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The Biting Phase: How to Stop Your Child from Biting

By: The Kangaroo Forest | Published 09/07/2022

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Once children start daycare and begin interacting with other children, they may go through a biting phase. They’re still learning to share their space and toys and may express their frustration by biting their peers. Skip the biting phase with these helpful tips:

Avoid physical discipline

Often, children do not realize that biting actually hurts. They are simply replicating the behavior they know has worked in their favor previously. Therefore, it is important that you avoid physical discipline—hitting or biting a child who has bitten only teaches the child that that behavior is okay.

Correct and redirect

The first step in teaching your child not to bite is to correct the behavior when you witness it. Be calm but firm: “No, we don’t bite. Biting hurts.” Once you have corrected the behavior, redirect your child’s attention. For instance, if they bite another child because they want a toy the other child has, correct the behavior and redirect their attention by offering them something else to play with.

Encourage them to express themselves

Children do not bite for no reason. Often, they’re biting out of frustration. If your child is verbal, encourage them to express their frustration with words. For instance, if your child wants a turn on the swing but it is occupied, encourage them to express themselves: “I would like a turn on the swing, please.”

Positive reinforcement

Children are so receptive to positive reinforcement. Validating a child’s efforts is the best way to ensure they keep up good behavior. When your child chooses to express themselves instead of biting, acknowledge their good behavior by saying, “Thank you for expressing yourself with words. I love when you express yourself!”

Looking for childcare this school year? The Kangaroo Forest provides a quality educational environment for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, including Private Kindergarten and before and after school care. Learn more about our programs and schedule a tour of our facilities today!

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