On the eating of boogers

robinParker likes to eat boogers.

There.  Just in case there was any doubt, now you know my children aren’t perfect, and neither is my parenting.  Oh, you already knew?  Good.  I hate falling off pedestals.  It hurts.

I know a lot of kids eat boogers, but I assumed they knew better by the time they could talk. I  thought it was one of those guilty pleasures they indulge when they think no one is looking because they haven’t managed to break the habit yet.  I understand, because I was actually old enough to remember breaking the habit.  Ugh.  I remember thinking to myself, “I am waaay too old to be doing this.  What if someone sees me?!”

Not Parker.  We had to convince him that this was a bad habit.  He looked dubious the first few times, but he’s finally starting to believe us.

Now I try to rehearse with him regularly:

Mom: Do you eat boogers?

Parker: NO!  Boogers are disgusting!



Mom: Parker likes boogers, right?

Parker: NO!  Boogers are disgusting!

Sometimes he forgets his line, and either looks confused or shrugs an affirmation.  Then we step up the rehearsals.

This morning, I heard PerryBoy having a conversation with him.  “Parker,” he said in his most condescending voice, “Your nose is like a wall protecting a city, and your body is the city.  When you eat boogers you are helping the bad guys get into the city.”

Score one for PerryBoy.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t eat boogers anymore.

Oh, wait.  He does.


  1. I had had a major problem with my 7 year old son eating boogers. I tried everything I could think of to stop it. Finally, one day, I asked him why he would want to do something so disgusting. He looked at me and said, “But Mom!! They taste so good!!” BTW, I like the “nose poop” idea. Maybe I should try it with my little one, who has developed the same habit!

  2. Too funny! One of my kids used to do that, and it was really disturbing to me. Eventually, he stopped all on his own! Now that he’s a teenager, I found out it’s an effective tool for blackmail!

  3. My husband informed our eldest when he was 2.5 or 3 that “Boogers are not food. We do not eat boogers.” He quickly informed several people at church the next Sunday, “Daddy says, boogers is not food.” We go to a good church because everyone who heard this information, with near straight faces, replied something like, “Yes, that is true and you should always listen to your Daddy.”

  4. Bahahaha, I wish it were that easy to outgrow! The hubby and I have made a game of ‘Spot The Booger Eater’ in the car….it’s usually hot chicks, our kids were so mortified by our cackling that they quit…grade A parenting

  5. Hi, just wanted to let you know you made me giggle. My mother told my oldest when he was a little guy and she caught him picking his nose that boogers are “nose poop”. It stopped him right then. I love my mama, she always seemed to know the right thing to say! 🙂

    • It’s so funny that your mom called boogers “nose poop.” For a while, I drew the same comparison in an attempt to gross my kids out and help them break the habit. It didn’t work as well as I had hoped, and grossed me out to hear it repeated ad nauseum so I asked them to stop saying it – even though it was originally my idea.
      Also, I have to confess that I was just a little bit afraid we might make poop *less* disgusting to those who didn’t find boogers distasteful. I just didn’t want to go there.

      • Ohhhh, I had never thought of that! I’m so glad it didn’t go that way for me, but with kids you can never really tell. I was truly shocked at the kind of things that you do have to tell kids not to do, you would think that they would just know something is gross! 😉

  6. Yuck. What a habit, and yet I’ve seen grown-ups do it as well. I won’t tell Parker 😉

    PS. Your header seems to have disappeared. I hope it is down for a make over of the number.

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