If your child bites it can be a parenting nightmare, especially if your toddler bites another child. The first time your child bites someone you probably were appalled that they could do such a thing! The good news is that some children go through this phase and most of the time it is a temporary problem. Believe is to not, biting is a common problem found in many preschools and daycares.
But first of all, it is import to understand why toddlers or babies bite. Many times they will bite because they want to relieve the pressure in their gums while teething. They may also think it is a fun game to play with mommy and daddy. Preschoolers often bite because they have not learned how to handle or cope with stress or do not have the verbal skills to communicate what is wrong with them. Biting is very upsetting to everyone and if you do not deal with it while they are young it may continue, as they get older. That is the last thing you would want to happen. There are a few hints and tricks you can use to help your biting child cope with stress and emotions in another way. Here are some ideas to help stop your childs biting habit.
The first item of business is to step in the minute your child bites someone. You should tell them in a stern voice, “That is biting! You may not bite people.” Express your disapproval firmly and remove the child from the situation. Regardless of what other mom’s may have told you, it does not do any good to bite your child back, and in fact may be very detrimental. They will be getting a mixed message or they will think it is all right for a parent to bite but not a child.
It is important to develop an action plan if your child has been biting and you have not been able to make them stop. You should be prepared to take emergency action and ask for a meeting of the adults that are caregivers. The group should include their teacher, day care helper, or baby-sitter. You should agree on a consequence for the biting behavior. It should be something everyone understands and will be consistently carried out. The consequence could be the loss of a favorite toy, time-out, or they are sent home. Whatever the consequence it must be an action that everyone will follow through with. It has to be strictly and consistently enforced. The consequence should be suitable to the age of the biter.
The next step in stopping the biting behavior is to create empathy by comforting the biting victim. The kids already know that biting hurts, so after removing the biter from the situation, focus all your concern on the victim. Doing this will not only show your child that his or her action caused pain but also show them how to give sympathy. Have your child find a way to atone for his bite. Have them offer a band-aid or a Kleenex, have them draw a picture as a way to apologize to the victim. As a parent you should apologize to the other parents right away either in person or by phone call. Believe me, it is best for the victim’s parents to hear the story from you than a third-party, and that you tried to help their child.