Biting - a challenging behaviour

Biting is very common. Studies have shown that more than half the toddlers in child care, in the USA, have been bitten and that boys are more likely to bite than girls.
Children can bite to obtain objects, gain attention or express frustration or other communication.
For toddlers biting can be a form of communication because the child lacks the necessary verbal skills.

1. In a loud, sharp voice say "No biting. Biting hurts"  (This is not a time for a long discussions or  explanations.)
2. Apologize to the person who was bitten.
3. Remove the child from the situation - e.g. sit elsewhere and hold child - 1 minute for a one year old, 2 minutes for a 2 year old...

This information is my personal opinion, as a parent, and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician.

Another viewpoint from Karen DeBord, Child Development Specialist, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences: "Biting usually occurs in young children who are either teething or showing love. During teething, make sure infants have firm surfaces on which to bite such as a soft toy, plastic ring, clean washcloth, or clean sock. Often babies want to show affection and kiss, but they get so involved in what little they know about affection that they bite instead of kiss.
When biting occurs, look at the child and say firmly, “No biting! That hurts!” This shows you are not pleased. To prevent the biting, gently steer the child away and say, “I will help you stop biting, Jerome.”
NEVER bite children back! Young children have not developed empathy and do not know how YOU feel. If you raise your voice because it hurt, they may cry simply because you were loud or had an angry expression. But they didn’t realize how you felt. They also do not know how to feel sorry yet."

More resources:
Chew on This:  Responding to Toddlers Who Bite from Zero to Three National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, USA
help! my child bites from families nsw

1 comment:

Lee said...

great resources for this perplexing behaviour, so many parents get stressed when their child is biting another child and don't know what to do. Staying calm is important


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