How do I stop a boy at a playgroup from biting my son?

You've raised your child to not bite other kids, but that doesn't mean other kids won't do the same. What do you do if another child is biting your son?

20  Answers

269 22

If your child is old enough to speak then it may be a perfect time to teach your child how to deal with bullies. My neighbour's son is aggressive with pushing, pinching and yelling, etc (he had ASD). I was torn about keeping her completely away from him to protect her until I started thinking of what coping skill was I teaching her. I told her that his behavior was unacceptable and that she should use her words to tell him to "stop", "don't do that" or "I don't want to play with you anymore if you push". I never let her play near him unless I'm there to supervise but am very proud of how she has chosen to deal with him. On days where is is aggressive, she tells me she doesn't want to play with him because he's in a bad mood and on his good days they play sports together. My favorite was when he wanted to play tag and tagged her a bit more firmly than she would have liked and she yelled at him "No, no, no hitting J, go to your room!!". Some moms may disagree with my way of handling the situation but I gave this a great deal of thought and firmly believe that it is my responsibility to teach my daughter how to deal with adversity with courage while reaffirming to her that mommy ALWAYS has her back if she needs me to step in which by the way I have.

3 31

I have to agree, my son was bitten (on the face) a couple of times at school and we had the discussion that if another child got into his space which is the area he can hold his arms out then he can put his arms out and say no get away or you are in my space. He is only 3 but it has seem to work and he hasn't been bitten again.

1 16

I have noticed this is a little one sided....what where the circumstances surrounding the other child biting? Im not saying its ok or right by any means...however maybe that was the other child defending themselves from being bullied.....
Being on the other side of the situation, im a little sensitive on this subject. My oldest son was a biter. he started at about 15 mo. My husband and I had talked to our sons dr about it because it was out of aggression and anger. After watching his actions before his biting happened it was always a defense issue. Either someone had taken something from him or hurt him. He was only trying to protect himself. Granted it wasnt the best way to go about doing it, it was his way. I always watched him very closely around other children though so I could supervise the situation. If I knew he was going to bite I would stop him. I found if I was more supportive of him rather than frustrated or getting angry for his biting he was less likely to even get to the point of biting. He did grow out of the biting phase at about 2 1/2 when he was able to express his anger or fright through words.
With all that being said, I would talk to the mother first. If she isnt even aware of her child biting how can she correct it? If that doesnt work, then sit with the children while they play. Maybe there is an issue or miscommunication between the children that can be solved easier by an adult being present. I think it is important to teach your children that just because the other child has one small issue that you shouldnt drop all friendship with that person. I do however believe all children should stand up for them selves also.
again, it really depends on what the circumstances were....

4 5

know this sounds harsh, but bite the kid back. That's how I have taught all my kids not to bite. Once they realize it hurts, and isn't fun to be bitten, they usually stop the behavior.

38 15

does not necessarily work. My Mother did that to my son who was two at the time and he just laughed! He thought it was a game!

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16 0

I agree with talking to the other child's parent. (I had the same issue at my playgroup with a boy hitting my daughter in the face). If the parent fails to act, I see no problem in disciplining that child yourself. You shouldn't have to be forced to leave a playgroup where you have found/made friends due to lazy parenting.

5 14

There is a problem with disciplining another parent's child...the kid isn't yours and you could be looking at legal action. I agree that lazy parenting is annoying, but if the problem persists, they'll be the only parent left in the playgroup. If someone else attempted to parent my child owing to a disagreement with me - I'd be furious! I had a mom once, that didn't think I was feeding my daughter well-enough (she thought all babies should be fat), so she started giving my (then) one year old pizza bread & she's allergic to gluten!

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0 9

I am not afraid to get stern and tell someone else's kid that it is not okay to bite, hit, kick, or anything. Short of putting my hands on someone else's child, it will be handled.

17 29

tell the parent that their kid is biting your kid you teach your child that it is not ok to do that and do they tell theirs it is ok? as far as you are concerned your kids not a happy meal so they better either feed their kid something before group or be more diligent with what their child is doing.

0 6

I would definintely stil make sure my child knew it was not acceptable to bite, and I would approach the childs parent and consult with them on the situation, If they refused to interviene then I would approach the child and gently but firmly tell them it is not nice to bite. If the problem persisted I would ask that parent not to bring their child back until the biting problem was under control as it isnt fair to the rest of the children


It's not always the one that bites that is in total wrong but more and more people are making excuses for children. It's usual for children from 2 to 3 to bite and it's up to the parents to correct them so when they grow up after 3 years they don't feel as it's normal to bite to defend themselves or just to get their own way.

My child has been bitten and both offender and my son are aged 5.

Parents, doctors and specialists give to many different reasons why kids act like they do so it's ok.
Kids act to what they know and if parents are not teaching their kids from an early age then they will be wild kids.
If parents don't spend time with their kids then how are they going to be able to know how to spend time with others.

I know some children have other issues like adhd and so on but this dose not help all children as it's a way to excuse the child's behaviour which will only make things worse as some parents just don't want to know their kids and can't wait to get rid of them to school.

