Biting .... Yikes!

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by AKilburn, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. AKilburn

    AKilburn Well-Known Member

    I honestly never thought I'd have this problem with Jackson, but twice now Jackson has bitten Adalynn.  The first time was when Adalynn took a toy away from him and last night was when he was trying to take a toy away from her.  Both times he's been super tired and irritable.  He's normally not aggressive, Adalynn is always taking toys away from him and he's usually very passive about it and just gets another toy, we've been working on her about not taking things from him, or if she does do it we take it and give it back to him and give her something else to play with, anyway ... Do y'all have any tips on what to do about biting??  He knows it's wrong, when he does it Adalynn goes to crying/screaming and then he starts crying and will try to go to her which just makes her even more mad, it's like he's trying to apologize but she doesn't want him near her.  We'll tell him sternly "No biting" and separate them, but I don't know what to do to actually stop him from biting her.
  2. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    Have you tried giving him something acceptable to bite (a pillow, a lovey etc.) when you see a situation comin up where it is probable that he will bite?
    Luckily, we only had a short phase when this was a problem and we watched the kids very closely inthe typical situations and told them "no biting people, it hurts. you can bite this instead" before they actually bit their twin. Offering an acceptable item to bite (or hit) helps them release the frustration that often triggers biting - it sounds like your son while usually placid is frustrated by his twin's constant taking away toys. Then separate, redirect, diffuse the situation which leads to biting.
  3. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Wish i had a good solution for you.  Here is an article I read not long ago about biting by the American Physiological Association.
    It states that 'Between a third and a half of all toddlers in day care are bitten by another child, studies indicate; in fact, epidemiological studies peg that number at closer to half of all children in day care.
    Though not socially acceptable, biting is a normal behavior among children under 3 years old, developmental research shows. It’s a way young children express anger, frustration and a need for control and attention before they have the words to do so, says clinical psychologist Stanley Goldstein'
    So you are not alone!  It suggestions somethings to work on but clearly there is no instant cure. 
    We don't have the biting problem... yet.  Our conflicts usually involve Nicholas grabbing Hannah by the back of the shirt collar and dragging her around backwards until she falls over and we have a lots of hair pulling here. :catfight:
    Somethings that have helped for us:
    -I try to decrease MY emotion about the event.  I hate it!  I want them to love each other, get along, be best friends! this is unrealistic, no one gets along all the time and even bbf fight sometimes.  Siblings without Rivalry is a great book.  It says rather than wishing or insisting that our kids get along all the time we should instead use these conflicts to teach life lessons.  When i keep my emotion out of it we make much better progress on finding solutions and learning other ways to communicate and handle our emotions.
    -look for causes that you can prevent.  (example - DS pulls DD hair when he feels jealous about the attention she gets while i put her hair in pick-tails.  Solution (not perfect but better) - do his hair first, make a big deal and give him a hair bow  ;) 
    -You can try ignoring the child who bit and comfort the injured child.  A good tactic if the event is to gain your attention.  be careful with this!  It totally back fired on me and DD learned how to be dramatically injured.  Eventually, i was pretty sure she was making it up for attention.
    -They aren't vocal yet but do they know any sign language?  I mediate and put into words what i see happening and how it should go.  Make sure you get down on their level! (example - Nicholas, i can see you want that toy.  Hannah is using it right now.  Tell her to please [please is signed by making a circle motion over stomach and chest] give it to you when she is done.   then, i say, Hannah, Nicholas would like to play with that when you are done.  Please give it to him when you are finished playing).  At first they didn't get this at all and i would then distract the waiting child until the situation resolved.  Slowly, it is getting better.. at least they know once i have said this they have to wait.  not necessarily patiently.  Recently, I can sometimes do this narration from across the room!  I think a key factor is that by acknowledging what the child wants, they feel heard/understood.  the first time they do this for themselves i will be  :banana: !
    -Maybe also provide an alternate biting object.. toy/ring/pillow.  this is what we do about throwing.  'oh, cars are not for throwing!  Here is your ball.  Can you throw the ball?'
    ​-I also think it is important for him to apologize.  We do a pat on the shoulder.  You might have to work with Adalynn to get her to accept this or maybe blowing a kiss would be better or maybe you can take his kiss to her.
    Good luck!
  4. AKilburn

    AKilburn Well-Known Member

    Gals thanks so much for your advice! 
    Amy -- I'll have to see if I can find that book.  We are working on some of the sign language, and they're usually very good about listening to me and understanding what I say. They're normally really good together, but if they've refused their afternoon nap or taken a crappy one, come close to bed time they're both super crabby.  The first time it happened, Adalynn did take a toy away from Jackson, so I understood the frustration and we did separate them and I gave him his lovie, told him we don't bite, it hurts, told him he could bite his lovie.  The second time it happened he had been playing with some blocks and Adalynn was playing with a ball (they both have the same type of ball just different colors) and he decided he wanted her ball, he tackled her and bit her, we immediately separated them, I took him to his room and he was crying so hard, it broke my heart, he kept saying "teester" (his word for sister), I gave him his lovies and told him again that we don't bite.  Marshall (my husband) came in once Adalynn calmed down and he was just reaching out for her saying teester and then gave her his lovie, lol.  He knows its wrong and he wants to immediately apologize for it.  I just don't want it to become a habit of his.  Plus he has 12 teeth and Adalynn only has 2 (lol ... we've nicknamed him jaws, lol) so his bites hurt a lot more.  I'll keep working on it and hope it doesn't continue.  thanks again!
  5. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Got to love that!
    We had one instance when Nicholas was getting rough with Hannah (starting to drag her around) and i stopped him, got on his level, held his hands by his sides and spoke firmly.  He was mildly upset by this.  Hannah was stand next to us.  She took her binky out of her mouth and put it in his mouth!  
    lol and what do I do with that!  clearly she is less concerned with being drug around than I am! 
    Really love those sweet gestures!
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