Biting back

Katherine - posted on 06/15/2011 ( 205 moms have responded )

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So your kid bites you: What do you do? Do you bite back or do you remove him/her from the situation?

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Krista - posted on 06/17/2011

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I don't agree with biting back. Carolyn, if you're supposed to "teach by example", then why would you bite? Isn't teaching by example supposed to be when you demonstrate what you DO want them to do, not what you DON'T want them to do?

My son tried biting me a few times when he was a baby. I would frown and say firmly, "No biting!", and put him down somewhere safe and turn my back on him (if we were home). It didn't take long for him to get the message. No, you may not be able to verbally reason with a baby or young toddler, but they can still grasp the idea that if they bite, Mommy won't play or hold them.

Lisa - posted on 06/19/2011

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When my son first got teeth he liked to bite my clothes - I think he like the feeling between his teeth, but it wasn't long before he realised that there was something better if he bit just beyond the clothes. The first few times he bit me, I scolded him but he continued to do it and thought it was rather fun. One day he bit me so hard on my boob that I automatically bit him back out of reaction. I felt terrible about it at the time, but he never bit me or anyone again.

Krystal - posted on 06/16/2011

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No one can say matter of factly NOT to do it. It really does depend on the child. Now, I've babysat for hundreds of children and obviously u can't bite back nor would I want a sitter biting my child....but I had a set of demon children where I literally had to hold them in time out or carry them to their bedroom and lock the door for that type of behavior. They were lacking any form of discipline.. and since children at a young age DO learn based on "this isn't good for me" rather than empathy , for my own child...I most certainly did bite back after i'd had enough + she never did it again. My child would think that rolling around pretend crying was funny as well and would do it more like it was a game. If I had another child, he or she may react differently...it really depends..but your child is not gonna die because u bit him or her...and most parents are not gonna sink their teeth all the way in either....just hard enough to get the message across.

Valerie - posted on 06/16/2011

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It depends on why the biting occurred. I will admit that I have bit my son back before but that was because he was biting me thinking it was fun. Once he got bit back he realized it is not so much fun after all and has not bit hard since. We do let him do play biting where it is very soft nibbles but there is a difference between play biting and hard biting. One of my friends little girls was going around and biting her great grand mother and she would not stop. They would tell her no biting and remove her from the situation and it never helped and they tried this for weeks. I finally told my friend Sarah to bite her the next time she done it and it stopped. It just depends on the child and the situation on how it is handled. No one can say one way is better than the other as both ways do work, child depending.

Michelle - posted on 06/19/2011

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My son at age 2 bit me on my breast. It wasnt anything he'd ever done before. I bit him back on his hand and together we cried and held each other. He never bit again and neither did I. That was a big bonding moment for us.

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Kelly - posted on 06/20/2011

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Biting back is ridiculous. How in the world do you expect a child to learn something by modeling the same behavior. I would say give the child a time out after explaining to him/her why they can not bite and letting them know that it is un-exceptable behavior.

Katie - posted on 06/20/2011

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From my experiance I tried spanking my daughter, telling her it was not good to bite, then I tried time out, and the only thing that worked was biting her back. She bit me so hard on the leg that I had a bruise and it bled a little. I didn't bit my daughter nearly as hard as she did me, but she got the point and hasn't done it since. It has been two months now and she has yet to bite anyone else.
So really it depends on the child.

Stacie - posted on 06/20/2011

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well it depends on how you want to handle the situation. some say that if you don't bite them back then they wont know that it hurts. some say that just explaining to the that they hurt you and its not nice is all you need to do. i think it all depends on your parenting style. theirs so many ways to teach your child whats right and whats wrong.

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The first time bite back… they have to know it hurts, after that remove them away and tell them firmly that you don’t like it when they do that.

Toni - posted on 06/20/2011

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Yvonne Smith- I tried that with my first son, nad he wasn't shocked, he thought it was hilarious and bit me again!!

Vino - posted on 06/20/2011

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I just remove and then tell her that it pain and hurt me. Other than that we can't do anything with our Cute Little Angels.

Kelly - posted on 06/20/2011

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The first time my daughter bit me I told her to bite herself, stupidly she did and she didn't like it, she hasn't ever done it again! (Famous last words!)

