Back to Growing Stages Main Page  |  Back to Home Page  |  

   BITING
 

Teeth (and claws) are natural weapons for all young mammals, so your toddler's first instinct is to use them when he feels threatened or needs something.

Their inability to manipulate the environment or to fulfill their needs and desires frustrates toddlers.

They are aware that their words will not havethe same effect as their teeth. They realise a good bite always seems to get a lot of reaction.

Children bite for a number of reasons

a.  

For some toddlers, biting may be just another inquisitive sensory experiment.

b.

Biting to a particular child may be just another way to say "I Love You".

c.

Biting may be a sign that boredom, fatigue or hunger has set in.

d.

Teeth pain provokes the need to nibble on something or someone.

e. Biting can represent no more than a call for attention.
f.

Biting can be a reaction to extreme stress, when a child is very frightened. The child's coping strategies could not meet his needs.

g.

Biting in toddlers, is a behaviour that parents dread the most. Biting has the unique distinction of bruising feelings, as well as flesh, terrorizing its small victims and enraging its larger ones.

h.

Sometimes a child may bite his nails out of frustration, to get what he wants from another child, such as a toy.


The following precautions must be taken

a.  

Provide a nibble to prevent biting : Sometimes a child bites just because he is hungry. Always feed your child before he goes to play.

b.

Take biting seriously : Some parents laugh when their child bites another person. This will encourage biting.

c.

Do not bite back : Stop stooping to your toddlers level "A bite for a bite", aggressive acts stop when adults stop them, do not bite back your toddler.

d.

Avoid double standards : Some parents bite their child's toes or fingers playfully or allow their toddlers to take a nip of their cheek or arm. However, when a child does the same to a playmate, they scold him.

e.

Nip biting in the bud : Separate the biter and the victim immediately. Do not overreact or yell. Politely inform the child, "Please do not bite. Biting hurts".


 

Back to Growing Stages Main Page  |  Back to Home Page  |