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Old 05-25-2008, 10:05 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,508 posts, read 4,282,572 times
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I searched the forum and could not find this topic.
When Children bite (each other, parents, siblings, strangers) how should it be handled?
The child I am concerned with is not my own. He is two years old and has been biting his mother, siblings and recently my own children.

Any suggestions.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,488 posts, read 43,353,436 times
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I know a mother who handled the situation in such a way that the kid got the total message not to bite again, but if she were to do it today, Social Services would be called in.

Her three year old was biting everyone - family as well as play partners - and nothing was working, so mommy got bitten on the forearm and she turned around and bit kid's arm. She said - "See how that feels?" The toddler was stunned, broke out in tears . . . and according to mom, never bit anyone else again.

I saw this take place as the lady was one of my neighbors and she was at her wit's end, LOL.

I have been told by professionals (psychologists) that this is NOT the way to handle it, but it sure worked for my neighbor. Supposedly, biting is a way of expressing anger or dissatisfaction, but I think it can also be a way of manipulating the situation. I mean - everyone is so taken back when a child bites and no one seems to know what to do to address it. Talking to the child doesn't help (obviously - or they wouldn't keep doing it) and the moms I have known who had this problem w/ a child say time out doesn't help, either. So that leaves you w/ few measures to address biting effectively.
.

Last edited by anifani821; 05-25-2008 at 11:22 AM.. Reason: edited - added info
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:08 PM
 
3,415 posts, read 4,558,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I know a mother who handled the situation in such a way that the kid got the total message not to bite again, but if she were to do it today, Social Services would be called in.

Her three year old was biting everyone - family as well as play partners - and nothing was working, so mommy got bitten on the forearm and she turned around and bit kid's arm. She said - "See how that feels?" The toddler was stunned, broke out in tears . . . and according to mom, never bit anyone else again.

I saw this take place as the lady was one of my neighbors and she was at her wit's end, LOL.

I have been told by professionals (psychologists) that this is NOT the way to handle it, but it sure worked for my neighbor. Supposedly, biting is a way of expressing anger or dissatisfaction, but I think it can also be a way of manipulating the situation. I mean - everyone is so taken back when a child bites and no one seems to know what to do to address it. Talking to the child doesn't help (obviously - or they wouldn't keep doing it) and the moms I have known who had this problem w/ a child say time out doesn't help, either. So that leaves you w/ few measures to address biting effectively.
.
That's what I did with my son. I took his little hand and bit it (gently but uncomfortably) and said "See, that's what it feels like." He got it immediately and that was that.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:12 PM
 
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The first time my son bit me, I smacked him on the teeth. I didn't think about it, I just did it.

The first time was the last time. He never bit anyone else either.

A bit harsh and you'll probably get the "Oh, that poor baby" thing from other posters, but it worked.

When a child is acting out, over and over again, and I hear parents asking for advice, in my head I hear that line from the Simpsons, "We've tried NOTHING and it's just not working!"
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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i have heard doctors give the same advise--bite them back. they will get the message...
dont know how child services would handle that...
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,674,132 times
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My mother-in-law bit her daughter back and said that she never did it again. So, thus far, this is the consensus. Now, if the parent doesn't want to take that route, then you will be in for a longer haul. (I'm sure there are children who get bitten back and don't get the point, too).

Anyway, in changing behavior, it's consistency. There can never be any, "Honey, if you do that again, then you'll get a time-out." It requires immediate consequences. So, they have to leave a friend's house or the playground. They get a spanking. The TV gets turned off. They lose a toy. Things of that nature; it depends on what is important to the child.

Also, I recently started a reward chart for my toddler, because I felt like I was doing nothing but yelling at her all day long. The parent might want to pay attention to the situations that elicit the biting, then reward him each time he doesn't bit in these instances.

Now, since this isn't your child, you have much less control over this. All you can do is let the child know that he hurt you or your children and that you won't play with him anymore. So, if you're at his house, leave. If he's at your house, then it'll be harder, because how do you kick a toddler out? But, you do have house rules and I'm sure one of those is not biting (at least it is now). And, everyone knows you have to follow others' house rules, right?

That's all I can think of right now.
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:39 AM
 
335 posts, read 706,883 times
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Biting is usually done by children with limited speech or children with impulse control issues. The only advice I have is to observe them carefully ..take notes, what is the antecedent? The "thing that sets them off" Redirect and offer them things to bite, "You may not bite jenny or your mom or your sister" ""But you may bite this"
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:21 AM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,455,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I know a mother who handled the situation in such a way that the kid got the total message not to bite again, but if she were to do it today, Social Services would be called in.

Her three year old was biting everyone - family as well as play partners - and nothing was working, so mommy got bitten on the forearm and she turned around and bit kid's arm. She said - "See how that feels?" The toddler was stunned, broke out in tears . . . and according to mom, never bit anyone else again.

I saw this take place as the lady was one of my neighbors and she was at her wit's end, LOL.

I have been told by professionals (psychologists) that this is NOT the way to handle it, but it sure worked for my neighbor. Supposedly, biting is a way of expressing anger or dissatisfaction, but I think it can also be a way of manipulating the situation. I mean - everyone is so taken back when a child bites and no one seems to know what to do to address it. Talking to the child doesn't help (obviously - or they wouldn't keep doing it) and the moms I have known who had this problem w/ a child say time out doesn't help, either. So that leaves you w/ few measures to address biting effectively.
.
Well then all of our kids and all of their friends are doomed to be ax murderer's then because everyone I know that had a biter bit them back and the kids stopped. It seems to work pretty well and I know my kids don't have any lasting psychological damage from that. There are people that think you can reason with a 2 year old-keep trying is all I can say and yes, kids bite out of frustration.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,508 posts, read 4,282,572 times
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Default The Biter

Quote:
Originally Posted by DD70 View Post
Biting is usually done by children with limited speech or children with impulse control issues. "
The child or The Biter as I lovingly refer to him, does indeed have limited speech.

Quote:
fjtee : Now, since this isn't your child, you have much less control over this. All you can do is let the child know that he hurt you or your children and that you won't play with him anymore. So, if you're at his house, leave. If he's at your house, then it'll be harder, because how do you kick a toddler out? But, you do have house rules and I'm sure one of those is not biting (at least it is now). And, everyone knows you have to follow others' house rules, right?
That seems to be our problem. It's a delicate situation. Without getting into details. I don't want to offend the parents or tell them what they should do. It's tough - What to do or say & what NOT to do or say. It's not my child.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Mebane
2,481 posts, read 3,973,056 times
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I have a friend with a biter, just turned 2. She parents very differently from me in general - she is a spanker, etc. Anyway, that's just to say that she tried the biting back thing (not something I would do), but it did not work for her. Her kid was biting almost daily. In the past week she has tried something new. She got a bunch of kid books out of the library about not biting and read them with him. And she set up a sticker system. If he goes through the whole day without biting, he gets a sticker when she picks him up at daycare. He has gone the entire week without biting now, which she sees as great progress. Another technique is to give the child access to a teether toy and have him bite that when he's frustrated instead of others.
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