When everything is too good to be true, a bad wind befalls and shatters your streak of incessant good luck! Let’s take the example of a new born baby. A bundle of joy wrapped in layers of unfathomable rapture. Never have you witnessed anything so serene, so silent. You gaze into the baby’s infinite innocence and pray that corruption doesn’t wiggle its way in to break the innocence. One fine day, you face the horrors of a biting toddler. If you’re not the one with a bleeding finger, it might be your spouse or the nanny, or your own baby who had a rough encounter in the baby day care center! Of course, it need not raise caution as the bite of a rottweiler or pitbull, but parents do believe that toddler biting must stop before it turns into a nasty habit. Observed in one out of every four tiny kids, toddler biting is a great source of irritation to anybody with intact nerve endings. While one might be quick to assume that a child bites and gnaws for no valid reason, there are pertinent physiological justifications behind this behavior. However, for a child to blossom into a mature adult, it is crucial to get rid of the biting addiction. Learn more of biting toddlers and how they can be curbed as you keep reading this section.
How To Stop Toddler Biting
What Makes Toddlers Bite
They’re so cute and so harmless. You wonder why anything so adorable would want to tarnish their innocent reputation by digging their newly emerging teeth into your skin. Here are a few plausible reasons why.
Toddlers bite instinctively soon after developing teeth. Once they observe the reactions elicited by a slap or a nudge, they experiment with their teeth. A victim of a bite immediately moves away to protect themselves. Hence, toddlers use their teeth as a weapon for self-defense. A child generally resorts to biting or hitting when he/she feels scared or insecure of an external stimulus.
Tool Of Communication
Babies lack the faculty of speech but that doesn’t mean they don’t experience the same emotions and intense feelings that a regular adult does. However, an adult expressed his or her feelings by word of mouth. Since toddlers are unable to speak, they bite to convey emotions such as anger, resentment, impatience or irritation. For instance, if they want a toy or don’t want their faces to be stuffed with cereal, they retaliate by biting.
Every human being craves a selfish quota of attention. The same applies to a baby who in most cases, hates to be isolated. When they discover the effects of biting and how it often makes them the center of attention, they can’t resist the urges to keep repeating the act. Especially, when family and caretakers ignore them to cater to other responsibilities, Ouch! They bite! Many times, they derive a peculiar sense of power by witnessing the pain triggered by these bites.
Babies are born utterly curious of not only their surroundings but also of their very existence. Their body parts fascinate them. They can use their hands to hit, their legs to move, their noses to smell and so on. Every part of their body serves a different function and once they grow teeth, they are compelled to put them to use. Once they learn how to bite, they just can’t stop until the effect wears them out.
Ways to Discipline Biting Toddlers
Yes, biting toddlers can be quite a nuisance and you have to nip this nasty habit in the bud before it grows to be raging canines! Nevertheless, remember that they are still only toddlers and are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Hence, do not yell at them, even if they have bitten a respected guest. Even worse, as temped as it may seem, never bite them back to show them how much it hurts! That will simply traumatize them and affect them psychologically!
Determine The Cause
Everything must be corrected from the source. You have already confronted a number of palpable causes for toddler biting. Determine which one best matches your child. There might be a pattern in this behavior. Could it be that your child is responding to being constantly bullied and teased by an elder sibling? Or that your child is uncomfortable in a particular environment and uses biting as a tool to portray his/her discomfort? Whatever it is, read the case, figure it out quickly and mitigate the biting frequency. Read the baby’s body language. You will soon be able to anticipate the event of the bite and divert his/her attention before he/she can do so.
Define “Biting” To The Toddler
The very second that your child gets accustomed to biting, confront him/her as soon as you can. Emphasize on the action and label it as “Biting”. Say – “That’s biting, You just bit me!” In a very stern voice follow up the definition with the moral aspect by saying- “Biting is bad. Never bite anybody ever again!” Since the toddler is unable to comprehend words, assist your strict instruction with suitable actions. Express your disapproval with scary eyes and imitate the biting behavior so that he/she knows what you are referring to!
Decide On A Consequence
So as to prevent the biting from continuing, you must create a consequence that a child will regret. For instance, condition him/her in such a way that every time he/she bites, you will send him/her back home and far away from the playground. Enforce this very same consequence the very moment your child bites a person. Maintain a serious tone so that your child gradually learns that biting is prohibited.
Use an unconventional approach. Whenever your child bites a person, don’t directly approach him/her as this will simply reinforce this nasty behavior. Instead walk towards the victim and plant a soft kiss on the victim’s cheeks or hug them tight. This will coax the child to refrain from biting as he/she only succeeds in diverting the attention to the victim.
Always keep track of how many times your child has been biting and attempt every possible technique to terminate such arrogant behavior. If it still persists, seek professional help.
Toddler biting is normal but from this article, you must have gathered that it is your duty to put an end to it! Hope it’s not too much of a challenge!