Q: Help! I have 3 children ages 10,9 and 7; I cannot get them to close their mouths when they chew. Any ideas on how to stop this horrible habit?
A: You should check with the pediatrician and make sure that they don’t have blocked nasal passages first. Sometimes this is the case so chewing with an open mouth allows breathing to take place at the same time. If there is no problem, then just be consistently firm that this is unattractive, that people will laugh at them or not invite them to be with them because it is such bad manners, and that they have to practice not doing this, at home, every day so they don’t do it in public out of habit. They are old enough to understand that this would be embarrassing to them, and could even lose them friends.