What do I do if my child bites?

Most biting happens when a child is teething or around 1yr old. Many children first bite their parents in a playful manner and parents do not take it seriously but the child should immediately be told that this is not ok to stop it developing into a bad habit.

Later biting happens as a way to communicate as they are unable to express their feelings in words. It is only after the child is older and able to communicate verbally that biting becomes an aggressive deliberate action to cause harm to others and show the child’s anger.

If your child bites here are some tips on how best to handle it:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Tell your child firmly that biting is not ok because it hurts.
  3. Give your child a safe alternative to biting such as telling an adult when they are angry before biting another child.
  4. If your child has bitten before pay close attention to him/her while there are other children present and be ready to intervene with a loud “No, we do not bite” if you see him/her looking as though they are about to.
  5. Never bite your child as a punishment for him/her biting. It does goes against the rule you are trying to teach your child which is that people do not bite people.
  6. Remember to always praise your child when he/she is able to resist the urge to bite when frustrated and to express his or her emotions verbally instead.