skip to Main Content

How can you stop your child from Biting?

Biting is a common behaviour in small children, including toddlers. The behaviour has no definite cause, but it’s believed to be one-way children express themselves. While biting is understandable coming from a small child, it’s not expected from older children or those who know what they’re doing. Talk to your child to change the behaviour or involve a counsellor to help in tuning the child.

Why do Children bite?

Here are two major reasons why a child would bite:

Inability to express themselves well – Just like adults, small children have feelings but are unable to vocalise or rationalise them. A perfect example is when they’re frustrated. They may bite or hit you as a way of venting out the anger.

Behavioural experiment – Children like to see where their behavioural capabilities can get them. Biting may be one of the ways they’ll test their behavioural boundaries.

Other reasons why Children Bite…

  • To get your attention
  • A way of defending themselves
  • A sign of being overwhelmed or overtired
  • They may be imitating other children’s behaviour

Can you prevent you Child Biting?

That depends on how you teach your child as a parent. A child is born clueless about the behaviours they’re expected to exhibit. Teaching your child that biting is unacceptable behaviour from a young age is one of the straightforward ways to prevent it from occurring in the future.

Understanding your child can also help prevent this behaviour. Get to know what frightens or overwhelms her, how she likes to spend time (alone or with other kids), her likes and dislikes, etc. Strive to make your child happy and contented at all times by offering an environment that they’re always comfortable in.

Let your child know how to go around these situations without necessarily biting. If your child bites when her space is invaded, teach her to always report to someone instead of biting. Praise them if they get accustomed to the more acceptable behaviour. Even better, don’t let them get into situations that make them exhibit this behaviour.

Lastly, if your children know how to read, purchase a book that teaches about not biting for them. If they’re able to learn by themselves, the easier it’ll be to avoid the behaviour.

What to do when your child bites…

• Call them out to stop the behaviour – You can loudly say “NO” or say a firm “Biting Hurts” immediately they bite you. If you continuously let them know that the biting is intolerable, they’ll eventually stop it.

• If the behaviour is directed to another child, show attention to the bitten child. Shifting attention will trigger the misbehaving child’s mind and they’ll understand that there’s no reward for the behaviour. Definitely, if they keep this in mind, the behaviour will effortlessly halt.

• Face the child doing the biting and let them explain to you why they did it. Make it clear that there’re always better ways to express their feelings. Specifically, teach them how to voice out when things don’t turn out the way they want them.

What to avoid…

Over-punishing your child – Over-punishing is never a corrective measure for children. In fact, your child may repeat the behaviour out of frustration.

Biting back – Sadly some parents think biting back will show their child that biting hurts but in reality it will only worsen their behaviour.

Final Thoughts

When your child bites it’s extremely frustrating and painful! to get your child out of the habit simply take the time to teach your child that biting is wrong and eventually they will get the message.