Sunday, April 22, 2007

Is Your Toddler Biting? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Deal

It can upset and alarm you when your toddler bites. Some experts say that toddlers resort to extreme measures like biting when they become frustrated and have not yet learned how to express themselves with words.

Biting can become a dangerous problem if it isn’t properly handled. It is extremely important for parents to learn how to deal with this and meet it head-on. The following tips will show you how to cope with your biting toddler:

  • Get to the Core of Your Toddler’s Anger – If your toddler bites in anger, ask yourself what might be causing this change of mood in your toddler. Have there been any changes in your toddler’s life lately? Is your toddler reacting in anger? If your toddler hasn’t been socialized with his children his age, this could be another cause of anger.
  • Stay Calm – If you are already dealing with a biting problem and have lost your cool with your toddler, don’t feel bad. Parents commonly overreact to toddler biting. However, shouting or spanking your child probably will not help the situation. Model the behavior you expect from your child. Take a deep breath and count to ten. When you are calm, you are better able to handle a bite incident.
  • Warn Her of the Dangers of Biting – Even though toddlers are just learning to talk, they are old enough to understand pain. They are also old enough to understand cause and effect. In a calm, but firm voice, explain to your toddler why she shouldn’t bite. Let her know that biting hurts and she shouldn’t do it.
  • Teach Him To Use His Words – Some toddlers start talking earlier than others. As your toddler grows and learns how to talk, teach him to use special words to express his feelings. “Tommy mad,” or “Suzie sad,” are just a couple of examples. If your toddler is biting but is still too young to speak, try using baby sign language instead. You can make up your own signs for pain, hurt, no, bad, etc...
  • Set Her Up for Success – If your toddler seems to have trouble socializing in certain situations, don’t place her in that situation. Give your toddler the best chance of success by placing her in a situation where there is no opportunity for trouble. By setting your child up for success, you can show her that she can play and socialize with other children without biting. As you see your toddler’s behavior improving, gradually introduce her to more challenging situations.
  • Praise Your Toddler – Calling attention to negative behavior and its consequences is important. Don’t forget to praise your toddler when he does well, though. Pointing out and rewarding positive actions will help your toddler to remember the desired behavior and reaction.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

So, basically what you're saying is that biting them back is not the way to handle it? Oh man. No wonder my kids are so screwed up!