Fortunately, biting is usually just a phase your child will grow out of. Until your child outgrows biting, you will need to discipline him or her. Sometimes discipline will get your child out of a “phase” quicker than doing nothing or ignoring the problem. A phase just describes actions that most children have during their development.
If you have a child that bites, it is best to find out why the child is biting. If children are biting objects, usually the biting is a result of sensory issues. The child wants to feel the different textures. This type of biting is usually not a concern. The child will probably not bite other people.
A child that is biting objects to feel the texture still needs to be told no. It is not sanitary for a child to bite everything. Cleanliness or the lack thereof may cause health concerns. With a child that puts every object in his mouth, you may want to take away the toys. Always tell the child no. Then, make a simple explanation such as don’t put toys in your mouth, not for your mouth, dirty, etc. If you are over the child you can push the toy away before it goes into the mouth, while saying no.
A child tasting textures is a lot easier for parents to deal with than a child that is biting others. Children that bite other children are usually expressing some form of anger or jealousy. This type of biting needs to be addressed immediately and constantly.
A child that bites another child needs to know that biting hurts. You may have to tell the child that it hurts. The child that is biting may not understand that it causes pain. You may have to take favorite toys away from the child to let the child no biting is wrong.
When the child bites you want to ask the child why he or she bit the other child. If the child was expressing an emotion such as anger or jealousy, you may want to help the child find a more acceptable way of showing emotion. You need to let the child know it is okay to have those feelings, but it is not okay to bite. Try to get the child to apologize.
If you have exasperated all forms of punishment, you may have to resort to the act of biting the child that bites. Before doing this, check with your pediatrician. Some children do not understand that biting hurts until they are bitten. Other children just continue biting because the other discipline methods are not effective for them.
Each child is different. Children bite for different reasons. Children need to express themselves, but not in a harmful and inappropriate manner. So when disciplining a child that bites, discipline the child on an individual basis. Remember, the biting will eventually stop. It’s better if it stops sooner than later.