Thumb-sucking, Temper Tantrums, and PICA
Thumb-sucking is self-soothing. This behavior of infancy and early childhood is not of any harm.
Most of the children give up this habit by the age of 4 years. If a child persists in thumb-sucking beyond the age of 4 years, we need to intervene. Developmentally, beyond the age of 4 years, you may reason with the child and obtain his cooperation in working on giving up a bad habit. You may plan on various activities and games which involve the use of hands such as drawing, craft, painting, etc.
Intervention should be preceded by 1 month moratorium on parental attention. Many a times, it is successful.
DO NOTs OF THUMB-SUCKING
The acronym C.A.L.M may help with remembering how to prevent a temper tantrum.
This will require a good evaluation of the child. Deficiencies of iron, vitamin D, calcium, and zinc need to be excluded. Behavioral and psychological assessment have to be done, and relevant intervention and counseling may be required. In many cases, counseling helps.