What to Do When Your Child Bites

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During their childhood, children might happen to bite their friends or get bitten for various reasons. Although it’s just a common part during childhood development, biting should be discouraged.

Why do children bite?

Kids bite each other for numerous reasons. However, most of the time, it’s not intentionally malicious.

Babies bite due to their discomfort results from the teething process. Biting, to them, is a way to release pain. Infants and toddlers, meanwhile, use bites to explore the world around them. Toddlers bite their friends to see the reaction provoked by their act. They may simply want to hear the surprised exclamation without being aware that their bite can hurt the victim.

There are times when kids bite to get attention. To a kid who is feeling that he’s being ignored, he may believe that punishment is a sign of care. He craves for care, so he resorts to using that violent act of biting.

Frustration is another cause of biting in children. At a young age, children are not able to express their feelings through words. Thus, they execute actions. To take his toy back, the boy bites. To show her unhappiness, the girl bites. To show that she enjoys being alone, the kid bites her friends as a warning.

How to stop biting in children?

For a baby in his teething period, provide him with the cool teething ring or washcloth so he will have something, rather than a person, to sink his teeth into.

Do not let the kid get too irritable. Before any hanging out, offer him all of his needs, especially meals and sleep. Also, bring along some snacks to make sure there is no biting because of hunger.

When your child is old enough, motivate him to use words instead of actions. If he gets frustrated, encourage him to say out loud “I’m mad” or “That’s my truck” rather than putting his teeth into his friend’s body. You could also provide him with alternatives. It can be a stuffed animal or a pillow to punch. Make sure you schedule your kid a proper timetable. Enough activities and break time can reduce the frustration leading to biting as well as other bad behaviors.

Good parental time is helpful, too. When the kid feels that he’s got enough care from his parents, he won’t use biting as a means to draw attention. In particular, major changes in life, such as a new sibling’s arrival, extra attention gets even more vital.

Despite your efforts, biting may still happen. When it occurs, make your child understand that biting is a bad behavior that he needs to cut off as soon as possible. Give an explanation that biting can really hurt others. Give the kid time to regain calm and learn from his mistake.

Be a good model for your child. Kids learn by imitation. If he catches you biting, he will think biting is nothing wrong so he’ll apply it in the future.

If you fail to stop the biting or it becomes a bad habit of your kid, it may be a sign of emotional issues. Seek professional help.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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