What parents can do
What is really happening?
Use the who, what, when,where, and how method to dis-cover what is really happening.When does the biting occur? Whois involved? Where does it hap-pen? What happens before orafterward? How was the situationhandled?
If you determine that the bitingoccurs as the result of explorationor teething, you may want toprovide the child with a cloth orteething ring to gnaw on. If yourchild seems to bite when tired orhungry, you may want to look atyour daily routine to be sure thathe or she is getting enough sleepand nourishment.If biting happens when twochildren fight over a toy tele-phone, you may want to purchasean extra toy telephone.Trying to makevery youngchildren sharesimply doesnot work.
Young children often experi-ence frustration. Growing up isa real struggle. Drinking from acup is great, yet nursing orsucking from a bottle is alsowonderful. Sometimes it would be nice to remain a baby. Tod-dlers don’t have good controlover their bodies yet. A lovingpat sometimes turns into a pushor a whack. Toddlers also don’ttalk well yet. They have troubleasking for things or requestinghelp. They haven’t learned howto play with others. When youdon’t have words to expressyour feelings, sometimes youshow others by hitting, pushing,or biting.
A child’s world can be stressfulat times. A lack of daily routine,interesting things to do, or adultinteraction are stressful situationsfor children. Events like death,divorce, or a move to a new homealso cause stress for children.Biting is one way to expressfeelings and relieve tension.Toddlers don’t have the skills orunderstanding to negotiate orunderstand another child’spoint of view.If attention seems to be themain cause for biting, try tospend time with your childwhen he or she is doing morepositive things. Snuggle up andread a book together or roll a ball back and forth. This is muchmore fun than giving or receiv-ing a scolding.If the child is experiencing astressful situation, make life assupportive and normal aspossible. Predictable meals and bedtimes, and extra time with aloving adult can help. Someactivities can actually relievetension. Examples are rolling,squishing, and pounding play