Biting toddler

My toddler is still getting his teeth in and he's biting everyone. I come from an old school family who beleive in returning a bite, popping in the mouth, and spankings. From my studies and now recent experience, returning physical behavior only makes the situation worse. And now I believe has been made such a grand deal he'll be using this technique for communicating longer than I would have wanted. Help!

I feel so bad that other people's children are being hurt. (My family doesn't believe that it should simply be left to age appropriate put him in time out. "You're teaching him it's okay to run all over you.")

I need help in teaching my son to speak or communicate in some way to express his frustration other than biting. I need help to relax and not hover over him so much even when he's not biting. I'm so afraid of what he'll do.


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Apr 25, 2009
Biting Toddler
by: Laura Ramirez

Hi Renea,

It surprises me a bit that a parent would bite a child in order to teach the child not to bite others. This is a little bit like spanking a child for hitting his brother. Rather than helping him change an inappropriate behavior, you are reinforcing it and sending him the message that it's okay to treat others this way. This is "dark ages" parenting at its worst. And as you've discovered, it does not work.

There is so much I would like to share with you about this, but first, read my parenting book, Keepers of the Children to discover how to overcome the negative aspects of your upbringing, so you do not pass them on to your children.

Also you may want to read an article that I wrote previously in response to a parent's question about child biting.

I applaud you for asking this question in the first place and for being concerned about your child's behavior and the well-being of other kids.

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