Biting Back

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Vegemite - posted on 06/16/2011

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NO!
I grew up in a house where the only discipline was aggression, aggressive speech and aggressive physical behaviour. All this taught me was if someone does something you don't like react with aggression and you'll get what you want. Then when I became a parent the only way I knew how to do things is the way I was shown but I knew that I didn't want my kids growing up that way so they never got disciplined until they did something so bad and frustrating that I would hit and scream.

Long story short I went to see a Psychologist who has shown me excellent ways to be a mother, to teach and discipline my kids. Now I'm a more confident mother and the kids are happier and so am I because before I only ever know how not to be a mother but not how to be a mother. I only took two appointments for her to undo all I was shown by my mother and give me other more effective, loving ways to raise my kids.

Physical discipline for any reason is not the way to go.

[deleted account]

I bit J back at the advice of others, and it did NOT work. He was almost 3 when he bit me & I bit back. Two hours later, I did something that made him mad--I think I took his toy away--and he bit me!

"Why did you do that?" I asked because I had JUST shown him how much it hurt.

His reply, "I want to hurt you!"

Well there you go. I taught the little bugger how to hurt others....and apparently, since I did it to him, it's okay for him to do it to me :P Talk about backfire!

I apologized for biting him and we made an agreement that neither of us would bite again. It worked. I remember once after the agreement he was mad and he yelled "I want to bite you!!" but he didn't bite me :)

Merry - posted on 06/18/2011

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It sound like for some kids it works, for others it doesn't, and for others ot backfires horribly!
Probably best to just not even risk it.
Besides, no one deserves to be bit.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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My mom told me to bite him back just to show him what it felt like. Ummm, no thanks... I prefer the other white meat, chicken! lol



I highly doubt a toddler who bites can understand the relationship with their biting to parent reacting by bitting them back. Other than, If I bite, mommy will hurt me and that biting is socially acceptable.



My son bit a few times when he was teething (usually the root of the biting). I tried to give as little reaction as possible and would just put him down. I did the same thing with my daughter when she started slapping faces at around 6 months. Just put them down without a reaction on the floor. That way they learn when they bite (cause) the effect will be the person putting them down which is a rather undesirable effect for a baby/toddler. If your not holding them you can walk out of the room, another undesired effect especially if the biting is being used to get your attention. Both only exhibited these behaviours for about a month or so.



I believe if you take this approach it will merely be a phase instead of developing into a problem biter/slapper.

I don't recommend 'yelping' or any other reaction that a child may desire to cause again. Ignore the behaviour and limit reactions to it. You want the child to associate the bitting with an undesired effect.

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Amanda - posted on 12/21/2012

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My mom bit me and my brother back and it worked both times. I did it with my son and he never bit me again. If you don't nip it in the butt it isn't gonna stop, plus I tried everything else. Some kids don't get it until it happens to them same goes of a bully. Until they get pushed around or stood up to they don't stop. It worked for my son. I didn't bite him directly on the skin I bit through his clothing and barely closed my teeth. He never ever even opened his mouth when he got mad. He did have a hard time controlling it when he got really excited but he would start to cry and say sorry. Two year olds can understand full well what you are saying, give your kids some credit people!

Kristi - posted on 06/23/2011

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I was watching that show The Doctors one time and they were talking about biting. One good point the doctor had was first of all to never bite your child back. If you see your kid coming in for the attack try to put their own arm in the way of their biting (and no I don't mean yanking on their arm) so they can feel for themselves what THEY are doing. My son thankfully hasn't gone through a biting stage but when or if he does I won't bite him back. Not sure really how I'll handle it in the heat of the moment but I'm sure it will start off with a "holy sh*t that hurt!" :)

Frances - posted on 06/23/2011

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When my oldest bit as a toddler, it was not in anger. She just did not comprehend that it hurt.

Becky - posted on 06/23/2011

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When Cole was somewhere between 8-12 months, he came up to me once while I was sitting on the couch and just bit my big toe. Actually, I think they've both done this... there's just something about toes, I guess! It hurt, but it was so random and out of the blue, it was actually really funny! And no, I did not bite him back. :)

Becky - posted on 06/23/2011

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No, I would not bite my child back. I feel the same way about spanking them for hitting!
My children rarely, if ever, bite in anger - Cole maybe has once or twice. They bite because I am an idiot and let them play bite, so they think it's funny now. *facepalm* So how could I bite them back for that when it's my own stupid fault that they do it?! I tell them no biting, that hurts, and if they keep it up, they will get set down or I will move away from them. If they are biting each other, they will get a time out. Neither of them are really biters though, and neither has ever bitten another child, other than each other. And like I said, they don't do it out of anger, they just think it's funny.

[deleted account]

I have heard it being as simple as that Frances.I have seen for example with spanking.A mom spank her kid, the kid hits back, mom spanks back.I mean were do you draw the line on that one lol.So if biting does not work and your little one keeps biting then what..you keep biting back.?Is it just the once off to see if it works(the first time around) or do you keep repeating it each time they bite..?in hopes it works.

