Share your tips for a biting toddler

Tanya - posted on 10/11/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




My daughter will be two in November, and when she gets mad or we get on to her she bits herself. Is that normal for a child to do that? And how can we get her to stop doing it? We get on to her for it but it doesn't work. Thank you


Jenni - posted on 10/11/2012




Yup, it's normal. Some toddlers are biters.

Usually, biting (especially in the way you described as a reaction to anger/frustration) is a manifestation of their lack of communication skills. They haven't learned to use words to express how they're feeling. You can address this issue by using your words to describe her feelings and encouraging her to use her words, it will take time and consistency. Use any opportunity to express how you're feeling in words, how others are feeling and how she's feeling both positive and negative emotions. Keep it simple. "(her name) is really mad!"

She should be old enough to start quick timeouts, about 2 mins to calm herself down. Then talk to her in a short, matter of a fact manner. "We don't bite, it hurts. We say: I'm mad!" It will take awhile before she gets it. My son was a hitter between the ages of 18-30 months but he's 4 now and hasn't hit anyone in over a year. Once he learned how to express his feelings verbally, the hitting stopped. Some children will figure it out quicker than others, some will take more time, patience and consistency.

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