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Hi! I haven't been active on the boards for a couple months due to a move and job craziness in the family. I really need some help, though. I have an 18-month-old boy who has started biting and scratching me. I have been watching to see when it happens, usually when he is tired and frustrated or really wound up playing. The trouble is, when I give him a firm "no" and tell him that it hurts mommy, he laughs! We've started to try time outs, but it's not really working yet. I can't tell you how frustrating this is becoming. When we made the decision to never hit our child, I didn't realize what kind of resolve it would take in these situations! (please don't think I'm a bad mother--I will not hit him, but the urge is there, just being honest here) Do any of you have any advice?
 

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Truth be told, I went in search of one of my several replies to this issue, copied and pasted it. It comes up frequently so don't feel alone (in either the situation or your inner reaction to it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">). Here is an excerpt from a post of mine on a recent (similar) thread:<br><br><i>DS went through a biting phase at about 21 months. He would become quite frustrated at this age with toys or playmates and was not verbal at the time. Biting seemed to release frustration. Thankfully, due to my watchful eye and quick reflexes, I was his first and only victim (there were several potential victims). When he went in for a chomp on a playmate, this is what I did:<br><br>
I took him away from the action and held him on my lap. I then said this: "You are frustrated with Johnny, he took the toy you were playing with, and that made you feel mad. It's OK to feel frustrated and mad. It's NOT OK to bite him because biting hurts." <b>I then offered him something he could bite</b> (an old teether for example). I did this four times and never again. It's been a year or so. At the time, being that he wasn't verbal, it was apparent he really felt the need to bite (HARD!) to release the tension. Fact is, I bit in the very same fashion as a kid. I could totally understand this need, and decided that rather than trying to stop the behavior altogether, just give him a safe alternative.<br><br>
DS lost interest in general, hasn't gone in for the chomp in a year or so. Very occasionally, if he's very tired and very frustrated, he'll bite one of his toys. He's verbal enough now that we're working on words but I think it will be still some time before this is an adequate mode of frustration release. Heck, as an adult it still feels pretty inadequate at times. He seems to prefer one long, very loud scream now, to which I say, "you sound really frustrated and mad." He usually just looks at me, nods and moves on...</i><br><br>
Validating emotions and giving an alternative that meets the need have been a tandem key for us in GD. Best of luck and hang in there.
 

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...I wish I could help with this...all I can say is you're not alone. My dd is only 13 mos and bites me many times a day. She rarely bites her father and as yet has not bitten anyone else. I just put her in her crib for 'time out' since she also either bites harder or laughs at me when I say no or tell her that it hurts and is not nice. I too resist the urge to hit her, as I can put up with almost anything, but when someone is deliberately hurting you, I think it's a natural defensive feeling to want to 'hit back' that requires all of the patience I can muster to resist.<br><br>
Mostly she does it for attention when I'm trying to get something else done, or in anger for not getting what she wants. Sometimes she gets so excited playing that she starts in (which is what just landed her in the crib). Sometimes I get the feeling that she's trying to express affection (in an open-mouth type bite where she doesn't actually chomp down), and just doesn't exactly know how to kiss yet.<br><br>
I don't know what to do either...she went through a stage where she bit me while nursing (that was awful), and that stopped after a while, but I was able to cut her off from the milk each time, which eventually gave her the message that it wasn't going to work to keep that up.<br><br>
I hate putting her in the crib as time out, as that's her bed too and I don't like to associate sleep with punishment, but it's the only safe place I can really put her to get the 'time out' thing across.<br><br>
Sadly, we have no friends with children under 1 hour away...family is further than that, etc. I need to find a place where she can play with other kids and get some time without me as her only companion. I think that will help somewhat, as I think she's just bored with me to some degree.<br><br>
If you figure anything out, let me know!! I just wanted you to know you're not alone...
 

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My fourteen month old does this too, mostly when very tired and wound up, or when she is feeling she's not getting enough attention. I work at a gym child care facility, and she comes with me; she has frequently bit other children there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: . It is embarrassing, but there's not much I can do to make her understand that she must not do that, at this point. I do put her in the playpen and get her away from other children, at those times, though, to get her unstuck from her aggressive ideas, if that makes sense.
 
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