Babies and toddlers go through many learning and developmental transitions in their young life. Biting is one such phase. As with all transitions, it will most likely pass fairly quickly (but I'm sure not quickly enough). Below are some parenting tips to avoid raising a Walking Dead zombie.
How can I get my child to stop biting? Here are 6 parenting tips.
1. Understand why your child is biting.
Biting might seem like a violent or negative behavior. While anger can be one reason your child bites, there are many other emotions your child might be trying to express through biting. Some children bite because they want control, some bite because they know they will get attention or a reaction. Sometimes children get excited during play, and they vent that energy by biting the closest object (sometimes another child). Figuring out why your child might be biting is the first step to figuring out how to prevent it.
2. Try to prevent biting before it happens.
You can help stop biting by preventing those things that trigger biting. For example, if you've figured out your child bites because they like the reaction you give then simply stop giving that reaction. If excitement seems to trigger biting in your child, keep that in mind when your child is playing, especially when she's playing with other children. When you notice the excitement that comes before biting you can swoop in and carry your child away from other children. Don't make it a punishment or a big deal. Instead, explain that it's time for a break and bring your child back after they have calmed down. Discovering the reason for your child's biting will determine the best method for changing the behavior.
3. Keep calm.
Like mentioned before, keep calm and refrain from punishing your child for biting. Most toddlers don’t understand that biting is wrong and hurtful. So they will not understand why they are being punished. Keeping in mind why your child is biting can help you stay calm.
4. Explain and redirect.
Use age-appropriate words to explain why you shouldn't bite. Even if your child is too young to understand your explanation it helps to repeat it. You can say things like, "it hurt Sally when you bit her," then redirect the biting. It all goes back to understanding why your child bites. If your child bites because he's experimenting with his new teeth, give him a special biting toy to bite instead.
5. Reward when they don't.
Kids are motivated by positive rewards and prizes. Start a digital chore list and let them check off each day that passes without incident. With the carrot on the stick, they'll approach each day with an increased level of self-control and favorable behavior.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Every child in the history of the world goes through a biting stage. It's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of. Don't be afraid to ask family, friends or even co-workers for help. If you ever feel yourself getting too frustrated, ask someone to come in and take over for a while so you can calm down. You aren't going to stop biting in a day, and you don't have to take on the challenge alone.