Brendan is biting and I can't get him to stop! Help!

Kelly - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 59 moms have responded )

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I was told to bite him back but I don't want to do that. He drew blood on his baby brother tonight and I'm stuck as to how to deal with it. I don't know what to do please help give me tips on how to stop him from biting.

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Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2009

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I was a BIG biter. My mother finally bit me back the day I drew blood on her. I then started to bite myself. I can tell you I remember how I felt when I bit. If I was happy, sad, angry, etc. any emotion that would be overwhelming for me and I would just feel the need to "expend" the feelings/energy and biting made me feel better. Maybe you could try asking your son how he feels when he does this and explain using words or actions to show his feelings. I had teeth marks in my hand till I was 9 or 10 and learned how to better express myself.

Nicole - posted on 10/19/2009

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I do have an interesting story to tell you.. my cousin Eric (now in his 30s) was a Pincher when he was Little...he would pinch people to the point of leaving bruises..and he would think it was funny... my mom told him one day that if he pinched anyone again that she was going to pinch him...and that she was Bigger, so she could pinch harder.. point being.. he Pinched Me..and left a bad bruise..and my mom, with the permission of my aunt, turned around and Pinched him HARD Not hard enough to harm him, but hard enough to scare him... and to this day he has NEVER pinched anyone Cept his now Wife's ,,,,,,back side. lol. sometimes they have to experience it, to understand what it does. You are a Grown up, you are able to temper how much or how little you do.. but I do not see the harm in biting back, if its to show him that it is painful, and Mean..

Iysha - posted on 10/19/2009

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I read that you're supposed to say, "Ouch..that hurts _______. Don't do that!" then walk away for a few minutes and have nobody interact with the child in any way....no looking at him, talking to him. Then come back and do whatever you were doing. I guess it is supposed to make them feel bad about doing it. My thought is that it is like a real life situation a child would experience on the playground. If you are mean to the person you are playing with, they are going to leave and find someone else to play with. No child wants their friends to leave them and not like them any more so they are nicer to them. I don't want to tell you not to bite your baby back, but if you try everything and it isn't working try it. I just wouldn't want that to be a first option...it seems a little cruel, but from what I have heard it seems to be effective.

Melissa - posted on 10/22/2009

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Quoting mikayla:

i dont agree with that, if u bite them back they wont understand its wrong, just like if you smack your child for doing somthing wrong they are likly to smack others when they think they are doing somthing as thats what happens when they do wrong, if u were to bite them back aswell as tell them off for doing it, its so contracdicting, it will confuse them.


Wait a year honey,You have to let them Know it hurts somehow.Toddlers dont get cause and effect yet its our job to teach them.

Andrea - posted on 10/20/2009

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My son used to bite when he was little but he soon grew out of it. I would advise you speak to a childcare professional and get some advice from a trusted source I think you will struggle to find a teacher, nurse or health visitor who will encourage you to bite your child.

I hated it when Nathan bit me or others and I wondered if biting him back would work but I could never bring myself to actually do it! Surely it is our role as parents to teach our children right from wrong and I believe that a big part of that is to encourage them not to react to violence by being violent, where does it end? If it is ok to bite back if you are bitten then is it ok to punch if you have been punched or kick if you have been kicked? As adults we know the difference between teaching or child a lesson and actually being violent but how can a young child possibly tell the difference? It's not a very responsible message to give a child.

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Mary - posted on 09/22/2011

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Bit him back not enough to really hurt not a big bruse or bring blood , If you don't he won't quit he has no consept how bad it hurts . And there is no way for him to know . If he thinks he is going to get bitten every time he bites he will quit . If you don't stop this behavior someone else probably will or you will be taken to court by another parent .Good luck .

