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How do I stop my child from biting?


Young children biting others is a very common problem. This is a guaranteed way to get a reaction and attention, even if negative. He may also be doing his biting if he is bored, nervous, hungry or tired. To know how to get him to stop, you will need to figure out why he is doing it. It may be because of the reaction and reinforcement he gets when he does it. Does he do it at times when he is feeling lonely or hasn't had your attention for a little while (which to him may be only a few minutes)? Whatever the cause, it is very important never to bite back, as you are trying to teach him that biting is wrong, therefore it should be wrong for you to do it too. Besides, he is likely too young to realize the pain he feels from your bites is the same as the pain others feel from his bites. Always separate him from the situation when he does bite, explain that he hurt you, and explain to him that it is OK to be angry (or bored, or lonely, etc.), but it is not OK bite. He may need a time out to calm down. Be sure to be consistent in your reaction, as he may be doing it simply for your attention, and if he doesn't get the reaction he is looking for, he will stop (eventually). Also, make sure that no one in his life playfully nips at his toes or fingers during play time, as this will confuse him and reinforce that it is OK to bite.



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Patricia Walters-Fischer