Renee - posted on 06/20/2011

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Very clearly say no biting and then remove her from the situation or distract her with something else.

Yvonne - posted on 06/20/2011

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no- pretend to be a baby and cry and have a tantrum to reinforce that it hurts- they will be so shocked they won't do it again !

Zana - posted on 06/20/2011

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Personally speaking i do not bite back anytime, but after some hours or days while i am playing with my 2.9 moths doughtier i bite her finger or toe (not that much) she gets angry with me, she says mammy my finger hurts me.. i reply back to her, o seriously, then ill try to remember to her the last time when she bits me and how i felt that time.

Laura - posted on 06/20/2011

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Then, stick a bar of ivory soap ( because it is 99% pure) in your child's mouth and clamp her little teeth on it. Tell her if she bites again - she will bite the soap again. Also, do not let her have a drink for a few minutes so the taste of the soap is fully appreciated. This cured my son of biting.

Fenella - posted on 06/19/2011

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I bit both my children back just hard enough for them to realize how sore it can be and they did not bite again. They are now 12 and 4 and the 4 year old still knows that it is not right when someone bites him and does not retaliate.

Vanessa - posted on 06/19/2011

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Definitely remove from the situation, but not without discipline! By the time they have teeth with which to bite, they are ready for discipline. I wouldn't tolerate it - biting is equivalent, if not worse, than a fit. I don't tolerate fits, not biting or hitting.

Daisy - posted on 06/19/2011

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Tell them Teeth are for eatting not biting. Keep saying it my adopte son was A big biter the Therapist told him Teeth are for eatting not biting gave him stickers after 3 month without Biting she gave him A Diploma saying 3 month with out Biting

Jan - posted on 06/19/2011

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Heard a line the other day that resonates with me (mother of 2 grown daughters and now a grandma): "We have it all backwards - we try to reason with our toddlers and lay the law down with our teenagers, when we should be doing exactly the opposite." Agree 150%. You aren't teaching your child to bite if you bite him back - until/unless s/he is bitten, s/he is unaware. This is called "reality discipline." Cause and effect. If biting the child back is ineffective, you don't keep on biting him/her, you find another avenue of discipline!

Kimberly - posted on 06/19/2011

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This is so intersting. My baby girl bit her friend at daycare (she is 15 months) and my friend told me she bit her child back oh so very slightly when her son bit her, and he has never done it again!! I know when my daughter tried to do it with me (due to teething) i told her "no, no, no" and told her that biting was for chewing food, not for people and that it hurt. Not sure if she understood but tried to enstill. She has never done it again. :)

Cherie_lemm - posted on 06/19/2011

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Years ago and I was just a young mum, my son bit me. Without a second thought I bit him back.
I don't know who got the biggest fright, but he never bit me or anyone else ever again.

Alavisi - posted on 06/19/2011

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No, I wouldn't bite back, cuz that will not help him- but what you can do is buy him a couple of chew toys. Then give them to him when he is upset or has the tendenct to bite. I know it sounds degrading- but it worked for my 2 1/2 year old son who was biting in daycare. I even told him that "vicious dogs 't bite, and since you want to bite like a vicious dog, you can have this chew toy". He didnt like that and the biting stopped.

Tracy - posted on 06/19/2011

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my daughter doesnt bite me but she bites her older sister so i bite her on the back of her hand as theres not alot of fat etc ,it does seem to work at the moment

Angela - posted on 06/19/2011

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depends on the kid. i tried everything with mine and the only thing that worked was biting her back. i mean, you barely touch them, it's not like you're taking a plug outta their arm.

Michelle - posted on 06/19/2011

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Biting back might work for some children. One of my boys started biting round age of 18 months. I used to give him a tiny squirt of lemon juice in his mouth. I only had to do thst 2 r 3 times to get him to stop biting. Much nicer than biting back, I think.

Stephanie - posted on 06/19/2011

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after many attempts of doing the gentle method of giving her a time out or explaining to her that it hurts and we don't bite i tried the bite back method, not hard or anything. it was enough for her to get the point of ouch that hurts! and as looked at me puzzled i explained that it hurts when she bites and that we don't bite people we only bite food. since then, she got the point.

