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Why has my niece started licking everything?

Q: My 4-year-old niece has started licking everything. Be it windows, bathtub and even her fingers are always in her mouth although she sucks a pacifier. Her parents are in the middle of a divorce. I tried to explain the licking things will make her sick and give her germs. How should I tackle this problem?

A:The little girl is probably upset about the discord in the family. Her world is in chaos and her sucking a pacifier reflects her longing for security. Sometimes children lick things or eat mud, because they are deficient in calcium. That could be more easily taken care of, than her feeling of insecurity. Somebody has to pay attention to the child and help her through this period of sadness and uncertainty. Perhaps you could consult a doctor or a Psychologist.

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