How to discipline a toddler who bites

Toddlers may develop certain habits which may be good for them and some can be bad.

What happens when your child starts biting? In puppies, biting in the initial months is quite common because they are teething. The same goes for kids! They may bite due to stress or teething. Once again, the toddler is trying to explore the world and tends to bite.

Another cause for biting could be fear or even anger. A toddler may not possess the ability to express themselves and this could be the reason for them to bite. Biting is not a good habit and it can cause infection to your child and the people around him. Toddlers explore the world and they want to experiment with everything. So, when they discover a new habit such as biting, they do it again because it is fun for them.

Majority of the parents ask the following question – How to discipline a toddler who bites?

Parents need to teach their children good behavior. Parents also need to make sure that their child does not feel humiliated because of this habit, like someone calling him a biter or a bad child. Who likes being bitten by a kid? This would only add spice to the fire as he would make the child feel alienated or sad.

Let us understand the reasons why your toddler is biting. We shall talk about the ways to discipline your child after that section.

Why does the toddler bite?

”Your child bites!”

There could be many reasons as to why a toddler bites. Parents need to identify that reason and need to work on it so that their child would not do it again. The following are some of the reasons why would a child bite:

Self-control

A toddler who is under 2 years of age does not know how to control himself. If he desires anything he is going to get it somehow even if he has to bite, shout or cry. Self-control is one of the major skills which tends to develop as a child grows.

The child wants relief

The child may bite if he is in extreme pain. This is to release his frustration. The pain can be a stomach ache or toothache. A toddler is developing skills to speak. If the child does not have developed language skills, they may bite to express themselves.

To get the parent’s attention

Toddlers are new to this world and they are trying to adapt according to it. If you are doing some other work and the child feels ignored or left out, they may bite you. This happens because the child wants your undivided attention.

To communicate

Toddlers are unable to communicate well with their parents so to express themselves. They can show aggressive behavior such as biting or shouting.

How to discipline your child when he bites

Making your child disciplined when he bites is not a difficult task. You just need to step up your game and find solutions to the biting problem. If you show aggressive behavior to the child, it will not work efficiently. The child will learn to become violent because you showcased that side. Following are the ways through which you can stop your child from biting:

Divert your child’s mind

Toddlers like to experiment with new things and when they discover it they have a habit of doing it again. Parents need to make sure that when their child bites they need to divert their child’s mind so that he may indulge in it. Ask him to play with his toys, make him watch his favorite cartoon or take him out. Try to divert their minds and let them see the positive aspects of the home like the playing corner or a sweet treat.

Alternatives

A child bites because he wants to release his emotions and feelings, then parents need to provide other alternatives to their child rather than biting his sibling or you. Give them something edible or safe to bite. If the biting is caused due to teething or stress, allow them to bite an object or a food item.

Sharing is caring

Parents need to teach their children to share things instead of fighting. Teach your child to care for the people around him. Do not deprive your child and give him whatever he needs, but do not spoil them. If there are siblings in the house, teach them the art of sharing and tell them how it brings positivity in the home.

Perfect routine

Introduce him to other people so that he may know how they interact with each other. If you see your child biting ask him to stop doing it because it is bad manners. Children who bite are not doing it deliberately and have no idea about the pain it inflicts. A child may bite to defend himself, release stress or the new teeth are troubling him.
Give them a firm response like, ”NO BITING”.

Analyze your actions first

Parents scold their child but they need to analyze their reactions first. Some parents become aggressive when they see their child biting or inflicting pain. Is aggressive behavior necessary? You are not being different from the child. Instead of shouting, tell them that biting hurts. What if the child is hurt or is feeling unsafe? Get the first-aid kit and put some ice on the wound or wherever it is hurting. Always check your child’s body because they might be in pain.

What could parents do if their child does not stop biting?

Tell them that anger and sadness are a part and parcel of life.

For example – Ted took your doll. You felt angry or sad! You bit Ted, but that is not okay. Ted got hurt because you bit him. Biting is not OKAY, Sarah!

You need to tell them biting is not the solution. You can suggest the appropriate ways to react to situations.

Takeaway Advice

Your child is trying to express or say something. Maybe they are not good with words, and biting is the only way to convey their feelings. While this is wrong, you behaving like a child would be equally incorrect. Never be harsh with kids and learn to fix the problem. Aggravating the problem by hitting or shouting is never going to work.

Sit with your child and explain to them that inflicting pain is unnecessary and there are other ways to react to different situations.

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