Biting - Oakland,CA

Updated on April 19, 2011
K.G. asks from Oakland, CA
12 answers

My son is 20 months and he is biting and pushing at the park. He is also biting us when we tell him no to something he wants. He is a very sweet sociable child so this comes as a shock to us. We are currently looking him in the eye and telling him no biting - it hurts so and so ... and if he continues we sit him down for a timeout. But I want to know how to prevent him from using biting as a tactic. Please advise.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter did this also when she was about 20 months. We figured out she only did this when she was frustrated or angry about something. The only thing that helped throughout this period was giving her a small teething ring. I told her that when she was angry to bite the teething ring. This gave everyone (us and her daycare provider) the heads up she was angry. Though it did not totally stop the biting, it did helped her until she could control the urge to bite. She is 2 1/2 now and doesn't have any more biting episodes. Hope this helps a little.

Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Oh boy is that normal. I took the advice of my wise elders and bit my daughter back when she started biting (of course this was after trying everything else we could think of, including talking, loving, time-outs). After biting her back (she was around 2 as I recall) and explaining why it's not nice to bite because after all it does not feel good (which she got to experience),...well, needless to say she got it immediately and we really never had a problem again with biting. I am not recommending this approach, however it worked for us beautifully.

You could also ask your pediatrician what she or he thinks and perhaps your parents and grandparents enjoyed the same challenge. Good luck and don't worry, he'll quickly grow out of it or end up getting bit back and learn from that!

God bless you!



answers from San Diego on

Yup, mine's a biter too. He's 27 months now and has almost completely stopped. Just like your son, he's sweet and sociable . . . and would bite us when we said no to something.

We would say "ow that hurts!" Show him the tooth marks, have him say sorry and give the boo boo a kiss. Depending on the situation and how overstimulated he was, he'd get a time out.

For example, friends over for dinner, he's playing with their toddler after dinner, he gets frustrated (it's late, he's tired) and bites me a little. I whisper. No, that hurts. Can you say sorry? Kisses? Okay, please be gentle, andd send him on his way. On the other hand, if we're home alone, it's the middle of the day and he bites me because I say "no TV", he goes directly to time out.

This progressed so that when we could tell he was about to bite, we could say "kisses only!" and he'd start kissing.



answers from Charlotte on

Biting is normal at that age however he has to be taught that it will not be tolerated and that can be hard. Each child is different and responds to different punishments. With some children spanking or popping works. He's only twenty months so spanking is out but popping can be effective. Time out can be effective as well, does it wok when you put him in time out? My youngest is 11 and very strong willed. He used to bite when he was two. He was what I call an angry bitter. When he didn't get his way he would get angry and bite. I had to use a combination of three punishments before he stopped. He would bite and draw blood.



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is 2 1/2 and does the same thing at school. Her teachers tell me it is normal for kids their age to do this and so we are working on teacher her to use feeling words when she is experiencing frustration, anger, sadness, excited and happy. We role model for her (which is extremely corny at times). Hope this is helpful!



answers from San Francisco on

Give him another outlet for his frustration. Biting is so common at that age because they know so many words in their head, but just can't get them out when they need them. I agree with the advice above that teaching him words will help. Work with him (before he gets angry) and teach him words like "No" or "I don't like that" or whatever is applicable.

Another thing to do is to give him a stuffed animal or something that he can carry around. You can teach him that when he is feeling angry, it is ok to bite the animal, but never OK to bite a person.

Keep working with will pass!



answers from San Francisco on

Biting is pretty common at this age. Generally, it's out of frustration over not being able to articulate wants, needs or feelings. Keep up w/what you're doing....telling him not to bite, show him that the other person is sad & hurt & then get him involved in another activity. Make sure he understands he hurt someone but try not to make too huge of a deal out of it or he could then start liking the attention & commotion it causes & start biting more. Maybe help him find the words to express his feelings or validate his feelings: "I know you wanted that toy but it's not your's," or something along those lines. I'm not a fan of biting the kids back or a small slap on the hand as I find it a bit hyprocritical: you don't want them to bite yet you bite them to show them it's wrong. I think it just confuses kids. Once he can talk more, the biting will probably subside. Just be consistent in whatever approach you take. Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

K., I had a biter too. My son would bite when he became frustrated, or over stimulated, and couldn't handle something that was going on. We tried every piece of advice under the sun and nothing worked. Eventually his biting was so serious he was causing brusing or breaking the skin of his victims, usually his little sister. Out of desperation I came up with a rule that he could not do whatever activity he was doing when he bit his sister until the mark he made on her went away. This meant if he wanted to color he had to look at the bite site every day until the bruise was gone. There were very few bites after the new rule because seeing the long term results of his actions got through to him in a way nothing else did.

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on




answers from Green Bay on

when my son was biting we got him a book call Teeth Are Not For Biting. We read the book everyday but not when he was biting. I think it helped reading it to him when he wasn't biting. now he loves to tell me different thing teeth are used for and are not used for. hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

I know this sounds really bad, but I had a cousin who used to bite my sister constantly leaving teeth marks in her. My aunt tried everything, but it didn't help. My granddaughter also had a biting problem. She too would bite her mother when she was not allowed to do something she wanted to do. Both solved the problem by biting the child back. Like I said, I know it sounds bad, but nothing else worked. Once those children discovered that being bit hurt and they understood that they would get as they gave, both stopped biting.



answers from Dallas on

Mordre est très mauvais, et j'ai une grande solution. Envoyez-le loin ! Je sais qu'elle semble HORRIBLE, mais c'est la meilleure manière de prendre soin de son problème. Vous pourriez l'envoyer à un parent qui pourrait ignorer, et résistez à mordre. Si ce parent peut faire ainsi, votre fils sera guéri. Vous devez lui donner deux années ou plus à traiter.

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