My Daughter Has Started Biting...

Updated on September 18, 2009
M.L. asks from Sparks, NV
7 answers

Help! my 2 1/2 year old got in trouble in daycare yesterday for biting. I feel awful. Not only for my daughter, but also for the little girl that she bit. My child is very verbal and speaks well above her 2 year old age. I know it isn't becuase she can't get her point across. I am not sure why she has done this, but I need it to stop. I don't want her to be a bully, and I know she can be sometimes. We have taken to making her go to her room until she is ready to participate, and be friends. I am at my wits end...what do I do?

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answers from San Diego on

Hello, You are doing what you can and that is good. Your daughter may be frustrated when she does this. Hopefully, she will not do it again at school since she got caught and I'm sure there was a consequence.
Good luck with your precious little girl.
K. K.



answers from Las Vegas on

Hello there. My son is also 2 and has started biting. I noticed he does it out of frustration or when he's really excited. Its never been out of anger towards someone. Yet, I know it still hurts. I try to sit back and watch the signs before he starts biting and catch what lead up to him wanting to bite. Yes there will be times I'm not always around but I'll always know why he did it and access the situation. I will keep an eye on this post for any further suggestions.



answers from Los Angeles on

You are the parent, you set the guidelines. Parenting your child is far more effective then disciplining the term discipline really means - a system of rules of conduct or method of practice - so PRACTICE being the parent you want around your child.

If she is doing something you don't like tell her what you DO like. You are the guide, the role model, the final decision.

You must keep repeating...we don't bite in this family, are you part of this family? (she will answer yes) then you repeat it, we don't bite in this family. Then redirect the situation. There is no punishment, there is only fact. This family is repectful. This family is kind. This family honors everyone. If you let the behaviour go once (and punishing it is letting it go), she will decide when and where he can use that behaviour again.

Kids are brilliant. They remember everything!

Here is the problem with "time out", kids learn to weigh the time away with what the "crime" is. They often feel that a couple of minutes in "the chair" is worth it. It obviously is not working with her.

For the last 13 years in my house, in my classroom and now in my practice with the families I coach, I have a guideline of acceptability. I say it, I expect it and guess what, it happens.

M., be the mom you want to be and she will be the daughter you want her to be. GUARANTEED!

You are the parent, you get to decide how your child will act.

Family Wellness Coach



answers from Los Angeles on

First, hopefully your daycare didn't really make "trouble" about this. Your daughter isn't a bully, she's 2. Biting happens with 2 year olds, but they do need to be taught that it's not acceptable. Even if your daughter has great language skills, 2-year-olds still struggle with emotional maturity. They can't accept disappointment well, and they often don't have a way to express happiness, excitement, love, either. I agree with the book about "mouths are not for biting". Our pediatrician also recommended getting down at our toddlers level, looking him right in the eye while holding his arms at his side. Firmly say "NO! Mouths are not for biting! Biting hurts! Kisses (or hugs, pat-pats) ONLY!". If she continues, move her to a quiet area to settle down. Make sure that you and her daycare are doing the same discipline technique, so you're consistently giving her the same message.
I hope this helps!



answers from Spokane on

Just because a two year old has great verbal skills doesn't mean they aren't a two year old. At this age, she still doesn't have very much impulse control, and won't for another year or so (and then it's still pretty iffy!). Even if she knows in her head that she's not allowed to bite, and she has the words to say she's angry (or even excited or happy - some kids bite for this reason too!), she doesn't have the impulse control to stop herself from biting. Have you ever been PMSing and in a super grouchy mood and you're just complaining on and on to your husband and in your head you're thinking to yourself "I'm not really mad about this, I'm just grouchy because I'm hormonal." BUT you can't seem to stop talking and complaining anyway?? Your daughter probably knows she should not be biting, and may even be thinking "I'm going to be in trouble for this!" during the act but just CAN'T stop herself! How frustrating for her that then she gets in trouble for something she truly can't help! If the day care is not understanding of all this, then it probably is not the right place for your daughter - this is NORMAL developmentally! Sit down with the director of the center and talk it out, tell her what you're doing at home and ask if she has other suggestions (take the book "mouths are not for biting" with you and ask if they can incorporate it into their day too). Again, this is NORMAL behavior and will happen with your daughter and lots of other people's kids, especially when you put a bunch of two year olds together in a room all day every day.... good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

get a book called "Mouths Are Not For Biting" read it to her all week and she'll stop..u also have to say "mouths are not for biting" i also tell my son right when i drop him off for preschool.."if you want friends you have to be a friend so be nice to the other kids and if someone is hurting you don't hurt them back tell the teacher"



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there.

I went through the SAME thing with my son at the same age. He was in a twos group at school, was VERY verbal and started biting. It wasn't teething either. There were two problems.

One, he may have been very verbal, but the other kids weren't necessarily so. So even though he could communicate, he wasn't getting that back.

Two, we had to adjust the punishment he was getting because he didn't care how long he got sent to time out. For him, it was just attention, regardless of good or bad. We worked with his teachers on this and it worked.

It was also an indicator that he was ready to move up into the preschool group, but I really pushed to keep in with the twos as long as I could and am glad that I did. He did great when we finally moved him up and stopped biting once we just addressed things differently with him...starting taking things away rather than time outs. Teachers starting using him to "help" them out rather than allowing hin in some situations where he would potentially misbehave.

The last part...biting sucks on both ends, but it's pretty normal. Just work with the teachers to reinforce good behaviour and eventually it will go away. Don't feel like your kid is the bad kid just because he's just a phase, one that you have to address, but you're doing that! So, it's all good.

Good luck.

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