View Full Version : Biting... What to do?

03-16-2012, 12:53 PM
Just looking for some advice and/or tips on how to get a child to stop biting. I currently have twin boys who are 14 months old. One is usually the "agressor" and the other normally backs down. Anyways, the "agressor" is a biter. He has only bitten his brother once before at daycare and that was when they were fighting over a toy. I told him sternly that "we don't bite" and put him in a timeout away from the other kids. He has attempted to bite a few times since then, but I have always been able to intervene.
Yesterday, he bit 4 times and attempted several times beyond that! He bit my daughter twice (two seperate incidents) and my son twice (two seperate incidents). Once with my daughter was during a struggle over a toy, the other was unprovoked. Both times with my son they were upnprovoked (he bit my son's face while my son was just standing with the other kids). The incident when he bit my son's face just happened to occur when another daycare parent was picking up their kid, and they expressed concern in fear their child will be bitten.
I'm not just upset that he bit my kids (I'm glad it was them and not the other dck as I just don't want to deal with that) but this sudden increase has me worried as he has tried to bite again today.
I put the child in time out away from everyone else each time he bit, along with a stern verbal warning, but really I am at a loss as to what to do. The mother is apologetic and does not know what to do either.

03-16-2012, 01:48 PM
I have a biter too in my daycare...he is 2 1/2 now and was good for a long time, but now it has flared up again. I sometimes think he does it for attention or out of jealousy because he only ever bites my kids! The only thing I have found that helps is to watch him like a hawk and catch him before he bites...the more times you can intervene and stop it before it happens, the better. I also give time-outs, but they don't seem to have much effect and I would say especially with a 14 month old, it is very hard for them to stop themselves and think "I might get a time-out if I do this". With my biter, also teaching what to do when he is frustrated has helped...teaching him to use his words...that might be harder with a 14 month old.

03-16-2012, 01:54 PM
Put him in an area (pnp) away from everyone every time he does it with a stern NO! No biting! when he's doing the action or about to. I will also take the child and sternly with their arms at their side/lap and sit them on their bum immediately with a firm NO! That's about all you can do right now or terminate the family because of it. I hate dealing with biting and I really have no tolerance for it.

03-16-2012, 09:53 PM
Whenever there is inappropriate behaviour I use a punishment, timeout, withdrawal of privileges, no matter what the age, but I make it age appropriate. Also, I feel like a broken record, but what are the parents doing about it? You must come up with a consistent plan with the parents so the punishment matches at home too. Children need consistent rules.

03-17-2012, 01:39 AM
Firstly; biting at that age is completely normal. They have begun to feel some real emotions like anger, jealousy, etc as opposed to basic needs like hunger and tiredness. But without the verbal tools to express these feelings, they use inappropriate ways like biting, pushing and hitting.
Having said that... biting may be normal, but it is NOT okay. I always say that, with any kind of aggressive behaviour, the shadow technique seems to work the best. This involves keeping the child immediately beside you for (sigh) every single moment of the day. You don't "entertain" them, you just stay within an arms reach. Yes, this means taking them to the bathroom with you if they are not napping or contained otherwise. The instant he begins to bite/hit, etc you grab his hand or move him away and say "NO. We do not bite. Biting HURTS." You're not using a mean voice, but soft and fuzzy won't work here, either. The idea is to both prevent the incident, and also communicate that it cannot happen. It can be very tiring, but after a full day or two, you begin to allow them to interact alone again. If something happens again, you institute an IMMEDIATE consequence (I certainly use a time out in the case of aggressive behaviour).
This should improve things fairly quickly. And if they don't get better, I would unfortunately say goodbye. I cannot jeopardize the other children for any longer than necessary.
I hope it gets better soon!

Inspired by Reggio
03-17-2012, 11:36 AM
I agree with Mom in Alberta - biting at this stage is developmentally appropriate behaviour because they lack the impulse control and language to resolve issues otherwise and well sometimes they are teething and 'bite just cause it feels good' ... however it is SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE regardless and our job is to role model and steach them impulse control, langauge and empathy to find better solutions to their 'need to bite'.

I would attach a teething toy to his clothes and redirect him to BITE THAT if he is angry or upset cause he NEEDS an outlet at that age since he does not have the language to resolve his frustrations yet.

I too would shadow and help GIVE him the langauge he needs to solve problems before we get to the need to bite.

When I cannot shadow him because I am busy with the other kids doing art or something, or peeing or what not I would place him in a pack -n- play or 'contained' activity at the highchair so that he is not a risk to the others as a preventative measure until he is over the stage and able to 'resolve conflict' successfully during other times of the day.

I would be talking to the parents about at HOME to make sure we are all approaching this the SAME because consistency is key.

03-17-2012, 02:09 PM
I'm not sure exactly what they do as "punishment" at home but I told her what I do (timeout in a pnp away from all the other children). I know it is the age, but it sucks since the other children are getting hurt. He almost broke skin yesterday when he bit my sons thumb (I looked away for one minute). I guess I will shadow and keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully this passes quickly. I will suggest to the mother to do my procedure of timeouts so that it is consistent and hopefully they work with me. Thanks everyone!

03-17-2012, 07:56 PM
I agree with mominalberta that biting due to teething and frustration or other emotions is normal for a toddler/ But biting another child is NOT normal. I only had one child do this in the past 4 years and I stand by my 'appropriate punishment' plan to teach them that it is NOT acceptable as fast as possible.