Krystle - posted on 02/18/2010

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my son whos now 8 went through the biting faze twice, hed bite when he was excited or angry. whenever he bit me, id bite him back softly and tell him "gentle". It didnt take long 4 him to forget biting hard and soon learnt biting softly doesnt get a reaction and he stopped

Sarah - posted on 02/17/2010

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sorry to say hun but bite him back!! my son only bit the once he never did it again i wont have biting my mum did it to me my brother and my sister too we never bit again either you cant really tell a child how much it hurts they dont know they not feeling it they doingthe biting biting back they soon know how much it hurts they not going to like doing it if they going to get bitten back hun thats not so much fun then hope it all works out for you good luck xx

Sarah - posted on 02/17/2010

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the soap thing usually doesnt help till they are older i was a nanny for 7 years and i fould that if all else failed hot sauce on the gums worked just enough that it makes their mouth tingle and they dont like it! and dont forget to tell them why you are putting the hot sauce in there mouth i used to call it NO MORE BITE if they bit they got taken to the kitchen and got one drop of hot sauce put on their finger and they had to put it in their mouths so that way they were even more hesitant to bit the next time because they know what was comming!

Adriana - posted on 10/24/2009

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When my daughter Carolina started biting children at daycare, I was overwhelmed with so many emotions, besides, telling a 2 1/2 year old "NO biting" seemed hopeless. Luckily the wise director asked if she was teething.....? it turns out she was.... I knew I had to soothe the pain, so I resorted to giving her frozen waffles!!! Frozen waffles do wonders for throbbing gums.

Melissa - posted on 10/24/2009

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I know what you mean. My son was biting so when doing everything else didn't work i had to bite him back but only enough to make them know it was wrong. I bit him once and he didn't do it again.

Kiley - posted on 10/24/2009

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yeah, i would bite him! that way he will hopefully stop, because if u dont bite him, he is just going to keep biting everyone else! and then soon, it will be a stranger.. and Lord know's what would happen then! so if i were u, i would bite him! yes it might hurt him a little bit but the pain wont last forever!

User - posted on 10/24/2009

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i would just bite him cos its the only way he will learn thet he is causin pain so bite back the regrets and just do it i also use 1 2 3 that somtimes works my little girl doesnt even let me get to 2 now good luck

Christal - posted on 10/24/2009

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you know i play bite with my daughter she is 10 months, and she just started biting me back, i know i prob should have started to begin with i think i started a bad habbit. so i am trying not to bite her anymore. they say that kids bite when they get frustrated, and when they dont know any other way to communicate. so i say try something diff. i agree with the hotsauce thing. when i worked at a daycare, there was a mother there that caried "sassy sauce" (so she called it) her daughters knew that if they talked back or somthing they got the sassy sauce.

[deleted account]

I'm not saying this in judgement of anyone's opinion. My Son is only a year and a half and I was able to stop his biting by treating it as teething pain with tylenol, teethers ect. I have no experience with older children biting and realize it would be a whole new ball game at that point.



Still a heads up to anyone who wants to try the bite back method:



It is in Canada considered full on physical child abuse even if it doesn't leave a mark. All it takes is one over sensitive person to report you to children's services and you will be investigated.



As I said I have no experience with it, I am not putting this to judge anyone's decisions or question their parenting skills. Just letting you know posting you info with statements about biting your children can lead to problems.

Marilyn - posted on 10/23/2009

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Biting is something they usually grow out of. I personally wouldn't bite him back. It might work, but it could backfire. He might think, "mommy got mad at me and bit me, so that is the right thing to do."

Sarah - posted on 10/23/2009

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I bit my kids back when they bit me and they never bit me again. You don't do it hard but they don't like when you do it so they won't do it to you. My kids did bit each other sometimes when they got mad but they got over that too cause the other would bit back. It is not abuse. There are other methods of punishment but my kids did the bitting before they could understand time outs. I feel a time out doesn't do anything if they don't know why they're in time out. When your bitting them back they understand that it hurts and they shouldn't do it but trying to say that into words they won't have any clue what your talking about unless this is a problem for older kids. Mine went through this stage between 1 and 2 years old.

Amy - posted on 10/23/2009

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dont bite ur child back. by doing that its showing him its ok to bite. put him in time out. my son bit me once and i slapped his mouth. he never did it again.

[deleted account]

i tried the whole biting back thing. and it doesnt work my son actually got more mad and starting biting me right after.

