll start to grow a tail, and if that happens we'll have to put you in the zoo with all the monkeys. You don't want us to do that, do you?"

Guess what? IT WORKED. He hasn't picked his nose ONCE in the past 6 months since I told this horrible untruth. He also goes around telling other children "Don't pick your nose, you'll grow a tail!" and they all have seemed to fall for it as well.

My son even occasionally checks to see if he has a tail or not.

Anyway, I didn't like lying to my child (ok, I did) but it worked.

mrsmogul said...

My husband picks his nose, puts it all in there it's so gross!! I hope my toddler doesn't pick that up!!

Colleen said...

Bwah ha ha ha...

I am now armed with many new threats for my 3-yr-old picker. We've tried #1 - doesn't work. Pre-schoolers must not understand the importance of having a brain.

Pat said...

Oh great. I thought the biggest contradiction I would have to tackle with the girls was telling them not to smoke when I, in fact, smoked briefly (and second-hand smoked for years before that). How are they supposed to listen to me tell them not to go digging when I was once a prolific miner of nose gold?

Maybe I can get the wife to do that talk...

The Real Mother Hen said...

Ok, time to confess Tony.
How often do You pick your nose?
Come on, she must have learnt it from you!
HA :)

Denguy said...

I think you hit it on the nose with #5.

Pageant Mom said...

Nose picking is not nearly as difficult to deal with as thumb sucking! However, scratching one's fanny seems to come in a close second to nose picking...

And it appears to be ESPECIALLY important to engage in these activities when one is in the school Christmas play.

Dorky Dad said...

I've given up. It's like asking the sun not to shine. Or my cat to not eat ribbons. Or me to not make sarcastic comments. It just doesn't work.

Kim said...

No.
You see, nose picking is positively tame once you move into the realm of toilet training and your child starts to pick at their arse.

ronUpNorth said...

absolutely hilarious. you always make me laugh out loud. thanks CTD.

Redneck Mommy said...

I'll send you the name of the child therapist I've been sending my kids use.

Something tells me, your daughter may need a little time on the couch as she grows up.

And not just to pick her nose.

Ok, Where Was I? said...

I linked from somewhere--I'm no belle I think. The fairy dying is sooo twisted and funny. One of mine ate one once. Needless to say, I was horrified. I jumped straight to the "everybody's going to laugh at you" approach. I don't care what kind of damage I might do; I'm not gonna have a booger eater on my hands.

Ruth Dynamite said...

You can't fight the tide, Tony. I was just reiterating to my son today the sage wisdom that you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.

Whit said...

It was just a scratch.

Tismee2 said...

Whit - THAT is exactly what my 5 year old says when caught picking. Then he does this little scratching thing on the end of his nose. "I'm just scratching" he says.

Maybe he's seen those men who think they are invisible when in a car so able to insert their fingers up the the elbow while driving!

Beverly said...

I ask, "Do you need a tissue?" They either say yes or no, but the picking stops.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

rap music cause allll sorts of problems..

Scarlett Wanna Be said...

I just remembered this story and it may actually help you.

I have a friend who had the same problem with her little girl,who is a doll btw. She told her if she didn't stop picking her nose, she was going to make her eat a plate of boogers for dinner. The little picker just kept on pickin'. Finally my friend decided it was time to show her daughter she meant business. She got mac-n-cheese with the white cheese and a bag of peas. She over cooked the mac-n-cheese so that it would be nice and mushy, then she added the peas. When her little girl saw it, she freaked. She said, "I don't want boogies mommy. Please don't make me it boogies." My friend said, "If I ever see you with your finger up your nose again, I will make you eat a whole plate of this." She pointed at the plate of slimy mac-n-cheese with peas and the little girl said, "I won't, I pamis." She hasn't since.

My friend is a mommy genius.

Dad Stuff said...

I hear you and 'I can dig it.'

MamaLee said...

I think my kids pick their noses because they watch me pick mine.

