How can I stop my twin boys from bitting each other? They are getting out of hand with it...

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

First Joel started the bitting episodes.... Now he is over it for the most part. Unfortunately, his twin brother, Jacob, has picked up where he left off and has taken it to a whole other level... Joel has about 5 bite brusies on his arms and 2 or 3 on his legs. Yesterday Jacob almost broke his skin he bit him so hard. I had to spank him. I don't like spanking, but I don't know what else to do. The biting usually happens when they are fighting over a toy. Most of the time I never know who actually had the toy first, but that really doesn't matter because I'm afraid he is going to seriously hurt Joel... They also throw large toys at each other and occasionally, unsusspecting parents.... HELP!!!!

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[deleted account]

If they are both getting bit by the other then biting them back would do nothing (not that I would ever advise it anyway) because they already KNOW it hurts....

Chrystal - posted on 03/19/2012

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Melissa I guess I came out unclear I didn't mean wait till they grow out of it as in just let them bite anyone any time they want but you can't make a child stop biting over night it takes time for them to learn the other ways to deal with the situation that's causing the biting and to rush a child to develop will back fire and make things much worse. Which is why I said to learn the signals a bite is coming so you can intervene and to teach them to express the emotions other ways that's the active part of dealing with it.

Katherine - posted on 03/19/2012

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Biting them back is the WORST thing you could do!!!!! What terrible advice!

Chrystal - posted on 03/18/2012

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My son had a biting problem as well. Teresa is right; teach them to use words to express the frustration/anger, try to keep an eye out for the signals a bite is coming so you can stop it, and wait till they out grow it. I noticed with my son he would bite most often when he got over excited so I took that signal serious every time. I found this article helpful when my son was biting.



http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/...

[deleted account]

How old are they? You could teach them to tell each other 'no'. It helped w/ my girls for a while. Then they went back to biting each other again, but would still tell each other 'no' so that I knew I needed to intervene. As toddlers my girls had bite marks up and down their arms... not just from each other, but from themselves as well. Nothing I tried eliminated it, but knowing I needed to intervene prevented some of the bites they gave each other. They eventually outgrew it.

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[deleted account]

AMEN, I would never bite them back. I'm not going to ignore it either. I think I need to pray through... lol

[deleted account]

They are twins and only 2... Jacob almost always bites Joel because he wants a toy Joel is playing with. There is always fighting involved. I know he isn't doing it for attention... He is doing it in an attempt to dominate his twin... Joel was bitting himself out of aggitation at one point, like you mentioned, but he stopped because I stopped reacting to it. I just ignored it and magically it went away. But this is different. I would rather them smack each other than bite. I know that sounds terrible, but at least smacking dosen't draw blood and make these aweful brusies.... I have tried to tell Jake not to bite Joey, in a way he can understand, but when he gets mad at him or wants something Joe has, the fangs come out.... I think I may have got to him last time he did it, but you know how short their memory can be. Thank you for all the advise. It was so much easier with my first child... He is 10 now. He didn't have anyone to fight with... lol Sometimes I wonder if twins are lucky for having a playmate for life or if they are missing out on getting all the direct attention a singleton gets... But I woudn't change anything. And I also feel sorry for my oldest son Jackson at times because he dosen't have a brother his own age, like the twins do. Thank God for his step-sister; they are only 3 months apart. Too bad they only get to see each other every other weekend.... Sorry, I was chasing another rabbit there and got off subject... :)

Melissa - posted on 03/19/2012

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I have to say also that I have a very close family friend who's young son kept getting bit by an older child and because she tried to let the phase wear out CPS got involved and she was placed under supervision. She could not be alone with her son for over 6 months. I would not wait and let them "grow" out of it.