It's not great when it happens to your son and if the table was turned I wouldn't give him any attention or goodies like most still would.

Parent says no but the child says yes in so many different ways and it works these days.
Where was adhd 50 years ago???
Bring back dissaplin from parents and schools and stop letting children walk all over you and show them the best way possible.

It's easy to say in the other boat but I'm all for prevention is better than a cure and I'm 99.9% sure my kids won't bite another.

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68 0

I know you have taught your child not to bite , But it is time for your child to bite the kid back . Or exclude the child from play group explant to the parent this is unexcepatable behavior and the child will be allowed back when it dose not bite anymore . If you have a biter it has to be dealt with .

0 17

We dealt with this issue with my son. He was only around his sister so she is the one who he bit. We tried biting him back....but it didn't really help. Anytime she took something from him or pushed him he would bite her. I have gotten pretty good at interception. I watch my son closely to make sure he is controlling himself. When he doesn't, he gets to sit in his room or take a nap. He does not usually bite anymore. It just takes a lot of supervision. It works the other way too. My children have been hit and pushed also. If the parent was not watching and taking care of it then I have asked that child to stop. If that doesn't work, I tell my children to find a different child to play with.

2 37

It's an extremely unfortunate phase that so many toddlers go through! When I worked at a daycare center, I saw so much of this. The biter feels he has no other way to communicate his anger. Speak with the caregivers and ask that the boy be "shadowed". This is not always possible at every given moment, but it's effective most of the time. Chances are, your son is not the only"victim", and they have spoken to the parents already. Keep an eye on your own son because he may turn from victim to biter quickly, and you'll find yourself on the other side of the fence! Good luck.

10 9

Get ur kid to bite the Other kid back, then go tell the daycare workers wats happwning. If that doesnt work, tell the director about it and that ur not happy about it. Unfortunately biting is a part of kids growing up and unless u wash junior with chillies or horse radish or garlic, theres not really much else that can be done as biting happens at nearly every daycare centre at some stage. They will eventually grow out of it, or be asked to leave

47 24

talk to the other childs parent/s you'll probably find they are embaressed about it and are trying to deal with it sometimes theese thing do not change overnight.
on the first day of nursery school MY son bit another boy because he cornered him it was something he had never done before and never did again but the boy he bit and my son are now the BEST of friends!! XXXXXX

9 0

Teach your son to say no, stop to him. If he still does that, you as a mother say to him, "Please stop that. My son doesn't like it as he told you to stop." (I did something similar, and my son is four.)

0 13

well I personally would talk to the mom, hey your kid just bit my son/daughter/kid. Do you think you could talk to them about it. Then I would literally watch them the next time we were at the playground to make sure he didnt do it to my kid again....

3 14

in theory that sounds great, but in our experience i learned that biting is a phase that the children are going through, and they will stop WHEN THEY FEEL READY. When you have to leave your child in a daycare you can not control the biting pulling ect that goes on with other children. That is why i teach my children to defend themselves. To me its the same as telling your child not to talk to strangers (those people will hurt them), its a part of keeping them safe

3 14

the first time my daughter got bit she was 2, she pushed the biter down and told her that "that was not nice". My daughter was also taught that if someone hurts you "it is not ok", i did end up talking to the other mom (at her daycare), and was told at that time that the little girl had bitten multiple children recently (they were trying everything to stop her from biting) . If there was a biter in the daycare room with my girl should i be informed (or was to much of me to ask?) . In todays world words can only get you so far before the other guy is gonna freak out with the punches..... If my children get hurt, they have every right to defend themselves.

3 28

I agree with you completely!

1 21

In EVERY group of kids there is a biter! Its a very NORMAL toddler behavior. That being said, its about being present, watching closely if something starts, then you have to be there to stop it. We had a child in our group who had the same problem and with all of us watching, and helping him it has stopped. Children bite when they dont have enough language to cope, or feel threatened! Its about helping them choose words and defusing a situation!!! hope that helps!

Licensed Kindermusik Educator

10 15

I used to be a shy little girl & everyone would pick on me & hit me. Until my mom got tired & told me that if i didn't start defending myself, I would get a spanking from her too. I was only 5 & I will never know if she really meant those words but it worked. She taught me that picking fights was not ok but there was nothing wrong with self defense. I teach my kids the same thing, & guess what, no one picks on my 6 & 4 yr old sons anymore because the other kids know they will get hit....with a closed fist.

68 19

We don't really do play groups in my area due to not being able to control how a lot of people (LOTS of drug abusers reproducing here) raise/control their kids. We had the biting issue (my son being the bitee twice) in daycare and one time the biter bit my son right on his cheek and broke the skin. But when your child is at risk of being hurt (like mine was) I would definitely consult with the other parent that it happened. When it happens in a place like preschool and daycare the teachers can't tell you who the other kid is, just that it happened and proper action will take place or already has taken place (at least where I live).

5 14

Talk to the other kids parents. If that parent is unresponsive and/or the biting doesn't stop - find a different playgroup.


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