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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dd, age 2, has started the not-very-fun habit of biting (usually me). I was talking to my mom about it the other day and she said, "Your brother used to do that to you. I finally bit him back one day... he never did it again." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bawling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bawl"><br><br>
I have a friend who did this to her child, too. She said, "They need to learn that it hurts."<br><br>
Have you heard this line of reasoning?? It makes me so sad for those little ones.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
And... do you have any suggestions for what to do about dd's phase? What I'm doing now is to stop her from getting to me, and saying, "We don't bite. Biting hurts people." I've said it over and over and over and over again... so far with no results that I can see.<br><br>
I just can't imagine biting her dear little self... especially after all those times of telling her that we DON'T do that!
 

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Heidi,<br><br>
I do not have any advice for you, sorry, just wanted to share that last weekend my MIL told me that she would snap the hand of a 1 year old boy that was biting her other grandchild... I told her I don't agree with any kind of hiting to kids (or anyone) but we got in to an argument... the generational gap is so strong. I would love to read the moms suggestions here.<br>
I would try maybe to talk to your child and show him to bite an object (a toy or else) instead of people everytime he feels like biting another one.
 

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I had this problem with dd a while ago. I read what Sears had so say, and tried his suggestion and it worked!!<br><br>
He says to ask the child to put her arm to her mouth, and press her teeth against it, and see how it feels. Dd knew that biting hurt, but didn't fully grasp the reality until we did this.<br><br>
She burst into tears and sobbed "I don't want to bite myself! I don't want to bite any more!"<br><br>
Since then, not one bite. Now when she does something and I ask her if she'd like it if someone else did that to her, she immediately stops to think, and it has a real impact.<br><br>
Maybe it won't work for all children, but it worked for us - which was a relief as the poor baby was getting covered in bite marks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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I actually remember the day that I personally was "bitten back", so I was probably older than 2, and could therefore comprehend a bit more maybe.<br><br>
I vividly remember getting very frustrated with my slightly older male cousin, and giving him a good chomp on the hand, he screamed & cried, and my mum promptly took the situation in hand, bit me on the hand and said, "biting hurts people, did you like that?"....so I cried because I had been sprung biting (oh the horror of getting caught!), and never bit anyone again because frankly no!... I didn't like it!<br>
I wasn't a big biter, but it wasn't the first time I'd done it. I had bitten my younger sister before also.<br><br>
I don't think this was traumatizing or damaging for myself..though I think I will try to handle it differently with my own child. I really prefer the idea about having her chomp herself, if just discussion does not work.<br><br>
I couldn't say I would absolutely never try the "just biting back" thing though, if I had tried all other things I could think of.<br>
It certainly didn't have anywhere near the same effect on me as getting spanked.<br><br>
The most effective way to handle it really seems to differ with age...in my opinion anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<i>Biting: normal, much more common than some would have you think, and most importantly, will pass. Hang in there.</i> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I think you've already passed your good judgmement on the advice you were given. Stay with that. In a word, ick. I have read Sears advice on having the child bite themselves. I never had to resort to it, but did keep it in mind.<br><br>
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, <i>due to my watchful eye and quick reflexes,</i> 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." I then offered him something he <i>could</i> bite (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...<br><br>
Best of luck and hang in there!
 

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i have been through this with dd and the situation is resolved now, i will come back and explain more when it is not so late and i am about to force myself to turn the computer off.... however, please be wary of the suggestion that you could have her bite herself to show her it hurts. i used to bite people as a toddler and when i learned that was not acceptable, i bit my own arm. i bit it hard and regularly and my mom was very disturbed by the frequency of deep teeth marks on my arm. for us with dd the key was teaching dd better ways to handle frustration, better things to bite, and helping her avoid those situations where she was inclined to bite. i would start by studying when she bites. can you find a pattern, times of day, triggers? hope this all came out respectful, britishmum. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> i am glad it worked out for your dd.
 

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i would NOT recommend that you bite her.<br>
i would also not recommend that you have her bite herself.<br>
it's coersive and she's not stupid, she knows it hurts or else she wouldn't be doing it.<br><br>
I like how embee shows how to help the child express his feelings. That goes a LONG way in helping relieve tension, not just with children...with any person!<br><br>
I would continue to be patient and firm that "biting is not allowed because it hurts people." Repeat that once or twice everytime she bites someone. Then let it go. It will indeed pass.
 

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I remember when my little brother was biting. My dad bit him back one night after he bit me. I was so upset both of us were crying. I know my dad felt bad because I remember the look on his face. He did say though that Doug had to learn. It just broke my heart, and I never told when he did it again. Anyway, I haven't read all of the replies, but what if you give the bab=y someothing to bite on, a pillow, washcloth, etc.
 

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I havnt had a chance to read all replys, so forgive me if Im repeating.<br>
Try turning it into a zuber. I have a bitter, and I find she is really into zubbering. So I give them often, and if she goes to bite I zubber her and say ZOO-BER! and she laughs and/or zubbers instead of biting most times.
 

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We talked a lot about strong teeth when we brushed them, when my ds took bites of apple I would tell him how nice it is to have strong teeth for eating food, we touched our teeth with our fingers and made a big deal about wow, they're pretty sharp and hard, not for biting people. I read the Sears advice and just modified it to touching with fingers, I touched his, he touched his, we both touched mine. We discovered touching doesn't hurt but biting does. It helped a lot with his biting me. I actually don't think he was trying to injure me, he was just experimenting with biting. Biting out of frustration or anger is different in that is a symptom of the anger or frustration, and then you're working more on teaching how to deal with those emotions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all your great ideas, ladies!<br><br>
I think she really is biting out of frustration. She's very verbal, but when she gets frustrated or angry she wants to bite or hit. Her six year old sister has started some of this, too... just the hitting, not biting! So I think I'll just have to put my thinking cap on and figure out how to help them through the frustration... and how to lower the frustration level in the first place.<br><br>
I think for the two year old it would help if we could just keep our things picked up when we aren't using them! Sounds kind of silly, but she just wants to touch EVERYTHING. And I don't like it any more than she does when I have to keep telling her no all the time!<br><br>
... Guess it's time for me to go pick up before bed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My little girl went through this phase, and it was SO hard to try and condition myself to not flinch every time she grabbed me!<br><br>
Instead of "no biting" (which seemed to provoke either laughter or biting itself), I would say "kisses please!" This was really in desperation the first time (because even an unintentional shriek from me seemed to amuse her!), but it worked! I felt the teeth against my skin recede before they clamped down. I found that this reminder worked 99% of the time, I just had to make sure that I was not tensing up or not trusting her. (And MAN was that hard!!!)<br><br>
I don't know if this will work for you, but you could always give it a shot every once in awhile. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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