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Angelina - posted on 06/18/2011
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.
Debbie - posted on 06/18/2011
Biting back is not to instill fear but to show your child that biting hurts and it is not nice. Unfortunately this did not work with my little girl as she did not care as she would bite herself in temper. All children are different and this works for some, talking works for other's moving them away for some. We all have to try different things to find out what works as we do not want our children biting other. I was lucky Abby only bit me, sometimes she would be laughing and come at me with her mouth wide open to bite me. My husband has been the main carer for a few months because of stress and i have worked, I have not been biten in this time and am hoping she has grown out of it.
Sharon - posted on 06/18/2011
NOT BITE BACK. Children learn respect from their carer, teach children to respect others and biting will stop. Biting them back stops the behaviour through fear not respect, they may not bite you again for fear of being hurt but they will be led to believe that violence has it's place - now I don't believe violence solves anything and certainly do not want to be responsible for creating yet another human being who thinks with with brawn than brain.
Katherine - posted on 06/18/2011
Wow, there is a lot of great advice and opinions here. In my opinion biting back is NOT the answer. AS a lot of you have said children bite out of frustration because of lack of communication or teething.
There are many ways to curb biting. Give attention to the child who has been bitten, do NOT give attention to your child.
Don't playfully bite your toddler. This sends mixed signals. These are just a few ideas. Hope they give some of you a few more resources :)
Jenna - posted on 06/17/2011
Depends on the age. Definitely don't bite back a baby. But if they're over 2, I think a small nip can show them that it hurts and they won't do it again. Not enough to leave marks, but unless they are bitten, they don't understand that it hurts. I bit my daughter when she was 3, she started biting - once she realised that it hurt, she didn't do it again
Jacci - posted on 06/17/2011
My then 2 year old son was a chronic biter...he bite everyone and nearly everything that moved. I ran a dayhome and it nearly drove me round the bend. I read every book on discipline from time outs, hand smacks, smack to the bum, biting back to ignoring him and only dealing with the victim...he then decided he would create victim triage and run from one kid to the next. I had seen my friend do this with her kids a couple of times for talking back or swearing - I call it the lip flick. And it worked. He hated it. Doesn't bite anymore and hasn't for atleast a year. Try everything until something works for you without obviously harming your child or endangering your sanity!!
Julie - posted on 06/17/2011
I responded to the last bite my daughter gave me with a loud and very sincere "Ouch- that hurt" as I put her at a quick arm's length. The bite brought tears to my eyes. Her response was a little bit of fear, and a what I think was her first response of empathy, she cried too. She was about 13 months old at the time and never bit again.
Reba - posted on 06/17/2011
Read over the post and, I still say as they bite you look them straight in the eye and do the same not real hard just so they know what it is and how it feels I only had to do it once it work like a charm all this I wouldn't stuff is just a waste. It does show them & fast that it's not a thing to do. I know alot of mothers that do all this and that and their the kids that go to school bite the kids in daycare and get thrown out. A quick method is to teach them what it feels like it's work for a hundred years , and very affectively.
Reba - posted on 06/17/2011
Bite back but, not real hard just hard enough to let him know how it feels and that if they do it that's what will happen I did it once to my kids they never bite anyone after that. Just don't break the skin or do it real hard just enough to let them know it hurts people.
Betty - posted on 06/17/2011
Biting back is not a good answer in my opinion. Time out, removal from the situation and being firmlu told "No bIting! Biting is for food." Frustration is usually the cause, both my boys bit. I encouraged them to use their words and let them know biting hurts. Made my son say sorry when he bit his cousin and was sure he saw that mark he had left on her. Biting back doesn't solve anything. i
Emily - posted on 06/17/2011
Wow there sure are a lot of opinions on this one! I have done everything under the sun and it hasn't helped. My boy is 18 months old and can't speak. Toddlers that have no words become frustrated very easily. They may attack when you have no idea they are about to because they are thinking about something they need you to know and cannot figure out how to get it to come out. They also hit, scream, cry, etc.... If the reason the child is biting has anything to do with frustration due to lack of communication skills then working toward understanding and time are the only things that will help. Children also bite when they are tired, emotionally upset, etc.... So really we need to start with why is the child biting. You can't fix it if you don't know why it is happening.