Frances - posted on 06/18/2011

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My 15 month old was too young to understand that biting hurts. Just telling her that did not get the point across. I bit her only hard enough so that I could tell by her face that it was getting uncomfortable. Then I repeated, "Biting hurts". She got a very thoughtful look on her face and then took her own arm and bit it to see how it felt. After that, she never bit again.

[deleted account]

If your aggressive towards a child.In anyway they will more times mimic that behaviour back.Then you will keep spanking or biting back.Then you will look more like animals than humans.lol

One big crazy cycle of aggression.:-(

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

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LOL Holly my kid blows raspberries on your arms or legs. Sometimes it's a raspberry, sometimes he latches on and bites.

[deleted account]

I like when people say "I don't bite enough to hurt them, just enough to show them it hurts" UMMM... does anyone else see a problem with the logic??? ::head, meet desk:: If you aren't hurting them when you bite them, how is it teaching them it hurts?!?! Ugh...



Edited to add: that's what I've been seeing people post in the thread on the Welcome page, the thread Katherine posted in the OP, and what people have actually said to my face...

[deleted account]

I'm gonna copy and paste my resonse to the thread on this on the Welcome page :)

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. :)

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

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I posted a status about my kid biting us the other day. I clearly said it was because he was teething and like 4 people started going on about biting him back. SMH. He it us when he was 8 months and cutting 8 teeth, stopped and has only started now that he's 17 months and cutting molars. I'm not going to bite my child lol he would just bite us again and laugh and think it's a game.

[deleted account]

I meant to say as well what we use is, there's a Yo Gabba Gabba episode that is specifically about biting; and there's a little song about how we dont bite our friends.

[deleted account]

Yeh i'm with you. Would never bite back. Apparently my mum did it with me and felt that it 'worked' but I cant quite understand how doing something to them that we DONT want them to do can work?

Merry - posted on 06/17/2011

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Yeah I'd never bite back.
My ex sister in law did that and CPS was called and she had to take parenting classes!
sure the impulse is to bite back, but that doesn't make it ok!

Candyce - posted on 06/17/2011

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@ Kelly - It's great that your kid has the control to recognize what he wants to do, but refrain and verbalize! My son is at that point as well. He'll get mad at me and growl and say something like "I don't like you much!" or "I'm mad at you Mommy!" and that's fine. As long as you handle it properly, you're good.

Candyce - posted on 06/17/2011

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I bit my son one time, when he bit me out of anger. During teething and nursing? Hell no, that's normal behavior and it isn't misbehaving, so just ignore it or give them something else to chew on. Biting because you're mad at someone, after you've already discussed other ways of coping is unacceptable. So you nip them gently to show that yes, it does indeed hurt. Then you explain that if you don't want someone else doing it to you, then you don't do it to anyone else. He stopped biting after that, though he does occasionally "play bite" when we play monsters or dragons, lol. Those are just resting teeth on skin, so that's fine. He even explained to his cousin why it was wrong to bite her older brother, because "IT HURTS!"

[deleted account]

Some swear by that.They said there kids never did it again.I mean would you.For heaven sake the child is probably scared shit less to do it again lol.Some still continue to bite.Then what stay biting then back each time?
I do not think biting back is acceptable to do.So no please find another way to teach your little one biting is not nice.

September - posted on 06/16/2011

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Our son has never bitten and I think he’s beyond that age now however if he were to bite, no I would not bite him back. Two wrongs don't make a right, plus I could never bite my child anyhow.

April - posted on 06/16/2011

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I bit my son's finger by accident once when he was feeding me a strawberry! He got mad and bit ME back. He also did that because he wanted to hurt me, like I hurt him. I think in a different situation, the biting back technique wouldn't work anyway because he already KNOWS it hurts. Actually, I think most kids over a year old instinctively know biting hurts or they've learned it a while ago and Mom just didn't realize. I know with my son, he started biting while nursing at 8 months old. After a few times of OWWWW, I think he got the connection for life.

Emma - posted on 06/16/2011

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In the UK biting by an adult to their child is a sign of physical abuse and will result in social services becoming involved with the family. Thats' all I will say on my opinion of parents biting their child.

Katherine - posted on 06/16/2011

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Older kids bite to fight. They do it on purpose. Beat the crap out of their mom!!!!

Just kidding. That's unacceptable though. I would have talked to the mother or if it happened in school asked the teacher how she handles biting with older kids. Good God, twice?!

[deleted account]

I got told by loads of people to bite back, I don't as I don't think it is right. It doesn't teach children why not to bite it just shows that it hurts - and I don't want to hurt my children even when they hurt me, I make Ethan apologise because we don't bite biting hurts ... (whoever he bit) - he always gives the person a hug and then generally doesn't bite again. I have noticed he only does it when he is teething, so when I know he is teething I am more vigilant with him to redirect before he bites.

Jenn - posted on 06/16/2011

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A lot of people I know IRL say to bite back and that's what they do to their kids. Mind you, they're not biting hard, but it's still not that I choose to do.