Ahem.

dennis said...

we told boy.imp about nose picking leads to brain picking and he laughed and shoved his finger further up his nose...but the pick your nose and a fairy dies angle...Wow!

me: hey boy.imp, you know that nose picking kills fairies? You keep that up and you can kiss the Tooth Fairy goodbye!!

Midwest Mommy said...

Too funny! My daughter has just found her nose and it has been grossing me out!!!!

creative-type dad said...

MamaLee -- You're killing Fairies. Al Gore would be very upset.

Scarlett Wanna Be -- Wow! That's tragic and yet brilliant. I'll have to remember that one...

Aimee Greeblemonkey -- Yes, I agree. And seniors that listen to rap music too.

Ruth Dynamite -- That's not true. I pick my friends' noses all the time...

The Real Mother Hen -- You caught me. I do it all the time.
I think the polar bear population is way out of control these days.

Danielle -- Sure! You can also replace Snow White with Tom Cruise. Although it doesn't have the same affect.

kittenpie said...

My attempts to stop the pick have on occasion led to more tenacious picking or a refusal to remove the digit from the orifice. Thanks, kid. I keep handing her kleenex instead, but I might just try that Snow White line...

wayabetty said...

Oh my goodness Tony, I had to clean up the counter from the boogers coming out of my nose from laughing my head of. I had this idea of writing about nose picking too but you beat me to it. My daughter goes a bit further and hands it to me "mommy boogers" every time, even if I'm hiding...she comes looking and adamantly shoved it in my face. It's like she found gold or something.

And my older boys, they roll the boogers into nice round balls and play with them. Nice huh? We actually say "bat in a cave" every time there's boogers, and they start digging for "bats".

creative-type dad said...

waya (betty) -- Oh. My. God.
I'm never eating peas EVER again...

Bad Dad said...

My problem is my 4 yr old wipes his boogers on a wall in our family room. The 6 yr old doesn't, so his nose is a clogged up disgusting mess I usually end up cleaning out for him.

stumptowner said...

Thanks for the great suggestions- they will come in handy for dealing with my son's new habit of sticking his finger in his butt and then his mouth.

meg said...

Thank you! My daughter's teacher is quite concerned about her nose picking, I've been online hunting out ways to put a stop to it, but your post gave me a great laugh and made me feel better.

♥♥♥ A- Licious ♥♥♥ said...

okayenoughalready.

i am in TEARS. u and SCARLETT have me dieing in laughter ovah here.....

i love the 'what to tell a nose picking toddler' brilliant!

ohmygosh.

my son (soon to be 18 months)too has now figured out that his little fingers fit nicely up his nose.....oh gosh.

lol

freaking funny stuff.

creative-type dad said...

stumptowner -- That's just wrong in so many ways...

Melissa Parlaman (Graco contributor) said...

very funny post.my almost 3 year old is OBSESSED with picking her nose (and eating it--yuck!!!). no matter what we say or do, she doesn't stop. UGGHH!!

michael said...

my 9 yr old daughter keeps wiping her boogers on our livingroom furniture and on stuff in her bedroom... ugh! I just found one last night (a really big slimy wipe) on the living room curtains, I mean it was so obvious... she didnt even try to hide it. I counted 7 on the underside of the recliner armrest. I told her I was going to tell all her friends. We'll see how that works, I think shes too old for the fairies and polar bear efforts.

j.lawrence47 said...

I guess that Holly lets her toddler make all the rules of the house.....It is HER home after all.. What a stupid approach to child rearing.It is people like this that took prayer out of school,started the myth that spanking your child is abuse and adamantly declares letting a child make its own decisions supports self confidence. Quit being lazy and raise your child.You are not there to be ther best frien but the parent!

Janine Lake said...

We have 3 little nose pickers in our house and after scraping dried boogers off their walls & bed frames we invented Booger Monsters. They are cute, funny monsters that hang on kids walls and have a removable & washable tongue where kids can wipe their boogers. Let's face it, all kids pick their noses. Let's teach them where to wipe them and NOT to eat them. And let's leave the fairies & Snow White out of it. You can get your Booger Monster at BoogerMonsters.com or Amazon, EBay or Etsy.