Also to those of you who have children in daycare and they are being bitten, although I know it is upsetting try to remember that the child doing the biting is not evil or the result of bad parenting necessarily. I worked in a daycare taking care of 2 year olds. We had a serial biter that struck every day. Parents were coming unglued. So we took the mother aside and informed her that her little girl would have to go if she couldn't solve the issue. The mother burst into tears and laid out the child's home environment to us. She was going through a terrible divorce were there was constant fighting and the father no longer had time to visit the child. A 2 year old has no way of expressing there anger and grief over the situations they are forced to live with. After having some understanding of what she was going through we dealt with her differently. We did not think it was fair to separate her from children she had been in class with for more than a year. The biting didn't stop but it lessened. I am sure some of the other parents weren't happy as we didn't get rid of her but as a child care provider you have to take every child into consideration even if they aren't all that pleasant to deal with. Hope this helped.
Kristin - posted on 06/17/2011
When my daughter (5) bit me the first time, I told her that it wasn't ok... eventually she bit me again, and I thumped (with my finger, very carefully, but with an upset face) her on the mouth and she never bit me again. When I was a kid, I used to bite my brother ALL of the time. Finally, after I bit him one time, my mom bit me HARD... I never bit anyone again, but I don't remember her biting me, so there were no lasting effects :)
Cindy - posted on 06/17/2011
My son does the biting thing occasionally and thinks our reactions are funny. Walking away does help sometimes. I have, after all other choices failed, pretended to bite him which of course hasn't worked. I don't know the answer to the problem. My child is VERY stubborn.
Tina - posted on 06/17/2011
First it depends on the age of the child, if still under the age of 'understanding' of reason, you have to think about how to respond so that the child will learn by feeling the pain that is being given in equal proportion, i.e. it hurts, and let them know that it hurts. But do so in 'private' so as to not to cause a scene in public if at all possible. The child does need to learn that it is wrong to bite others. The other thing is to give them something that is acceptable to bite on, that won't hurt the child, and to understand that people and other bodies are not to be touched by human mouths. If the child is hungry then do what you can to provide either suitable food and drink, or if at all possible to change their focus onto something different that will draw their attention in a good way. I.e. a toy, that is safe to play with, or food that they can gnaw on, or to remove them from the situation all together. Much depends on where you are and what you can do about it at the time. If it's near dinner time they need something that is safe to chew on without destroying their appetite, or causing unneeded weight gain if they are already heavy for their age. They will learn if you are able to be consistent in what is best to do. I hope that this will be of help.
Debbie - posted on 06/17/2011
My little one started biting I tried moving her away but she just kept coming back and trying again and if she couldn't get to me then she would bite herself. The worst was if i was washing up and not paying her attention then she would bite my bum, very hard to ignore! Tried biting her back but what was the point when she started biting herself! Not sure if she has grown out of it or if its just that her daddy is looking after her most of the time at the moment.
Helen - posted on 06/17/2011
My son went through a biting stage - and he only bit me, and hard enough to leave teeth marks. I tried everything I could think of (and as an experienced Nursery Nurse I had plenty of techniques to try), and none of them worked, and I had complete back up from DH. We both told him no, that it hurt mummy, we did the time outs, ignoring, reward charts, and still he bit. We tried being kind about, being cross, and being REALLY cross, and still he bit - but still only me and it was really difficult for me to cope with emotionally, and he didn't have the language to be able to tell me why he was biting.
In the end I warned him not to bite and that if he did bite me again, I would bite him back. He did bite me again, so I bit him.
It was awful. I felt so guilty afterwards, I cried . . . . but he has never bitten again!
Obviously I would never ever bite someone elses child, and I only did it to my child because I didn't know what else to do - I'd asked professionals for their advice, read books, done research and nothing had worked, so it was a last resort, and only used after all else failed.
KAZ - posted on 06/17/2011
Teri, i'm going apologise in advance for my next few words, but what part of i bit him back, he said sorry and never bit anyone again did you not understand. This is a site for expression opinion and ideas not slashing one another. The other ladies, thanks I enjoyed the site and chats. Have an awesome weekend. Ciao
Mary - posted on 06/17/2011
I've read through a lot of these replies, and, wow, do people get heated about it! I have a feeling that this is one of those things where, unless it's your kid, it's sort of hard to say definitely what the "right" answer is for the situation.
