There is no single moment in any learning or playing environment when no one goes home with a throbbing red mark on the skin of a child just because a biting toddler is on the loose. Actually, there are many reasons that trigger the toddler’s biting behavior. Experts have found it as a way for the young kid to express his emotion which is commonly loved. Toddlers show affection through biting without even knowing that they are already hurting the person.
On the other hand, such undesirable behavior is a kid’s way of experimenting on how the body parts work especially the teeth and the mouth. It is actually not intended to hurt someone and biting other children is an impulsive act that is done out of excitement. In some cases, toddlers bite because they need to defend themselves especially considering their inability to talk and it also a means to get what they want particularly their parent’s attention.
If you are that worried mom of a biter, consider the following interventions:
- Learn to say “no biting!” firmly and pull the child out of the situation.
- Identify those factors that trigger the child to bite others. Learn to prevent the act before the teeth sink into the skin. For instance, if the toddler’s biting behavior is caused by too much affection, try to show the child how hugging or touching would mean more than biting.
- Explain that the behavior is already hurting others and that is a bad thing to do.
- Whisk your child away from the would-be victim and calm him down. A time-out would divert his attention from the other person whom your child intends to bite. You would also have enough time to explain why the behavior should stop.
- Reduce the risk by putting yourself in between the child and the one to be bitten. Turn your back to the biter to show sympathy to the victim. This will let the biter feel that the behavior is unacceptable.
- Learn to set time-out. If the biting is due to a toy, then find a way to put the toy out of the scene.
- Administer proper sanctions to the biting act. Some biters are asked to stay out of the playing zone for a moment and talked to by teachers, caregivers and parents while explaining how painful the action was and how it should not be done again.
Mothers of bitten children may always find it so hard to see the red mark on their children’s skin. Their reaction against the biter is somehow uncontrollable and unexpected. Parents of biters should see to it that they spend some time to talk to the victim’s side to console and assure that they are doing everything to stop the biting. You may also want to seek a little patience and more understanding.
Any misbehavior could be dealt with in an environment that fosters good actions for children through the concerted efforts of everyone around them.
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