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Biting

Discussion in 'Toddlers' started by vmtaurus, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. vmtaurus

    vmtaurus Bronze IL'ite

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    Hello,

    I am having this problem with my 17 month old son for a few weeks now. He has suddenly taken to biting me, and there seems to be no specific trigger. He bites me when I lift him up, on my shoulder. I have tried ignoring, sternly saying 'No', physically putting him down and walking away, but nothing works. He thinks it's a game and starts laughing. If I just ignore him, he will simply continue to bite. Also, he only bites me. Not his dad or his nanny who takes care of him during the day.

    Doing some research on the net, there is an indication of biting being due to delayed speech. He does not speak as yet, but babbles a lot. I am not too worried about the speech delay as he understands what we are saying clearly and communicates what he wants and points out to objects when we ask him. He can understand us well, and this I can gauge from his responses.

    Have any moms had this issue of biting? And how did you tackle it? I do not want to bite back or as some friends suggested 'pinch his lips'. But it is getting very painful to just ignore now!

    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. Dinny

    Dinny IL Hall of Fame

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    No i havent experienced it but since the different tricks you tried are not working then i am wondering what would.
    May be its just a phase and he would get over it soon.I hope.
     
  3. Chitravivek

    Chitravivek Platinum IL'ite

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    My Sisters SON did it for a long time and got over it.. its just a phase each kid goes through....Keep telling him it hurts and never ever smile or encourage when he does it...
     
  4. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    I am thinking, is he trying to communicate something with you and using biting as a means to achieve it?
     
  5. Ansuya

    Ansuya Platinum IL'ite

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    Please don't even consider biting back or hurting him in any way. Teaching someone not to hurt by hurting back is nothing but a hypocritical form of parental bullying.

    Is someone biting him, perhaps playfully? It is possible he is teething. Have you tried diverting the biting behavior to soft toys/teethers?

    My daughter was not a biter, but for some reason we had this book, which she loved

    Amazon.com: Teeth Are Not for Biting (Board Book) (Best Behavior Series) eBook: Elizabeth Verdick, Marieka Heinlen: Books

    It's a lovely little guide for parents and toddlers to read together, over and over, about how teeth are not for biting. If you want your child to learn compassion, empathy, and good manners, read to him about his problem, and appeal to his growing intellect and sense of curiosity.

    I am still reeling at the thought of grownups pinching a baby's lips. What kind of world is this?
     
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  6. Chitravivek

    Chitravivek Platinum IL'ite

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    Seriously anusya.. I have never seen or heard this .. This creeps me out...:hide:
     
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  7. Rakhii

    Rakhii Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    I have seen a few people use this method Chitra. Its very disturbing. I asked a couple of them and they say that if you inflict pain, they dont repeat it. Surprisingly, punishment works in some cases, though I am 100% sure its not the right way of teaching a kid what is right and what is wrong.

    I have even seen beating kids because they are not sleeping.
     
  8. sweetshreya

    sweetshreya IL Hall of Fame

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    Anusuya & Chitra, my little brother used to bite me. My mom ignored when he did it to her or tried to deal with it in pacific ways, but then he got taste of my skin (to use the phrase) and just couldn't control it. Although I was only 3 yr old that time, I do remember still that those bites used to remain black & blue for days and hurt so bad. Thats when my mom bit him back and he stopped completely and never ever did it again. I guess sometimes moms don't have any other choice :)
     
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  9. Ansuya

    Ansuya Platinum IL'ite

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    Shreya, I appreciate what you're saying. I'm not a perfect mother (some days, I'm not even a good enough mother). But I have strong reservations about physically dominating a child to teach them a lesson. It's much harder to do it the right way, but our children are worth it.

    I've said before on this site that I don't subscribe to the "Do as I say, not as I do" method of parenting. I don't want to teach my child that sometimes, depending on the reason, hurting someone is okay. It's a mixed message. This opens up a whole can of worms (children play together, one bites, the other one bites back because that's what Mum did, and so on = chaos and escalating aggression).

    But I understand the stress and frustration parents feel at times. I am currently working on NOT yelling at my daughter, ever. She suggested that we both stop yelling, which I thought was a wonderfully civilized idea (I need my 4-year-old's help to be a better person, you see, because I was raised by hitters, yellers, and sulkers). It's hard to undo our own childhood conditioning. But I think we should critically examine everything our parents did, instead of just accepting it. Otherwise, we run the risk of not making progress.

    This is a huge grey area, this judging the actions of other parents. But I can't get over the wrongness of hurting a child, even if it is for "good", punitive reasons. There has to be a better way.
     
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  10. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi OP,

    Have you consistenly tried sticking to one technique whenever he bites? Perhaps you already realised it - Trying one thing for a couple of days and changing the technique would not be consistent enough for the child to learn. Stick with one technique doe a few weeks and I'm sure it would pay off.

    My my nephew kept biting my SIL all the time and only her. Sometimes she put up with it, sometimes she said no, sometimes she was really annoyed and yelled " stop it" but none of it was effective and he went on for a few months. Then my DH and I decided to use one single technique consistently and were prepared.

    When my dd started biting and our technique was to say, "ouch. We don't bite. We only kiss" at the word kiss, she'd start kissing and biting would be forgotten. Some days she was tenacious and the second time she bit we'd say, "that's not funny. It really hurt. We can't play if you are not nice." Then put her to one side where she can't reach us - mostly we'd sit on our bed which was too high for her to climb. Initially she thought it was a game and would try to make us smile but she soon realised we were serious about not playing and would be distressed that we were busy doing our own things. After a minute, with plenty of eye contact, we say, "are you sorry that you hurt me? If you will be nice, we can play together." We taught her to say yes. And repeated this prolonging the timeout by half a minute each time she bit consecutively. It took a few days to work, but the hard work paid off.

    I hope this helps.

    PS: make sure no one else tries to distract her when she is being disciplined. Even if she's upset and crying, they aren't to pick her up or try to pacify her until your transaction is complete. So, agree on your technique before hand with your DH and the rest of your family.
     
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