Reasons Why Toddlers Eat Paper it’s common to see them eating paper, hair, or dirt—and it may be caused by something as simple as a vitamin deficiency. If you’re concerned about this, talk to your child’s doctor, as they can provide the best advice and recommend a supplement or diet.
Children eat paper because they want to use their senses, including taste, to explore new objects and to learn more about them. They also like the way these things feel in their mouths and they can often tell whether the object is edible or not. While a bit disconcerting to parents, this behavior is normal and not harmful.
The good news is that a positive family environment and empathetic parenting behaviors can help kids develop empathy even when their temperament is inhibited. Inhibited temperament is a common factor in developmental delays and deficits in empathy. Previous research suggests that this is because kids with this temperament are competent in understanding another person’s distress, but have trouble responding to it (Findlay et al., 2006).
The ABCs of Understanding Toddler Paper-Eating: Causes, Concerns, and Coping Strategies
So the next time your kid is having a tantrum and you can’t figure out how to stop them from screaming, try empathic parenting instead. It won’t always stop the screaming, but it will allow them to process those big emotions through validation and understanding—and that’s what healing is all about. And it will probably prevent them from escalating their tantrum, as kids usually stop screaming when they feel heard.