Kim - posted on 10/23/2009

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if you bite him back your showing him its ok to bite he will think if my mammy bites it must be ok so he will do it all the more

Holly - posted on 10/22/2009

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Here's what worked for my son- when he was 2 1/2 he had a major biting issue at daycare. He was almost kicked out. The director of the daycare suggested I get him a "bite toy." That night, we went to Target and I let him pick out a baby teether (he picked a fish) and that was now his "biting fish." I told him that if he ever had the urge to bite something, that was the only thing he was allowed to bite. He even had to take it to daycare with him. Well, sure enough it worked like a charm. Within a few days he no longer had a problem.

Samantha - posted on 10/22/2009

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Quoting Iysha:

I read that you're supposed to say, "Ouch..that hurts _______. Don't do that!" then walk away for a few minutes and have nobody interact with the child in any way....no looking at him, talking to him. Then come back and do whatever you were doing. I guess it is supposed to make them feel bad about doing it. My thought is that it is like a real life situation a child would experience on the playground. If you are mean to the person you are playing with, they are going to leave and find someone else to play with. No child wants their friends to leave them and not like them any more so they are nicer to them. I don't want to tell you not to bite your baby back, but if you try everything and it isn't working try it. I just wouldn't want that to be a first option...it seems a little cruel, but from what I have heard it seems to be effective.



lol that sounds like something you would do if your dog did something bad  but i guess thats a really good idea!!

Virginie - posted on 10/22/2009

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sometimes, the baby bites because he is teething, but if it's not about that, I'd bite back so that the child knows he has to stop b/c that hurts...

Nami - posted on 10/22/2009

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Yeah... I would NOT bite back. Children see behavior and mimic it, so biting your child back can ultimately back fire on you! A firm, no, that hurts baby brother and ignoring him for a bit should work. Sounds like he is acting out and wants attention so the best thing is to not make much ado about it! Take several times a day to hug on him, and have him hug siblings. Praise the hell out of that behavior! And make sure you catch him doing it on his own, too, and praise that. Encouragment is a powerful tool and he'll catch on soon enough!

[deleted account]

my eldest son usedto bite , and i dont think biting them back is the answer because it just shows them that its ok to do , just as if u were to smack them its just showing them its ok to smack , there are always other alternitives to violence , i told him no we do not allow that type of behaviour , it took some perseverance but it paid off in the end and he stopped , i have been qute lucky with my other 2 boys as they have never bit anyone , but my youngest son picked up some not so nice words from a child at school and im using the same process with him and its starting to work xx

[deleted account]

YES, you do bite back when my baby started biting i would tell him you only bite people that put their hands in your mouth or you feel thearten. -Then he started biting me so i would bite back not to hurt them but just to let them no you will bite too an teeth hurts. so yea bite back.

Leanne - posted on 10/22/2009

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hi my boy used to do that ands biteing him dose not solve it. trust me. as when i used to bite him he would think this waas right so he carried on doing this and when i bit him back but harder then he started doing it harder so then i decided that when he done that i took him away from where he was and put in on his bed and took his best toy out of his room and did not let him watch dvds or the telly any more untill he stopped it. it took me a long time but it doid work and sometimes it did not work so then i would laugh at him and get who ever he bit to laugh at him to show him that it did not hurt and there was no point in doing it.

Tracy - posted on 10/22/2009

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MY SON AND DAUGHTER HAVE BOTH GONE THROUGH THIS STAGE! WITH MY DAUGHTER I BIT HER BACK AND IT HELPED AND WITH MY SON I TRIED BITING BACK BUT HE JUST BIT HARDER SOO I TRIED SOAP IN THE MOUTH AFTER HE WOULD BIT AND THAT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!!

Ashley - posted on 10/22/2009

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when my daughter first started trying to walk she would bite and then laugh about it she bit my aunt one day and she bit her back emily cryed but she ain't bit anyone since

Kassie - posted on 10/22/2009

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My son went through this. Now at daycare the sitter did bite him back and it worked. The first time I saw him do it i had a spray bottle by my and i gave him a quick spray and never again has he bit. I also have done it when he was throwing a fit and it like made him snap out of it. lol i know it sounds horrible but it worked for me

April - posted on 10/22/2009

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I bite mine...not hard of course not even hard enough to leave a mark...jsut so they can feel your teeth that is what i did with mine and they never bit again!

