Biting is something many children, parents and child care providers may encounter during the infant/ toddler years of life. Biting can be very frustrating for the parents and caregivers who are trying to stop the behavior from happening.
I have had frustrating experiences with biting myself. One memory that always comes to mind is when I was working in a toddler room we had a little boy who was going through a tough biting stage. On this particular day, he had bitten four or five times and I was at my whit’s end of what to do. My co-teacher came in and said to me, “Kristi, he bit me,” and she showed me the bite mark. At this point I was extremely frustrated as to what I could do to stop the behavior. The co-teacher was playing a prank on me! She had made the bite mark on her arm with lipstick. This created a laugh for all and broke the tension of the frustration of the behavior that we were dealing with.
Children bite for many different reasons and the good news is that most of them aren’t intentional or meant to cause harm to others. Reasons children bite include:
As you watch your children at play, you can begin to anticipate when a bite might occur. Documenting these things can help you figure out why the biting is happening. What you find out from your observation and documentation can help find a solution to stop the biting.
Biting can be a very frustrating phase to go through as a parent and a child care provider. Remember it is a normal stage of development for infants and toddlers. It helps to talk with other child care professionals and parents, who have experienced their own children biting, to reassure you this is just a phase and it doesn’t last forever! J
Dealing with Biting Behaviors in Young Children- Ron Banks and Sojin Yi: http://ecap.crc.illinois.edu/poptopics/biting.html
Zero to Three: Why do Toddlers Bite? Finding the right Response: http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/challenging-behavior/chew-on-this-resources-on-biting.html
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