Toddler biting can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even a little scary. But this is actually a normal phrase that most toddlers go through. This is a part of their growth and development. When toddlers feel like they cannot express themselves, they will become frustrated. This can result in biting another person.
A toddler can start biting anywhere from the age of 14 months and up. But it does tend to become more noticeable when the child is exposed to other people. This can include a child care center, play areas, parties, and other social settings. Some children are linguistically advanced for their age, but they may still end up biting. They are children and can become just as frustrated as other toddlers.
Is your toddler becoming a biter? Here are a few tips on what to do about a toddler biting, to help you get through this phrase.
The first thing to remember is do not overreact. You do not want to end up adding fueling to the fire. For biting, a time-out may be an appropriate form of discipline. The length of time children spend in time-out is usually based on their age. So if you are putting your two year old in time-out, then he or she will remain in time-out for two minutes. When you put them in time-out, place them in a chair rather than standing them in a corner. This way they cannot stomp their feet or kick anything. When you first sit them down, explain to them that they are in time-out because they have bitten someone and this is not allowed. Do not speak to them during the time-out, and give both you and your toddler the chance to calm down. This can also be done for toddlers who are hitting and kicking others.
When your child’s time-out is over, remind them that biting, hitting, or kicking other people is not acceptable. Explain to them that this hurts other people and makes them feel bad. Since you are talking to a toddler, there is a good chance he or she will not be able to figure out the cause and effect. So if you need to further explain it, ask them how they would feel if someone bit, hit, or kicked them. Try to eliminate the confrontation from the discipline. Put them in time-out, explain to them why what they did was wrong, and let them know what will happen if they do it again.
If your child bites (or hits and kicks) another child again, put them in another time-out. Depending on the age of the toddler, you can also explain to them what an apology is and why they need to say they are sorry. When they apologize or share their toy with the child they hurt, use positive reinforcement. Let them know that hurting others is wrong, but also remind them that being respectful to others is a good thing to do.
Most toddlers go through the biting phrase. While it may not be a pleasant experience, it is one you can learn from and get past. Just keep these tips on what to do about a toddler biting in mind. You and your little one will get through this and your play-dates will be bite-free!