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Dealing with Biting

by T Akery | January 25th, 2012 | Infants/Toddlers

Some toddlers do bite. As parents, it can be difficult to deal with a toddler that bites, especially when they bite other children. Daycare and Preschools usually have a no tolerance policy for that type of problem. It can also cause major problems inside the household, as parents are trying to grapple with why – and how to stop their toddler from biting. Part of dealing with biting is to understand exactly why your toddler is biting in the first place.

Most often, biting occurs when two children are playing together. It usually happens when one wants a toy the other one has and gets mad when the toy isn’t given to them immediately. As a result, the toddler applies their teeth. It is usually an expression of anger at a situation they don’t like.

While punishing them for biting immediately comes to mind, it is important to follow through with a one on one session designed to get toddlers to express their anger and stress how their actions have hurt the other person they were playing with. While the toddler may have an issue with sharing, you have to stress the importance of handling their anger first.

Thus, you need to show them creative ways in which to release their anger other than biting. It might be as simple as giving them a piece of paper and asking them to color how they feel or showing them how to walk away and go to a parent to say they are angry. You need to give them other tools than their teeth for expressing anger.

Another cause of biting is desire to gain your attention. It is hard to give them the time they need one on one when so many other things are going on around you. But if they are biting to get that attention, you need to carve out some time to address the issue. The solution may be as simple as a ten-minute coloring project or a thank you for helping out. Giving them praise for good things they do, such as picking up toys, will divert them from using biting as a tool.

Addressing the issue behind the biting is part of the key to dealing with biting. If the problem is turning into something bigger than you can handle, don’t be afraid to get some help on this issue. It is important that you deal with the biting before it turns into a habit.

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