Jamiita - posted on 06/19/2011

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I wouldn't bite them back but there should be consequences that they definitely do not like. Like quarantine.

Sadie - posted on 06/19/2011

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bite back not hard though just enough for them to not do it again i did it with all of mine and they only bite me once

Leslie - posted on 06/19/2011

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Great advice I look forward to implementing is that a lot of times you can see or feel them going in foe the bite. Place their arm in the way and let them bite themselves. I currently have a bruise from a bite mark and will be watching for the next one.

Katherine - posted on 06/19/2011

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@ Nancy, that's pretty bad. I am shocked at the mother's response. It's HER fault not the kids. She probably teaches him nothing.

I will say this though: I ignored my daughter biting me and she hasn't done it since.

Lisa - posted on 06/19/2011

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Exaggerate your response, yell ow loudly, look shocked and surprised, and tell your child "Biting is NOT okay!"

Darci - posted on 06/19/2011

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I dont know if I exactly know the correct answer for this. I would say probably remove her from the situation tell her how much it hurts someone and that it is wrong and she will go to time out for it. My mom on the other hand had this problem with my older sister when she was young. she bit ppl so my mom bit her back and my sister never bit again. I think she lucked out I think in most cases biting back just teaches them that it is okay and i think they will keep doing it

Candida - posted on 06/19/2011

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My son had this problem for a while and it was very frustrating to say the least. Ultimately, his problem was not being able to express his anger in words. I did occasionally bite him back out of frustration (not extremely hard) just enough to get his attention but it never stopped it. Removing him from me did help but ultimately and sad to say, it took another child biting back for him to stop. And once he started talking and was able to express himself with words that helped tremendously.

Kylie - posted on 06/19/2011

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I would never bite back. I react by showing i am hurt and move away from my child. I dont make a big deal out of it or focus attention on the biting. My son gets quite upset to see her hurt me and my reaction. Sometimes he will be having a cuddle and bite me without thinking. He's not trying to be mean, so i wouldn't dream of being mean back.

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my son was a biter when he was younger. I tried every way of disciplining him to no avail. I finally had to resort to a small bite back. It was just enough to let him know how it felt. He neve bit again!!

Angela - posted on 06/18/2011

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I tried biting back with my grandson. He would just bite me again and hold out his arm for me to bite him back! So I started with "Don't bite me!" and turned away from him. It took him awhile and about 50 bites for gma, but he finally got it.

Vanessa - posted on 06/18/2011

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my 2 year old actually bit me the other day and left a slight mark, i didn't really know how to respond, i just told him off and said he shouldn't bite because it's naughty, and he gave me a hug eventually and put his blanket on the area he bit (his way of saying sorry) and he points and tells me he bit me and i just tell him yeah you did but you shouldn't because it's naughty and not nice

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I've had kids, 5 grandkids & 2 great grandkids and day care in my home...unacceptable needs to be nipped in the bud. A little swat on the rear, telling him "no no that hurts" usually does the trick. with a very young child who doesn't realize, I've even pretended to cry and say ow! then she hugged me and never did it again. My son needed a little swat.(on rear, I never slap faces.)...he never did it again.

Kelsey - posted on 06/18/2011

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My mum bit my older sister when we were kids because she wouldn't stop biting me. She only had to do it once and my sister never bit again. I don't think rolling around on the ground "crying and whimpering" would work for me because my daughter thinks its funny when we do that. I don't think biting her this young would really get the point across, we put her in her down and walk away when she bites or hits. Also she is pretty big on head butting at this point. and its the same thing. we put her down and walk away. But she used to pinch me all the time so I pinched her back (not super hard or anything) and she hasnt done that since. I think it depends on your child as to how you need to deal with them...

