Tag Archive | "stop toddler biting"

Toddler Biting – How To Stop This Habit

Most toddlers go through a biting phase at some point. While this habit is common and temporary, it is still important that you put an end to it as early as possible. Here are some tried and tested tips on how to stop toddler biting.

Pinpoint The Cause

The first step to stopping this habit is to understand the reason behind the behaviour. Maybe your toddler bites because he is undergoing a transition (e.g. teething), upset, bored, lacks attention or it is his way of exploration, self-expression and self-defense. When you become familiar with your toddler’s actions, you can gain understanding about the causes which can help you stop your child from biting in the future.

Recognize The Habit

Whenever you see your toddler bite, tell your little one to stop. This will make him aware of his action. Remove your toddler from the situation, get down at his level, look him in the eye, express your disapproval in a clear and firm voice and say “Stop biting. Biting is not good.”. If this does not work, take your toddler somewhere quiet to calm down.

Talk To Your Toddler

Explain why biting is not good. Use one or two short sentences to make sure your toddler understands you. For instance, if your toddler bites because he does not want to give his toy to his playmate, say , “Biting hurts. We do not bite. If you do not want David to get your toy car, you can hold on tight and say ‘Mine.’”. Or, you may also try reading a book about biting (try Teeth Are Not For Biting by Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen) during story time.

Offer A Substitute

Another effective technique is to offer a biting substitute or a “biting toy” such as a washcloth or a teething toy. Tie the toy or cloth to his hand or clothing so every time he wants to take a bite, your little one will bite on his teething toy or washcloth instead of biting you or his playmate. Eventually, your toddler will not find biting so amusing anymore because he is not getting any attention or reaction from the toy.

Teach Your Toddler How To Express His Feelings

Oftentimes, children bite because they have not developed the verbal skills to communicate their emotions. If your toddler wants to show affection, teach him to hug or kiss. Likewise, if he feels angry or frustrated, teach him to hold his hand up to tell somebody to stop or he can say “I do not want to.” or “I am mad.”. Practice this new skill together until he can effectively use it on his own.

Comfort The Victim

If your toddler bit his older brother, go to him and say “I am sorry. That must have hurt. What can I do to  help?”. Doing so shows your toddler that what he did was wrong while at the same time teaching him how to show compassion. Or, you can encourage your toddler to soothe the victim.

Remember, changing a habit does not happen overnight. It takes time, so be patient. Most of all, never forget to praise your toddler each time he does something good.

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