My two year old son is biting, how do I get him to stop?

Heather - posted on 10/10/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My two year old son started daycare for the first time back in January. Prior to that my husband stayed home with. My husband is finishing his degree so we had to put our son in daycare. At first we thought it would be great, he would get to play with other kids. Then he started biting, hitting and head butting myself, my husband and the other kids at daycare. He only says a handful of words, so we thought it was just out of frustration because he couldn't tell anyone what he needed or how he felt. There were screaming bouts also. He would just scream this LOUD intense scream like out of a horror movie. Sometimes for no reason at all, other times because he was mad or being told no. two weeks ago he was kicked out of daycare. We luckily found another daycare, today was his third day and he was written up for biting. He tried to bite his teacher twice and then actually bit another child. I'm at a loss. I don't know how to get him to stop or why he started doing this in the first place. I've tried holding his hands and getting down on his level, looking him in the eyes and telling him that its not nice to bite and that it hurts people. We've tried time out, but that just creates a meltdown. I dont' know what to do. I keep telling myself this is a phase and he'll grow out of it, but it seems like its more than that. I just don't know how to get him to understand. He has a 6 month old brother and luckily he never tries to bite him, he is actually very gentle and sweet to the baby. It's mainly at daycare and with us that these behaviors are seen. I NEED HELP!!!

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Ariana - posted on 10/11/2012

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Ignoring only helps if you, and all the other caregivers, ignore it consistantly. It usually gets worse before it gets better. For headbutting and biting you could try giving him a time-out or time away to another room or playpen/crib. If he learns biting/headbutting gets him taken away from what he wants to do maybe it will help?



For throwing toys tell him if he throws a toy it gets taken away.



I know this sounds bad but if he laughed when he got bit it's because he didn't get bit hard enough... You'll have to just try time-outs with him.



You might want to talk to your daycare provider and see if you can both work on being consistant in discipline of biting. So if he tries to bite there have it so they take him away from whatever is going on as well. You can take him away and say we don't bite people, we bite these toys and give him a chewing toy.



Two year olds are stretching their newly found 'muscles' if you will. My child tried to become a terror when he hit 18 months, and it threw me off temporarily, but once I realized what was going on I was able to discipline consistantly and take away power struggles.



Can he speak fairly well? Maybe there are certain triggers that get him yelling that you don't realize? You can try to tell him to use his words, even something like telling him he's angry, teach him if he's mad he can stomp his feet or punch a pillow, but we don't hit people and we don't bite people.

Heather - posted on 10/11/2012

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My husband has actually bite him back, not hard enough to draw blood or anything, but hard enough. My son just laughs and thinks its funny. He actually holds him arm out to my husband to bite him again. We are just scared he is going to get kicked out of this new daycare. The last daycare he was in made a comment that we should get a private nanny to watch him in our home, because he does so well with one on one interaction. If that was something we could afford, I would stay at home with him. It's just scary and frustrating at the same time. I mean, did I do something or NOT do something to create this behavior? I feel like the daycare people look at me like I'm a bad mother because of how he acts. And the SCREAMING. Omg...my son screams are worse than nails on a chalk board!!! We literally jump each time he does this. Its to the point my husband has actually said he doesn't like our son. He loves him, but he doesn't like having to be around him because of the screaming and mean behavior. It just breaks my heart when he says things like that. My son can be such a sweet loving child. He will just walk up and give us or his little brother kisses. He will reach out and touch our faces so gently, and then 10 seconds later he's screaming and headbutting one of us or throwing toys at us. His doctor ran an autism checklist on him at our last visit and said it wasn't that. Is it just the "terrible two's"? Is anyone else having these problems? to this extent? Ignoring him when he does these things doesn't help, it just makes him scream even more.

Ariana - posted on 10/10/2012

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Bite him. Look, I'm not into corporal punishment, I would never spank my child. That being said my child started hitting me ALL THE TIME. I tried time-outs, and telling him to stop but he would not. I finally told him, if you hit me, I'm hitting you back. He tried it two times and after that I would warn him and he'd end up laughing and walking away because he did not want to be hit. (of course I never hit him as hard as I can because I'm much bigger than him).



At this age of your son has figured something out, he's actually being really smart. The best defense is to bite, the quickest way to get someones attention is to bite. If he bites you tell him if he does it again you're going to bite him, if he bites you again, bite him. Don't draw blood or anything crazy but seriously if he keeps biting kids another kid is going to bite him or hurt him badly. Once a kid starts biting it's incredibly hard to get them to stop.



If you just can't my only advice is to ignore the behavior. Make it seem like you don't even care. If he bites you just don't react (which isn't exactly easy) and walk into another room. This won't help you with daycare, you might end up having to get a nanny/sitter if he keeps biting other kids at daycare.

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