My 3yo is a biter. She gets upset and she BITES. She has gotten better, and its a rare thing now. However, this phase that she was biting so much has led my 6yo (will be 7yo in May) and 4yo (5 in a couple weeks) to start biting. These two, if they get into a disagreement with anyone at all, it ends with the other person crying because they got bit by the 6yo or 4yo. I have done everything I can think of short of busting butts for this action, and I do NOT want to go to that place of responding with physical punishment for anything (I was abused as a kid and am very prone to falling back into giving out the punishments I got as a kid, so I am VERY careful about discipline and do everything in my power to not continue the cycle of abuse, not always successful though). I asked my mother about it since she was absent for my childhood (deadbeat parent, although she and I get along now that I'm an adult and live almost 1800 miles apart) and her response was that every time one of my kids bites someone, I should bite them back hard enough that they can feel it but not hard enough to break skin. Yeah, that feels BEYOND wrong to me so I'm refusing to do it. My father's answer to it is to just beat their butts until they stop (there's a reason he's not been a part of our lives at all since April).
Yeah, so how do I handle the 4yo and 6yo biting in an EFFECTIVE manner that isn't going to just be a continuation of the cycle that I'm working so hard to break? I don't want them to think that its ok to ever hit or bite as a direct response to undersired behavior if its not a dangerous situation.