Helen - posted on 03/18/2012

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BITE THEM BACK not hard just a small nip hard enough to feel a lil uncomfort but not so hard it makes a mark i did this with my now 6 yr old years ago i had tried everything and i man everything yet she still drew blood on her sibling a week or so of me nipping her bk she began reliseing she didnt like it so stopped

Katherine - posted on 03/18/2012

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Curiosity. This is the biggest reason that children begin biting when they are young. They are curious about the world around them. They want to taste it and as they get teeth, they want to bite it. They may also be interested in learning what happens when they bite. If this is the reason that your child is biting, you're in luck; this is the easiest biting habit to break. Your child will quickly learn that biting results in negative reactions and will stop biting. Here are some tips for moving through the biting phase if your child is a curious biter:



Communication. Talking to your child about the inappropriateness of biting and the reasons that we don't bite is the first step in resolving this problem. Be sure to engage your child in a conversation about alternatives to biting. Merely discussing why your child bites, how wrong it is and what can be done instead might resolve the problem.

Consequences. If your child won't stop biting but you believe it's a curiosity issue, consequences should resolve the problem. Use whatever standard form of discipline you use in your home (such as time-outs) so that your child will begin to associate biting with negative consequences.



Frustration : Another reason that young children bite is because they are frustrated with what's going on in any given situation. Because they don't have the verbal skills yet to express this frustration, they strike out. They may also engage in other behaviors such as hitting. Communication and consequences will be important tools to use for this type of biter as well. Here are some other techniques to use when your child is a frustrated biter:



Redirection. Children who are clearly frustrated may be redirected into other activities which terminate the acting out and dissuade them from biting.

Appropriate aggression. In some homes, appropriate aggression is allowed. This may include hitting pillows (or screaming into them) or using a punching bag. Even exercise can be used. If this is a tool used in your home, children should be sent to do this activity whenever they bite out of frustration.



Attention: This is a tough one and it's unfortunately common. It may occur at any age but is common in preschool. Children who want attention realize that biting gets it because you can't just ignore someone who is biting you. Communication and consequences will be the key in this area as with some of the others. Here are some additional tips:



Minimize the amount of attention that you give to the biting. Issue a consequence and stick with it but don't get engaged in arguments or battles over the biting.

Use a reward system to reduce the biting. Count the number of times in one week that your child gets consequences for biting. Then institute a reward system using points for each time less than that number which your child bites in the second week.

Praise non-biting behavior. Whenever you see your child getting frustrated or even acting out without biting, praise him or her for that better behavior.

Consider the root source of needing attention. Biting sometimes occurs when big transitions happen like starting preschool or when a new baby comes to the family. If this could be causing the biting, deal with the biting but also work on solutions to providing more attention to your child during this needy time. "Mom and me dates" are good here.



Pain: In young children, the problem might be as simple as pain in the teeth. If your child is teething, you can try the following things to address the problem and stop the biting:



Teething gels. These soothe your child and reduce the pain so they don't feel the need to bite.

Redirection to biting something that's appropriate. Toys or teething rings may be implemented to teach your child what is and isn't okay to bite.



Aggression: In most cases, your child is biting out of curiosity, frustration or a need for attention. However, there are some children who continue biting even as they get older and have learned other ways to deal with these feelings. These children (as well as some younger children) bite as an act of aggression. While communication, consequences and redirection are all important to treating this kind of biting, the real key is resolving the underlying problem that is causing the aggression. Here are some tips for doing that:



Figure out what the problem is. Sometimes a child who is biting at school is doing so in self-defense. Sometimes fighting in the family is causing the child to act out by biting siblings or parents. Sometimes the child is dealing with a difficult emotional situation and is biting to cope. Take the time to figure out what the problem is. Consequences may help but real problem-resolution is the answer.

Consider positive ways of expressing aggression. Enroll your child in karate classes. Create a room in the house with pillowed walls where your child can go act out. Find a solution to let that aggression out without anyone getting hurt.

Therapy and / or medication. This is always a last resort when dealing with biting but it could be something that needs to happen. If you've tried everything else and you're at your wit's end, consider seeking professional assistance.

Melissa - posted on 03/18/2012

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I don't have little children yet and I have been raising my nephews since my sister an brother in law died in 2003 but they were 6&8 so I don't really know. I know my other sister actually pops my niece on the mouth and she quit biting really quickly. Sorry I'm not much help, I hope it gets better soon.

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