Children around the age of 3 years, often bite in response to challenging situations or just to get their demands fulfilled. Are you shocked and embarrassed that your child has recently bitten someone in his school? Read more to find out how to understand and deal with your child’s biting behavior.
Why do children bite?
More than 25 percent of children between 2 and 4 years bite. Some do it very often and others rarely.
Understanding the reason your child bites is the first step in the right direction. Some of the reasons are
- Self-defense strategy.
- Facing a stressful situation.
- Need for attention.
- Intense frustration or rage.
- Lack of communication skills.
- Overwhelmed by the environment.
- Lack of adult supervision.
- Teething troubles.
- Copying the aggressive behaviors of children around them.
Ways to prevent
- Examine the pattern of incidents. There are a few questions that can help you identify the pattern and help you predict it in future and prevent it –
- What happened just before he bit someone? Did someone take his/ her toy? Or were his/ her parents playing with the younger sibling then?
- Is there a particular child, sibling, person or a caregiver, he targets every time?
- Where was he/she then, park, playgroup or shopping mall? Were there too many people around him/ her or was it too loud?
- Who was taking care of him/her then?
- Keep an eye on the child. If you see any of the above signs, be prepared to intervene and take control of the situation. Try to distract him/her by talking to them about something else and take him a little away. Then firmly but carefully say that it’s not good to hurt someone and offer a solution to the problem.
- Teach him some sentences. If the reason was a lack of verbal skills, teaching your child simple words like “No”, “That’s mine!” and “Let us share!” can be of great help.
- Be calm and never bite back: Biting a child back in an attempt to teach him a lesson is never helpful. If you bite him back, you are setting the wrong example by becoming aggressive yourself.
- Talk to your child. Ask him/her why he did it later. Try role-playing and recreate the scene between you and your child. Now teach him some ways he could have handled the same situation effectively.
- Take a break. If your child is stimulated due to some child, playgroup, toy or activity, try to keep him/her away from it for sometime.
- Stick to a routine so that the aggression is not due to crankiness or sudden surprises.
- Appreciate good behavior. Let your child know that you have noticed his/her efforts to stay calm and act nicely.
Hope these tips will help you find a way to reduce biting episodes before it finally becomes a thing of the past.