Magan - posted on 10/22/2009

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My daughter had a big problem with biting too, and biting her back did work most of the time, but I also found when she got really mad biting her back would make her even madder, so tapping her on the mouth worked in that case. I hated doing it, but it seems to be a necessary evil. Its not child abuse unless you're constantly drawing blood, leaving bruises, and all around beating your child all the time.

Lisa - posted on 10/21/2009

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bite him back, not hard ofcourse, but it works. both my girls bit until they got the same treatment. a time out is a waste of time, doesnt get the point across-if u want a well behaved child and no biting-it only takes once and they stop! miracle i say-just how many time outs does it take-toooooo many.

Suearz - posted on 10/21/2009

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Look i have been around kids that bite. they sometimes dont understand that they are doing harm but if you bite back or have the person they bite do the same to them it will shock them and that will stop the problem. I have seen it work so i know.

[deleted account]

NEVER bite your child!!!! It is wrong and illegal!!! How does biting a child show them right from wrong??? It is your job to show your child the right way to do things and abusing them is never the right way!



You need to keep a close watch on your children (which I am sure you do) and always be on top of the situation. Behaviors have to be stopped before biting occurs. Make sure your child does not have any medical reason for biting (teething, sensory issues). You can give him something to chew on. Sensory websites make special chewy instruments that may work. Teach your child more words that will help him express his displeasure instead of biting. Good luck.

Rose - posted on 10/21/2009

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that's how i got my daughter to stop biting people. but there are other ways. it just depends on the age. biting them back isn't child abuse. people will also tell you not to pop your child. it's called discipline.

Leah - posted on 10/21/2009

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caster oil a lil on the lips he tastes that and he should stop whoever told you to bit your baby back is dumb if he goes to do it again tell im you will put more of the ucky on his lips this should help

Jasmine - posted on 10/21/2009

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i was told by my doctor that as long as you dont bit hard enough to leave a mark it is fine to bit them back and it will teach them a lesson

Sarah - posted on 10/20/2009

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i think looking for help from a teacher or a medical prof. will not help kids need to learn that they dont run the show

Jessica - posted on 10/20/2009

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I know it sounds evil saying to bite him back, but your lil boy prolly doesn't realize that he is hurting his brothers...and he needs to see how it feels so he knows that he knows his actions are causing pain..not sying you have to draw blood, but just a firm nibble

Andrea - posted on 10/20/2009

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My little brother was a bitter... He bit hard too!! But he never though that he was, cause if any one said anything to him about it he would bite himself and say "see it doesn't hurt", one night he got me really good. My mother bit him back and he didn't ever do it again, course she had to go cry in another room for doing it but he learned.

Sarah - posted on 10/20/2009

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bite back or try soap in the mouth or a little bit of hot sauce on your finger tip NOT A LOT just a tiny bit he wont bite any more

Tasheka - posted on 10/20/2009

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Bite back trust me thats how my kids learned to not bite anymore...the doctor even told me to do it ...not hard though just softly but they will learn....and by the way my son's name is Brendan too !

Mikayla - posted on 10/20/2009

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i dont agree with that, if u bite them back they wont understand its wrong, just like if you smack your child for doing somthing wrong they are likly to smack others when they think they are doing somthing as thats what happens when they do wrong, if u were to bite them back aswell as tell them off for doing it, its so contracdicting, it will confuse them.

Gemma - posted on 10/20/2009

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the biting stage...biting back does not work for young kids. What I do and my nursery do is watch and the min my little one goes to bite we takign him away from the situation say no, and put him on a 1 min time out. (1 min as he is only 1 1/2 yrs old). After a week he got the message, they key is to make sure everyone who looks after him follow the same procedure. If biting due to frustration give them something to take it out on like play dough, its a great distraction and they can be a mean to it as they like.



We occasionally have biting every now and then usually when he has more teeth comign through, or when he is getting tired and his elder brother is tring to irrate him. so watch out for those signs if they are getting tired make sure everyone leaves them alone, or put them to bed. if teething get out the gel or granuals.