My toddler has not (yet) really gone through any significant biting phase. She's done it to either my husband or I maybe a handful of times when really frustrated or angry, but a firm NO, and putting her down and ignoring her always worked. OF course, she is an exceptionally verbal child (and has been since about a year), so communicating her feelings is not a big problem for her chatty little self.
I do, however, know several people whose kids had some real biting issues. It can be a really big deal if your kid is in daycare, and biting other kids. If they don't learn (fairly) quickly to stop that behavior, it is the sort of thing that can get them kicked out. It's one thing if they are just biting you or yours, but other parents are very intolerant of their kid coming home with your kid's teeth marks in their arm.
Two of my former co-workers went through this, and their kids were on the verge of being kicked out of daycare. Both of them were probably what most of us would classify as falling into the more "peaceful parenting" type of mindset. They did not use CIO, did not spank, and were, in general, much more into positive behavior strategies. Nothing they were tried with the biting thing was working, however, and they were both pretty resistant when others advised them to bite back. With the one, her mother was watching him a few days (they were hoping a break from daycare might help). On the second day, grandma bit the kid after he bit her. This happened 3 times in the course of the day. After the third time, he never bit again. My friend was furious with her mom...until she conceded that it had worked when every thing else she tried had failed.
The other co-worker's kid got kicked out of her daycare. She resigned shortly thereafter to stay at home (she was only part time) so I honestly have no idea what happened with that kid.
I do know that sometimes, things we never thought we would end up doing, we try out of desperation - and are shocked when they work.
Holly - posted on 06/17/2011
I don't think biting back is the positive message I want to send to my kids. My 2 year-old recently went through a very short biting stage. It was short because I told her "Ow! That hurts. It hurts me and it hurts my feelings." Then my daughter would apologize. She bit me a total of 3 times and then stopped. She responds to words more than actions, so that's what I use to teach her right from wrong.
My 3 year-old, on the other hand, learns from actions, so when she would bite we would say "kisses, not bites!" and she would then kiss the spot that she bit. In kissing the "boo-boo" that she made she realized that it did hurt and she stopped pretty quickly (I can't remember exactly how many times she bit, but I know it wasn't much).
Then there is one of my friends' son. He LOVED his biting stage. He bit anyone and everyone (even strangers who would wander too close in the store - yikes!). One day my friend bit him back and he thought it was funny! It only increased his behavior. THen he came to my house one day (his babysitter was sick and my friend had to go to work) and he bit my daughter (the 3 year-old). She told him our "kisses, not bites" and asked him to kiss where he bit her. He was so stunned to not have a violent reaction that he kissed the "boo-boo" all better and never bit me or my children again (he still bites other people occasionally though... my friend hasn't figured that one out yet).
So, in my limited experience, biting back just isn't the method I would choose or advocate. :)
Jackie - posted on 06/17/2011
When my daugther was about 1 1/2 years old she bite me so hard it almost broke skin. I bite back, not hard...but just enough that it surprised her. She has NEVER biten again. Now that she is 2 years old...she is in daycare. I am NOT happy with the fact that she comes home with bite marks all over her arms, all from the same lil boy! He has biten and HITS other kids in the class (has been seen by my own eyes). He also bite her on her cheek RIGHT under her eye. MOUTHS ARE NASTY PEOPLE!! And I dont want anyone's MOUTH near my child's eye! I said something to the director of the daycare. They have spoken to the parents...BLAH BLAH BLAH!! The kid is still biting and hitting. To the point my lil one doesnt want to go to school anymore! So I said something to the director again....She moves my child to the 1 year old room! How is that fair? The teachers, the director herself and everyone tells me that my little has done nothing to this lil boy but he walks up and bites her...and other kids...and they move my child away from her friends. Parents...if you have a biter...I dont care how you handle it...but handle it!!! I found that a little bite back made her see that it hurts. If they have never felt that before, then they dont know. Had that not worked the first time for me, I dont see me doing it again...time out would be the next thing. Bitting is not ok...and should be handled QUICK! It's not fair for your I dont want to spank or punish my child because they will fear me parenting to hurt MY child! I wish my lil one would bite the crap out of that little kid....maybe then he would stop!
