Of all the possible embarrassing scenarios you encounter as a mother, your child injuring another tops the list. Pushing, hitting, kicking, stealing and biting other children are serious issues that you want to nip right away, regardless if your child was the victim or attacker (I know, strong word). One of the nastiest of these actions is biting, and your child will probably experience being both the bitten and bitee at least once in their life. It’s important to note that kids bite for a number of reasons, many of which have absolutely nothing to do with anger or intending to inflict harm. If you find yourself with a biter, then check out this great list of ideas on curtailing your toddlers chomping.
1. No Pretend Biting
You’ve probably been play biting your children’s toes and fingers since they were babies (they’re just so cute!). But now that your toddler is a little more aware, they probably can’t differentiate between play and real biting. They may try and “bite” their friends hands, thinking they are sending a message of love like you do. As hard as it is, stay away from pretend biting so you don’t confuse them.
Get it on Amazon
2. Reinforce Through Books
Let’s be honest, you’re going to stop the biting with a multi-directional attack, with messages from every angle. There are several books you can pick up that address the proper use of teeth and no biting, like this great one called “No Biting” by Karen Katz. This cute book offers alternatives to biting through showing a variety of scenarios that will hopefully help your toddlers to think before they bite.
3. Say it Straight: No Biting!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, your toddler doesn’t alway understand what they are doing, nor do they care to listen to a lengthy reprimand. When your child bites, immediately tell them “No Biting!” and use adjectives like “Ouch, that hurts” to tell them they are causing pain. Be sure to be consistent, and use a stern voice so they know you mean business.
4. Watch for Cues
Kids bite for a number of reasons, one of which can be boredom or a response to a specific situation. If you know what your child’s cue is, then remove it. If they get tired and start biting, it’s time for a nap. Request the help of your daycare provider in providing a little extra attention through the biting phase to help stop it before it gets out of control.