Susan - posted on 06/18/2011

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definately not to bite back , as then its teaching them dat its ok to bite when its not, hope ive helped, mother of 5, x

Nancy - posted on 06/18/2011

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I've been reading some of the replies and what I'm seeing is parents replying about the children biting them. My daughter was never a biter, she was always the one being bitten. Take it from a mom whose child was one the receiving end of your childs teeth... If your child hurts mine then there's going to be BIG trouble. Either make them stop or keep them out of daycare and school, because MY child don't deserve to be bitten by YOUR child. One 2 year old boy bit my 2 year old daughter so bad that she was BLEEDING.... The mom said, "Well he only bites when he don't get his way, I guess he won't get desert tonight." No apology or anything. I looked at her with disgust and told her that she BETTER hope neither child had a health problem that could be passed by bodily fluids (his saliva and her blood) Her son NEVER came back to that daycare.

Hatıra Dilek - posted on 06/18/2011

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No, I don't as I believe I can't teach him it is a bad behaviour if I do the same thing. My husband disagrees though. He thinks it is the only way to show him it hurts.

Katherine - posted on 06/18/2011

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As I've said previously some kids bite because they are teething. The biting phase usually starts between 1-2. At 2 they are getting their 2 year molars. You just have to find an alternative to the biting. I like the wooden spoon idea. And the other chewing methods. Biting back is teaching your child violence is ok and probably emotionally hurting them.

Melody - posted on 06/18/2011

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my daughter has autism and had a biting phase when she was little and not very verbal. I spoe with one of her therapists about it, and the therapist said, some bite because they have a pressure build up in their inner ear, and biting hard, releases this pressure, I took to offering her a wooden spoon, or a pencil to bite, when I would see that look in her eye . Soon, she would request the pencil to bite. And soon, out grew the needing to bite.

Cheryle - posted on 06/18/2011

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I would also firmly say, NO biting!" Then follow up with a more gentle explanation. I recall a couple of my children biting once and this worked. Depending on the age, I would also ask why and try to determine what the child's reason was - attention? teeth are bothering them (teething)? anger? curious for the reaction? Or if they aren't able to express why, try to infer why, especially if there's a pattern. Then show them what to do if they want attention or are angry or ??. If teething, you may want to follow up giving them a cold, clean washcloth or teething toy while saying NO bite, shaking your head, etc.... and then handing them the washcloth and smiling, showing them it's for teeth that hurt, etc... I'm a big believer in teaching cause and effect from when they are babies. I looked for situations and created situations to do it with my children and it really boosts their communication skills. As a kindergarten teacher, I see so many children coming in who could be further along if there was more cause and effect, routine, and positive attention in their life.

Charlotte - posted on 06/18/2011

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Tell him it hurts and show him by pushing the back of his hand against his top teeth- not hard enough to hurt him but enough to show it hurts! Worked well for our little boy and only had to do it once.

Karen - posted on 06/18/2011

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Years ago while running a day care service I had a little girl who would get scared and bite others. It was awful because I wanted to comfort her as well as the other child. A friend who is a psychologist suggested that you by "hinged toys" for a child who bites. A clam shell or something similar that lightly snaps shut.

Maria - posted on 06/18/2011

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My daughter has tried it once what it's like to bite someone, she got bitten back by the person she had bitten, and she has never done it again. But what do you do when your little one gets bitten over and over again? My daughter came home one day and she had a purple bite mark on her ear. Nothing makes me breath faster, then when the kids that I love have been hurt by some kids that get no diciplin at all. A mom wants to protect her child, and not hurt

Carolyn - posted on 06/18/2011

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In my opinion as a grand mother you should never under any conditions bite a child. Children learn what they are taught. Telling a child not to bite as you are biting them , tells them what? All it says is that it is okay for me to do it but not you. There is no need to inflict physical pain on a child for any reason. I have raised 3 girls all of whom have bit or tried to and am now helping with 2 grandchildren. My grand daughter is a biter . Children act out in this manner because they are frustrated or angry and don't know how to express themselves.

Angelina - posted on 06/18/2011

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I am a bit confused as I was bitten as a child by my mother and stopped biting. You are saying that the parent is supposed to be the model or example. So my question is what are you saying the consequences of this kind of parenting are. I was never a bully and was in honor roll, I have gone on to University to graduate. I know am a teacher myself. I deal with many types of mothers as I am a Military wife. I am just wondering those Moms talking about modeling behavior and all what you think the long lasting effects are in a child that was bitten by their parent to stop once has on a child. It is an old school method and has proved to work with children and not to like many other forms of discipline.

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