Katie - posted on 06/17/2011
When I was a kid, I was a serious biter. My mom got so fed up that she warned me, "If you bite me again I will bite you back". I didn't pay any attention and bit her again. She bit me back - hard enough to shock me and make me cry, but not hard enough to really even leave marks. I NEVER bit ANYONE again. So it worked for her.
Now, my own child went through a biting phase, I tried EVERYTHING. Finally I told him "I don't think you understand how much this hurts. If you do it again I will bite you back." He immediately bit me again, so I bit him, again just enough to shock him and it made him cry, but other than two teensy marks where my canines are, not even visible. He burst into tears and THIS IS WHAT HE SAID. "Mommy, I'm so sorry! I didn't think it really hurt. It does! I will never do it again!" (Maybe not quite that articulate, but that was the message) He hasn't bitten me again, and we've talked about it now that he is older - he doesn't feel angry or confused or hurt about it. He truly didn't believe that it hurt, and understands that I needed to show him how much it actually hurt for him to understand and to stop.
All kids are different though. My friend has a biter and I wouldn't ever suggest that she bite him, he wouldn't understand it and it would devastate it. I know other parents who have bitten back and their kids laughed and kept doing it. Other friends have bitten and it has either big time decreased the amount of biting, or stopped it all together.
So, I'm not advocating biting back, nor am I saying that it is never a solution. It may not be the best thing in the world, but when you have multiple bite marks, many of which break the skin; and when you have tried everything under the sun that you can think of... well, sometimes kids need to understand what they are doing through experiencing it. I don't want to hear "oh so you think it is ok to hit a kid back to show them what it feels like then." NO. We are talking about a specific issue, so please don't say anything along those lines.
Saryna - posted on 06/17/2011
In my opinion and experience, it is physically impossible to constantly teach by example, there are just some things that kids can't do that we do. What do you say to a child who is just learning the English language that will give them any insight to life, especially when they are not using words they are biting. To give the child an example of how it feels when they bite might not be what they need, but, why not do what you believe in your heart will have the best outcome. If the child grows up learning, and all the time knows that you love them, what does it really hurt if they get a little pinch or bite to teach them it is wrong. We don't want our children to go around hitting other kids, or taking away toys when their friends don't do what they want... so does that mean we stop spanking and taking away toys as punishment? I don't think there is really a discussion here, just a lot of judgement. I say we all parent the way we think is best. And every person in this world has had the thought, "I will not do that to MY children" about one parent or other. Just something to think about...
Lyndsay - posted on 06/17/2011
Absolutely not. You are the adult and should be setting an example to your little one. Zach has learnt that you don't smack or bite Mummy, if you ask him, what should you do to Mummy? he will come over and give me a cuddle and a kiss
Amber - posted on 06/17/2011
@ Carolyn~ That's not debating. Debating is putting your opinion out their for scrutiny while also scrutinizing the oppositions argument. Debate is a back and forth banter that should be played out in a respectful way.
Only one person has been disrespectful...and even those on the same side as that person don't agree with the statement.
Teresa - posted on 06/17/2011
None of my kids have ever seriously bit ME, but I wouldn't bite them back. I guarantee it wouldn't have worked when my twins were toddlers. They went through a phase where they had bite marks up and down their arms constantly... from each other AND themselves. lol
The 3 year old that I babysit does bite my 3 year old and I'll admit to feeling like taking a chunk out of him at times, but I'd never do it. While I disagree w/ biting my OWN child.... biting someone else's kid could land a person in jail, so it's best to come up w/ another solution. ;) I'll let you know when I FIND that solution though.... lol
Sara - posted on 06/17/2011
Isn't that the definition of a discussion/debate though, Carolyn? You have framed it as if people are judging you by disagreeing with you. That's not what I've observed in this thread. I've only seen people (with the exception of one person) said that they disagree, not that people that bite back are unfit or their way is superior. Just sayin'...
Sara - posted on 06/17/2011
I don't think biting your child back is right or acceptable, and not something I used to teach my child not to bite. She was getting bitten at daycare by other kids, that didn't teach her not to bite, so why would me biting her do that? I did what many other mothers here have said, I told her "No biting!" and then would turn my back on her. She learned very quickly that it wasn't an appropriate behavior.