Steve has been very bothered that Genna sucks her finger and has for most of the last three years. She would get better about it, and then something would shake her feeling of security, like having a new baby brother or moving out of a house into an RV, and she would ramp up again. She's been begging for a bike, and Steve has insisted that she must completely kick her finger-sucking habit before getting one. That has been deeply distressing for her! I've spent the last several months mentally prepping her to give up the habit. I told her that she would stop when she's four years old. Steve also told her to stop every time he saw her doing, accompanied by much wailing & tears.
Well, lo and behold, yesterday afternoon Genna announced, "I don't seem to be sucking my finger any more, so I don't think I'll need to sleep with my 'glanket' tonight." I acknowledged her, but I didn't make a big deal about it, because I was pretty sure her resolve would weaken as bedtime approached. Just before bed, she asked me where she should keep her 'glanket' since she wouldn't be sleeping with it, so she wouldn't be sucking her finger. When she rejected my suggestions, I asked what she thought, and she decided to place it with her jammies. She got ready for bed, and after her bedtime story, she got very distressed about how in the world she was going to be able to go to sleep without sucking her finger! I stayed and snuggled her, and she fell promptly to sleep with both arms high over her head---no finger sucking! I warned the big sisters, and went to bed expecting to wake to some night-time drama later. Guess what??? None...she slept through till morning and woke with no finger in her mouth and no tell-tale signs of through-the-night-sucking! Woww...I was astonished! Now, whether this resolve sticks remains to be seen, but my nearly eleven years of parenting have taught me that things like this have much greater success when the child initiates it than when Steve or I decide for them!