Biting can be a common but unacceptable behavior. Children who bite are usually under stress. The stress could be as simple as not wanting to share, or something larger such as a change in the family or a new sibling.
If your child is biting other children or adults, here are some suggestions to help your child stop biting:
- When the bite occurs, get on your child’s eye level, make eye contact and tell your child firmly “No! Biting hurts. Do not bite.”
- Take note of when your child usually bites. If you see your child in that situation try to redirect him by introducing a new toy or offering another activity.
- If your child feels the urge to bite, you can give her something safe to bite such as a squishy toy or a washcloth. Tell your child to bite this object not people.
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings when he feels the urge to bite. Children need to know it is OK to be angry or frustrated, but it is NOT OK to bite.
- Never bite a child back. It does not build the respect and warmth needed in the parent-child relationship. Show your child how to be gentle by setting a gentle example.