L (4) declared to me last week, "It's so easy for me not to bit my fingernails anymore!"
She proudly held her fingers up for inspection and then asked, with much excitement, whether I would PLEASE paint her fingernails for her.
I thought, with so much joy, how easy that victory seemed for her. When I noticed several months ago that she had quite a habit of chewing the nails down, I worried that it was the beginning of a lifelong habit, a bane for her entire future. (I know women who chewed their nails in grade school and still do it in their 30s.) Without making much ado over it, I tried deterring her by painting the nails (so they would taste bad?). That didn't work. I tried gentle reminders. The tension in my mind was wanting to turn her aside from chewing her nails, but not making this an obsession (let's face it; I don't have time to be obsessed with any of my children's personal habits!). I wasn't sure if chewing her nails was an attention getter, or if it was a sign of internal stress or boredom, or control, or WHAT.
SO. . . I am relieved and grateful for this victory, which seemed so easy for her. For the past month or two we have talked about asking the Lord to help her have self-control and for her to pray when she feels like chewing her nails. (She said several times, "I asked Jesus to help me and HE DID!")
Apparently, she was also motivated by the thought of having nails like mine (longer than boy nails) that she could have painted, too. For all this, I am thankful. And proud of my Darlin'.