View Full Version : How do you deal with biting?

03-07-2012, 04:02 PM
It's been a while since I've had to deal with this, so I'm looking for any helpful tips, hints and advice! Thanks!
My 20 month old son and has started biting in the last couple days. He only bites ONE of my DCK's (18 months)...and I am in no way blaming the 18 month old, but DCK has started obsessively trying to steal everything and anything that my son has in his hands. This is obviously pissing my son off, because he's never bitten before and due to limited vocabularly, he's expressing himself through biting HARD.
It was incredibly embarrassing to point out 2 bite marks on the DCK's arm and back to his parents (who are awesome and understanding, which makes me feel worse! lol)
What behaviour guidance techniques do you use for a biter??
Thanks in advance!

03-07-2012, 06:16 PM
It goes more into a preventative strategy for me. Once I have seen a child bites-- I try to see what triggers it.
You seem to indicate your son does it when he is frustrated or because of a toy so I would watch them like a hawk during play time and try to swoop in if you see your son about to bite.
Then I make eye contact and say a stern/angry NO ! We don't bite and then I explain that it hurts and that teeth are not for biting
I would then redirect him.

If he bites and you don't notice until the action has happened and he has hurt the other child I would say the same verbage but give a 2 min time out. after the time out I would again have a stern reminder that he is not allowed to bite.

I don't think there is a fast easy cure. It is going to mean you really watching and trying to catch him before he does it and showing a negative reaction to his behaviour and showing him that it does not get the results he wants

03-07-2012, 06:27 PM
Ok, so pretty much exactly what I've been doing...it'll just take time. Thanks!!

Inspired by Reggio
03-07-2012, 08:15 PM
I agree that prevention is key ... when I have a child who really NEEDS to bite to release that anger or stress before they can problem solve more effectively I attach a biting ring to their clothes and redirect them to 'bite this when you are angry and then when you feel better you TALK to your friend' cause sometimes they really do need that outlet and biting something more socially acceptable is easier than trying to 'repress' that need!

03-07-2012, 08:31 PM
Just out of curiosity. What happens to the kid who steals his toys all the time. I TOTALLY agree that your son should have a stern no and time out. but it isn't exactly fair if he is the ONLY on in time out. After the other little boy is done crying and being comforted and the wound tended to, I think he should also get a stern no and time out for stealing toys.

I'd get pretty damn frustrated too if I couldn't ever play in peace

Inspired by Reggio
03-07-2012, 08:35 PM
I'd get pretty damn frustrated too if I couldn't ever play in peace

I agree BOTH behaviours should be being addressed - while no one deserves to be 'bitten' if you are invading someones space and making them feel threatened you are increasing the odds you WILL be bitten and need to make better choices!

03-08-2012, 03:37 AM
For sure... as for the biting, exactly what spixie suggested. Eagle eyes, until the behaviour ceases. If that means that your son (or WHOever the biter happens to be) needs to come with you to the bathroom, then so be it. Better for him to shadow you, than to apologize/explain daily bite marks. It's not at all uncommon for a child who is just gaining vocabulary skills to bite, we just need to send clear and immediate messages that it's NOT okay and will NOT be tolerated.
Taking toys from other kids probably isn't something that calls for a time out, in my house, unless it came with other unacceptable behavior such as pushing, hitting or screaming at the other little person. But again, I would have my eyes glued on that kid and the INSTANT his/her hand reaches out, a stern "NO. We do NOT take from people's hands". Then suggest another toy for the child, and discuss that when So-and-so is done (puts it down and turns attention elsewhere, or begins playing with other things), then it can be their turn. Never to early to begin teaching about taking turns.

03-08-2012, 12:20 PM
Thanks ladies...and of course I address both behaviours. It's the times that I don't get there fast enough (helping another child, etc) that the biting occurs! I'll continue to be consistent with addressing both behaviours. It's a tricky age for learning about sharing and taking turns!