We learn that infants often bite to relieve their teething or gum soreness, while pre-schooling kids generally bite because they haven’t developed good coping skills to deal with stress appropriately and to express their needs.
Whatever the reason is, we know that this behavior is inappropriate and very upsetting (especially for the person getting bitten).
As a parent, your job is to get rid of this annoying behavior before it becomes a habit. Here are few steps which you can use to get your child to stop biting others.
Be Calm But Firm
Speak to your child with a firm, “no biting” stance. Make sure you keep it easy and simple for your child to understand. Make it clear that biting is wrong, but also avoid lengthy explanations until your child is old enough to understand them. Lastly, stay as calm as possible to help resolve the situation more quickly.
Teach Appropriate Expressions
Teach your child to express themselves to you in more appropriate ways. When things calm down, help your child find a less painful way to express their feelings to you.
This generally works well with children who are biting to show affection to their parents. So, if your child wants to express love to you, teach them to hug instead, and not bite when they feel such strong emotions.
If your child has started biting, distract them with a toy or a book. For example, ask them to look out of the window or take them for a short walk outside. This would help reduce tension and shift the child’s attention from biting to other activities.
Substitute People with Objects
Give your child a substitute. When you sense your child is about to bite, give them a teether or toy to draw their attention away from the biting.
As kids grow older, they tend to learn how to express themselves in words and learn to control impulsive behaviour. If you are consistent with your control, chances are even the most determined biter would stop biting.
Just in case, your child does not stop biting, don’t rush to a therapist who might recommend different treatments. Sometimes, it just takes time, support and appropriate training from friends and family. Only, after a certain age should you consider taking medical help.
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