Create your balance. Design your life.

Ask Madeleine Vol.18

Need a fresh perspective? Ask Madeleine.  She’s four and has no problem telling you exactly what to do.  Send in your questions–comment below, use the contact link, post them on our Facebook page, or email us at advice @

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How do you get over a bad habit like biting your nails?

Madeleine: You can put a blanket over your fingers?  Then you can’t bite through it.  Try it.  [You are right!  I can’t bite my nails.  What if the problem was something like interrupting a lot?]  Oh.  Well, for interrupting, you put your hands in your lap and then you bubble your mouth. Then you can’t talk. [What does bubbling your mouth look like?]

This is how you "bubble your mouth" to avoid interrupting people.

This is how you “bubble your mouth” to avoid interrupting people.

Also, you can cough into a blanket if you have a habit of spreading germs. [Unless that is the blanket you use to stop biting your nails.] Well, I don’t know. [What other bad habits do you think people need to solve?] Picking boo-boos.  You can cover it with a blanket and then scratch.  you can pinch it off, but you need two blankets for that–but I’m not letting people try that with my blankets.  That is gross. [Good idea.]

Stinky Old Mom: As usual, Madeleine has some pretty sound advice for dealing with bad habits. Really, the trick is to not do them any more right? I recommend, not using a tactic that slows it down or eases you off.  Cold turkey!  This about why you don’t want to do [your habit] any more.  List all the reasons and keep the list with you.  What are your triggers for you habit? Make a list of those and keep it close.  Can you substitute something healthy for your habit? How can you deal more effectively with your triggers?  I’m also a fan of the snowball effect for making changes.


  1. Wow, blankets are super useful :) Love the advice!

  2. What a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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