Ez - posted on 06/16/2011

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Yikes Cathy!! Poor Rhys :(



I agree redirection isn't the answer when it's an older child biting. I'm not big on 'punishment' (I prefer discipline and positive reinforcement) but I think in a case where a child is physically attacking another, something has to happen. Whether it be a time-out (or time-in), or removal of toys, or just packing up and leaving (if it's at a park or playdate or something).



There have been times where my 2yo has been unusually physical with a friend's son and redirection hasn't worked. In those cases, I make her sit in another room with me (and miss out on playing with the other kids) until she calms down. If she does it again, we leave. This has happened a handful of times (we see them once a week). The next week she will actually give herself a little pep talk in the car lol. 'No hitting... no pushing... I can't pull Jett's hair or we have to go home'. (Yeah.. she has been known to do everything EXCEPT bite).

Ez - posted on 06/15/2011

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I don't have a biter (she has done it a handful of times when teething hard), but I would never bite her back. It's irrational and lazy. I used to either distract or redirect her to something she WAS allowed to bite/chew. I realise some kids continue biting until 3 or 4, and that would be much harder to deal with. But I still don't think biting back is the answer.

Kate CP - posted on 06/15/2011

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Yea, I'm not a fan of biting back, either. My four month old is in the habit of biting while nursing now (oh, yay) and honestly it's never crossed my mind to bite him back. Why would I? He's a baby and teething. Yea, it hurts like hell but as soon as he bites my boob is out of his mouth and we are done nursing. He's done it maybe 3 times so far and he's got the hint I think.

I never understood the whole concept of spanking because they hit or biting back because they bite. Aren't we supposed to be MODELING the behavior we want them to display?

Katherine - posted on 06/15/2011

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You're teeth are very dirty and full of bacteria. I remember in middle school a BF bit me on the finger and the next day it was full of pus. He had broken the skin.

April - posted on 06/15/2011

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i actually got this quote from the twilight article about kids biting each others' necks, but it still fits. i HAVE seen a parent bite their child hard enough to leave a mark on the skin.

Anyway, I thought her thoughts on biting affecting psychological health were also interesting. She says biting is a form of branding /marking a person and that that's emotional abuse. it is really hard to say what a toddler really thinks. you might be teaching your toddler a lesson that biting hurts, but he or she could take the lesson more personally than that. i just don't think it is a smart thing to do. i don't care if it works, i think a toddler's psyche can be fragile and darn it i just think biting back is just plain inappropriate.

April - posted on 06/15/2011

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"...Any time there's a break in the skin, especially when you're talking about the human mouth, it's loaded with bacteria," CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said. "That can be an entry for bacteria to get into the skin. You can set up for potentially some serious skin infections."

April - posted on 06/15/2011

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in the heat of the moment, a parent could go too far and break skin. maybe bacteria could get in and make the child sick? or maybe i am just paranoid about stuff like that, lol

[deleted account]

My girls were biters.... to each other. One of them bit my ex once. He thumped (gently) her cheek and she never did it again. Neither of them ever bit me. ;) Biting them back wouldn't have worked though cuz in addition to biting each other.... they WOULD bite themselves. They're weirdos. lol

My son isn't a biter.... except the one day that his sisters were playing 'shark' w/ him. They kept yelling at me that he was biting them, so I went in the room to find out what was happening. As soon as they said they were playing shark I said 'well duh! No wonder your baby brother is biting you. He's being a shark!' They turned him into a kissing shark after that.

The kid I babysit keeps biting my son. I'd kind of like to take a chunk out of him sometimes, but I'd never do it.... or suggest it to someone else.

Sorry... long winded, rambling way to say I'm against biting back. ;)

Amber - posted on 06/15/2011

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@Katherine~ I forgot ignoring :) When he bit me, I ignored him. When he bit somebody else...I did the things I listed above.

Katherine - posted on 06/15/2011

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My daughter bit me so hard I had a bruise the size of a quarter. I ignored it (in tears of course) and she hsn't done it since.

Jodi - posted on 06/15/2011

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I agree with Ebony. I, too, bit my son back, and it did work, but I shouldn't have done it. I was simply ignorant on how to deal with it. I have never had to do that to my daughter, instead I used redirection, and that worked too. So no, I don't agree with it. Absolutely unnecessary.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 06/15/2011

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My son bit my niece in the back and drew blood!

At 2 1/2 that was the first time he did it and the last...luckily.

I did bite him to let him know that it hurt....it did work, but I was naive to other ways to get him to stop and that is what I was told works by family members.



It is wrong, and I would not recommensomeone do it....but there is no denying it was effective in my case.

Amber - posted on 06/15/2011

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WHY?? lol
This is a normal stage for a 2 year old. Redirecting, intervening before the bite happens, separating them, talking about why you shouldn't bite (ummm it hurts), etc are ways that I dealt with biting.

I just don't understand how ME biting my son is going to teach him anything, other than.."that hurts". It doesn't get to the root of the problem. Two year olds don't bite to hurt, they bite because they don't have the vocabulary to express themselves yet.

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