If your baby mixs with other kids they will learn for themselves that being bitten hurts because one of them will bite them at some point. When older the kids tend to do the thats not nice, and that gets through when people dont want to play because you bite.

Kelly - posted on 10/19/2009

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thank you everyone for your help he vit his brother again this morning i acturally bit him back and he stopped and looked at me he was shocked and then said im sorry mummy and walked of then i was watching him and he went to do it again but stopped and said no i naughty lol so he knew what he was about to do was naughty and he didn't do it so thanks everyone for your advice it did help.

Gail - posted on 10/19/2009

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i don't know that it is a good idea to bite your child back. i have never heard of that myself. my child has a visiting nurse that comes and i asked her what to do about my daughters biting. she told me that anytime she tried to bite me that i should push back against her gums. not to hard but just enough pressure that it would be uncomfortable and she would release. and she told me as she got older if it didn't stop that i acknowledge what she is doing "that's biting" tell her its not nice to bite and set some sort of a consequence and follow through with it every single time she would bite.

Hannah - posted on 10/19/2009

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If he is hurting a younger child you have to really crack down. When he does it grab him sternly, you dont have to hurt him but be rough enough he knows you are in control. Lead him away from what he did wrong and tell him in the most stern, calm, assertive voice you have not to ever do that again or you will have to discipline him. Make him look at you. My daughter went through a phase of biting my nipple when nursing, I flicked her nose and she stopped. I didnt hurt her, just surprised her and said in that super-mom voice: "You do NOT hurt mama." He is clearly angry about something and putting angry children in time outs backfires it just makes them more angry. To have a balanced child they must know exactly where the boundries are and that there are ALWAYS punishments for crossing the line that mom has drawn. Spankings can be good for children though our society is against that now. And biting back only does so much when you are punishing out of anger instead of disciplining from a calm place. So grab him, be rough in a calm way and tell him that if he wants to hang out with you guys he has to be nice or you guys dont want to play with him. Dont lock him in his room or put him in a corner but tell him to go away from you until he is ready to be a good boy. He has to walk away, dont move the otherchildren form him, make him go away. good luck

Lucy - posted on 10/19/2009

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Quoting Tachia:



Quoting Lucy:

Biting a child is abuse! There are many more effective discipline methods. e.g. time out.





And what is time out doesnt work? IT IS NOT CHILD ABUSE! its teaching your child a lesson. You dont bite them hard enough to leave a mark or even hurt! Its just to get the point across. I never did bite my son but i did tap him on the mouth every time he bit me. It seemed to work because Time Outs DEFINITELY did not work and nothing else did either.





There is always an alternative to any form of violence!

Linda - posted on 10/19/2009

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Hot Sauce can definetly be effective for some things...but it can also back fire....my oldest daughter actually grabbed the bottle from me and started chugging, haha!

Tachia - posted on 10/19/2009

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Jen, I have never heard the hot sauce thing for biting but it may work! We put hot sauce on my niece's thumb to get her to stop sucking it and it worked!

Tachia - posted on 10/19/2009

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Quoting Lucy:

Biting a child is abuse! There are many more effective discipline methods. e.g. time out.


And what is time out doesnt work? IT IS NOT CHILD ABUSE! its teaching your child a lesson. You dont bite them hard enough to leave a mark or even hurt! Its just to get the point across. I never did bite my son but i did tap him on the mouth every time he bit me. It seemed to work because Time Outs DEFINITELY did not work and nothing else did either.

Jen - posted on 10/19/2009

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We've biten my daughter back, slightly tapped her in the mouth, put her in time out, and popped her on the bottom. None of it has worked yet. She bit 3 times at day care last week including her teacher. She does't bite hard, but enough to hurt (no marks). I asked some other moms how they dealt with it and I was given 2 suggestions that I haven't tried yet. 1. Put a little bit of hot sauce on their tongue when they bite. and 2. Make them bite a small piece of soap. I'm not too sure about either idea, but if it becomes a really bad problem I may have to try the hot sauce.

Marie - posted on 10/19/2009

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Biting him back will help him to understand that biting people hurts them. Its a bad habit and its effecting your other children. Its not abuse, noone is saying to draw blood or even leave a mark...but from experience it works.

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